Time… What to do with it?

Sometimes I get really focused on certain pieces of my life. It’s one of the things I’ve always struggled with, but never understood why it was so difficult for me and not for other people. When I was younger, in my wild and exploratory college days, I tried to explain it to people: it’s like there are 2 of me, the me that handles the mundane, real world, and the me that deals with spiritual stuff. Most of the time, I feel like my spiritual self gets in the way of my real self.

I don’t manage time well. Or things like money. They aren’t real to me. Time can’t exist because we perceive it differently depending on the situation, or on the people with whom we surround ourselves. It can be fleeting, or it can fly, or it can drag on. It’s completely subjective and therefor must not be real.

timeflies

So for me, hours and minutes don’t really mean anything. Dates on the other hand… I have a head for dates. I know the important dates for most of my family, including birthdays, anniversaries, job stuff. This summer, while I was working a summer job with my mother, I was in charge of remembering her work schedule and mine. This is easy for me. Remembering the time and day, it’s like it gets stamped onto some part of my brain.

Actually getting there on time… That’s an entirely different story. I know exactly how long it takes to get to a place, and thus will wait until the last possible second to leave, inevitably always arriving late because I didn’t factor in some crisis or another. Like traffic.

Highway-Rush-Hour-Traffic-Jam

Starting my job at my new school, this has me worried a bit. Particularly because it was something that my new Department Head mentioned specifically. She commented that she didn’t really have any pet peeves except constant tardiness. Hopefully my face didn’t show how scared I was when she said that!

To combat this, I’ve decided I’m just going to tell myself I have to be there an extra 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Every day.

Also, since I’m looking into this whole Aspie thing, I think it might be a good plan to create a routine for myself. I think that’s where my problem lies. I try really hard not to be one of those people that is bound to a routine, but if I look at why I’m late, it’s usually because I am a slave to a routine I refuse to acknowledge.

slavetoroutine-calvin

I have to take a shower in the morning, and it always takes the same amount of time, because I go through the same routine while in the shower, and if I deviate, I usually get frustrated with myself. Like I tried to skip the shampoo one day because my hair wasn’t actually dirty, but I can’t get a brush through it without it being wet, and once it’s wet if I don’t condition it, it feels funny.

But this one day, I decided, nope, I’m not going to shampoo it. But because my routine had been altered, I had to start over. I moved the shampoo so I wouldn’t use it, and then put the conditioner in my hair, and proceeded to go about my shower routine. Then, once I rinsed out the conditioner, without even thinking about it, I grabbed the other bottle, the one that would now be the shampoo, and put it in my hair. So basically, I did it backwards, and then because the shampoo without conditioner following it, makes my hair feel stringy, like doll hair, I had to condition it again!

So, not following my routine backfired.

I need to accept the fact that I am a routine oriented person and embrace it. Perhaps I’ll find myself not late anymore.

Daily-Routine-Chart2

This is on my mind especially this morning. I’m staying with a friend, it may become a permanent situation, but it also may not. I’m leaning towards not. I think she is as well…

I’m not good in roommate situations. I don’t understand what the protocol is. The closest thing I’ve had to a successful roommate experience was with someone who was more like my sister. But we never quite got into a routine, and I think that might be why it didn’t last.

When I was home with my family this summer, my dad let me take his bed, meaning my mom and I shared a room. We got into a routine. We’d watch a little TV or be on our separate electronic devices looking on Facebook or whatever, and then we’d talk for 20 minutes or so before one or the other or both of us would finally crash out for the night. Dad would walk through to go to the bathroom at the same time every morning, even weekends, and then the daily routine could begin. It was relatively peaceful. My pressure came down, and even though sometimes being home can be stressful (especially when I don’t have my own space), I was relaxed knowing that I had the same routine on a regular basis.

Now, I’m staying with a friend. I’m waiting to hear back from HR so that I can officially sign my paperwork and get into my classroom. Yesterday was sort of the goal for getting things finished, but they didn’t contact me. It feels like it’s getting closer and closer to noon, and still nothing as of yet today.

I’m starting to get a little nervous, actually. There are some things that have been a little haywire in my life the last couple of years and I don’t want those to keep me from being able to start this new job. This new job that feels like it was made for me, that might be a balance between my “real life” and my “spiritual life.”

On the one hand, I do trust in my domino theory, and so this will work out. It just was going so well, and now I’m stuck in a holding pattern. On the other hand, the holding pattern makes me question whether or not I’m making the right decision.

dominos

And then there’s the lack of a routine. I find myself fixating on it because I have a roommate, and she doesn’t seem to have a routine. At all! Like, as I type this, I’m wondering if I should go and wake her up because earlier in the week, she had to be at work by 8 AM. Then yesterday she went a little later, and came home earlier, and I didn’t hear her go to bed last night, but I know she was in bed before I was, and now I’m awake before she is… And I can feel myself ramping up about what is the procedure and what should I do.

See, any and all of my previous roommate experiences (minus the dorm rooms), I was really good friends with my roommates, and it would never occur to me that I shouldn’t just walk on into their room and wake them up. Especially because I’m also nervous about what’s going on with the job situation. I’d knock as I was entering, and then plop onto their bed so I could vent about what’s going on with me. Or, I’d ask, probably in a panic, whether or not they knew what time it was and did they need me to do anything to help them get back on schedule.

12867988 woman with clock isolated on white

Just the most recent situation before this (and before being home with the fam), if I thought she was running late, I’d get her kids ready… and maybe send one of them in to check on her. There was a time or two when I’d knock on her door because we were sharing a shower, and I needed to know if it was my turn or not.

But this time around, my new roommate’s already commented on how she doesn’t like roommates because she doesn’t like the disruption to her schedule and her space. So… I’m sitting in the room that is mine for the time being, getting anxious because, again, I am sharing a shower, but don’t want to bother her, nor do I want to get in her way because I’m in a holding pattern, but she probably has to go to work at a particular time. I’m worried she’ll be late, and so I want to go wake her up. But I’m more worried that the waking her up is precisely the kind of intrusion she was talking about…

See? Roommates are bad for me.

Meanwhile, I have no schedule for myself, which I’m feeling more and more anxious about because I know I need one.

394638 pink ball pen and organizer

Especially now that I can recognize how schedules and routines are better for me since doing the Aspie research.

I know it’s not confirmed or anything, but in reading about the experiences of other women with Asperger’s Syndrome, I’ve identified with so many of their stories. I’d say I was about 92% certain.

But that’s a topic for another day. Right now, I think I’m going to set myself a routine, and hopefully that will alleviate my anxiety. I also need to make a grocery list because I’m really trying not to be a bother and eat all of her food. Or any of it if I can keep from it.

Ugh… I really just need to accept that I have to get my own place. And quickly!

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