When I was doing theater in high school my director was incredibly strict about being on time. Sharp used to always tell us that if you were told to be someplace at 5 then in order to be early you should be there at 4:40, to be on time you should be there at 4:50, and if you showed up at 5 you were late. That last thing I ever wanted to do was be late.
This lesson has sort of stuck with me through my life. I hate being late. I hate being on time. Getting someplace at the time I am supposed to always makes me feel panicked and rushed. There is no opportunity to do anything before things start. I mean what if you need to change, find something or someone, get a snack, go to the restroom, make a phone call? Or what if there was traffic or no parking? How can you get places on time if you don't get there early?
I would rather be really early and sit reading a book than even come close to being late. I mean seriously it is not worth it to me to rush and panic. Extra time can always be useful for something. If nothing else it is there in case of an emergency.
Take today for instance. I had a doctors appointment this morning, and I have never been to this particular doctor before. I tend to get lost going new places, and since it was a 9:30 appointment, I would have to contend with morning work traffic. The highway that the office is off of is under major construction just now so I had to plot a slightly longer route that avoided the highways. Knowing I had paperwork to fill out I wanted to be at the office by 9 so I left my house about 5 till 8.
Yes I realize that is early, but I wanted to have time to get lost or get stuck in traffic. Turns out it only took me 20 minutes to get to my destination. Excessively early, but her I had a book, it was all good. I reached in my purse to grab my wallet so I could stick the parking ticket in it and not lose it. This is when I realized to my dismay that my wallet wasn't in my purse. It had fallen out.
Cue me panicking.
At this point I was so thankful I had left really early. Otherwise I would have arrived at my appointment time and not had my id or my insurance card or money and had to have rescheduled. Now with all this time I could drive home and make it back before my appointment. I of course ended up going a longer route home and because of that walked into the doctors office at 9:25.
I was flustered and annoyed that I was, in my eyes, late. Of course it being a doctors office and all I wasn't even called back until 10, but that was beside the point. I was not there with sufficient time to do the needed things before I was supposed to be.
At the same time my chronic earliness did help me avert minor disaster. I will count this as a pro the next time the husbeast argues that we don't need to be so early to places. You never know when you will need that giant cushion of time.