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I'm one of those people who hate to be late. I will get ready well ahead of time, with clothes laid out in the bedroom and things to take with me arranged on the kitchen counter on the other side from the sink and stove.

I often arrive places 15 minutes to half an hour early, because I'd rather sit and relax and center myself, than race in at the last minute, all at sixes and sevens, breathless and rushed. Frequently I'll sit in my car for a few minutes, just contemplating the whichness of what. Then I can go to the job or appointment or party with my wits abut me and my spirit calm.

Today was not one of those days. My husband had an appointment at the VA, but the oncology clinic was short one of their doctors and the appointments were running one hour to 90 minues late. We had our meeting with the doctor, jumped back in the car, "pushed" the speed limit to get back to the house, ejected the husband, and raced off to get to work.

Arrived 50 seconds late, running up the stairs and lurching into the office, everthing all whichaway and brain scattered to the four corners of the universe. Used the few minutes that it took the computer to boot up and load the major program to slow down and center myself. Thankfully, no phone calls until about 20 minutes later. Most of the stress was due just to my dislike of running on the edge, nearly out of control of my schedule.

How do people stand being late to everything?

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