Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Pet Peeves and Other Pressure Points

index_barometer001I am a patient and accepting soul. I know that it “takes all kinds”. I expect and can accept differences.


Take time management, for example.

I am pathologically prompt. I have a knack for accurately judging the time it will take to complete a task, or how long to arrive at a destination. I like to quip that I couldn’t arrive late if you held a gun to my head. Upon examination, I conclude that this habit, or dare I say survival mechanism has its roots in my childhood. It is an offshoot of aiming to please, needing to please, to get it right, to excel.

Sure I have procrastinated and put aside yucky tasks for when I’m in a better mood. The lesser of two evils however is getting it done without the pressure of a looming deadline.

To that end, I will always start ahead of time. I have never “crammed” for exams or pulled “all-nighters” in order to meet deadlines. I allow adequate time to prepare and study.

The few times that I found myself overloaded, my body rebelled. During episodes of extreme stress, an inner-ear disorder diagnosed as labyrinthitis  would kick in. Bouts of vertigo forced me to reduce the stress load.

Therefore, in true “champagne theory” style, what works for me, must by extension also work for you. My preferences are your preferences and if you should deign to behave in any manner other than mine, well then. Prepare for conflict.

At least, this is the inner dialogue I conduct in the space of a millisecond. It is ingrained very deeply. I can usually recognize it when it happens and after a quick and dirty session of self-talk, no more CODE RED. Usually.

For example.

The Performer would arrive half an hour, forty-five minutes late for our dates. When I’d protest, he shrugged it off. I was over-reacting. It did not help that the couples counsellor had the same approach to keeping time. When I brought it up at a session, she commiserated with him. “Oh, yeah, I know what that’s like. Say it’s 9:55 and I’m due on the hour for a meeting and I’m half an hour away. I tell myself that I have five minutes left. I’m not late yet.”

Oh. Is that how it works? Huh.

Suffice to say, the couples counselling didn’t help.

No, I don’t do pressure very well. I avoid it if I can. I need to, or I’ll be set on my butt by the inner-ear thing. That’s not to say that I don’t know procrastination. I leave that for the “little” issues in life, like facing relationship conflicts.  But that’s another story. Or half-dozen.

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Categories: Personal Growth

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27 replies

  1. I love this, Maggie; it is funny, thought-provoking and wise all at the same time – excellent! xxx


  2. I hate tardiness, in anything. It comes from dealing with mum – you see there is Eastern Standard Time and then there is mum time. She has no concept of how long it takes to get somewhere and it can drive you nuts. When she and I ran Jigsaw the office manager and I worked in conspiracy – if there was a client meeting at 10.30 we’d put it in her diary as 9.30 and that way she would usually make it there in time. So I get a ‘little’ testy with tardiness.


  3. Tardiness tolerance does not exist in my lexicon. Always necessary to be on time otherwise I get “gut spasms” if I am late by one minute. Should I be late for some unforeseen reason, the recipient of my tardiness will receive a phone call to explain.

    This has been taught through the catholic nun teachings – “you’re late young lady, off you go to the principal’s office and she will attend to you”.

    There are a few people notorious for tardiness whom I have met in this area–maybe it has to do with “farmers’ time”. From these people I expect no more than “five whole minutes” of lateness. One of these was a lady whom I would meet for coffee. “An hour” of waiting in the restaurant, after my having had breakfast, the lady walked in as if nothing had happened and I walked out “Sorry, gotta go, you’re late and I have another appointment”. Nope, we no longer hang around. She had “motor mouth to boot, manipulated conversations plus Tardiness”.

    And then there is my “brother dear”… late for a rendez-vous, late for supper, late for appointments, late for phone calls. My father was like this too. It’s perverse to make others late, however, he was never personally late for himself when he needed to drive somewhere or go off to work. Go figure!

    So I hear where you come from, Maggie.


    • Wow, Missy – thanks for your comments. I think I’ve read somewhere that tardiness might be construed as an act of aggression. Or maybe I’m making that up? But it seems to fit. For instance, the time you describe of being “stood up” for a coffee meeting – I’ve been there and it felt like an attack. I’ve felt hurt that I did not merit the respect or basic human consideration. This is where the old boyfriend would latch on to my “perceptions” and diminish my feelings. Boo. Love hearing from you, Missy.


      • There is “forgiven tardiness”… when tardiness is not the norm with an individual –
        ..and as you pointed out quite correctly “aggressive tardiness” when occurrences are a daily thing. That’s when I like chucking these kumquats out of the window.


  4. First thought is the theme change. Or is it merely a theme adjustment? Whichever (and please forgive for not being more on the ball), it’s lookin good Maggie! I do like a site I have no trouble understanding visually. There are some themes that I find TOTALLY CONFUSING – in fact, quite a few.
    Second thought: you are very good at downloading inner thoughts. I believe, however, that such is done with more … erhm … facility when said thoughts are in some way negative – doesn’t matter how. I am going to have to try harder …


    • Ta, Margaret Rose. Yes. A new theme change. While I like minimal, I did not care for the starkness of the old theme. This woiks for me. Glad it does for you, too.
      Now, to your second point. Thanks for compliments. If I understand you correctly, yes, it is a lot easier to express the hotter, heavier issues. They are busting to get out, so I just stand aside and let ‘er rip. And then edit. And erase. Abandon altogether. Regroup and finally hit publish.


  5. Neat post. I know another person or two who are compulsively on time in the same manner. My father is one of them.

    I once thought that I was the same way, but four children have either broken me or opened my eyes.


  6. Loved it Maggie. Very funny. Well told.
    ps…you would hate me. But my middle girl, Grace, sounds like an exact replica of you. And it shows in her results.
    Great story!


  7. I read somewhere that habitually late people are self-centered. (Among other things.) What they are essentially telling you is that whatever they were doing that made them late was more important than you or anyone else.


  8. Great post that I totally relate to! I hate being late and any sort of pressure.


  9. I think we had a date, but I’m pathologically late.



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