I got a book from the library yesterday afternoon and, like many of my ilk, I read it. It wasn't bad and was worth the 25 cents I paid to reserve it. Then, the morning came and I made sure, first thing, to return it. The book wasn't due until the 30th of July but I returned it. Why? Because I was done with it. No, really, why?
Because I'm crazy.
Yes, that's right folks, I'm taking inventory of what makes me nuts and number 1 on the list is my thing about time and deadlines. If we get a bill, I prefer to pay it at that moment. If we have to be someplace, I like to be there 15 minutes early (to acclimate!) and I get all antsy and can't breathe when it becomes possible that I will be late to something. I just hate it. If I have tickets to a baseball game at 7PM, I'd rather leave home at 3:30, avoid the traffic, get my choice of parking spot and beat the crowds even if it means I get to the stadium before the players. But once I get in to the stadium, do I walk around and admire things? NO. I must get to my seat and sit in it. So what if nothing is happening. That's my seat and I'm gonna use it. If I go to the movies, now, understand, I KNOW that there are 15 minutes of trailers and movies at 2:30 on a Tuesday afternoon are rarely sold out, I need to be in my seat about 10 minutes BEFORE the listed start time. Is it about getting the best, or the right seat in the theater? No -- that would be rational. It is simply about being there.
A vacation? Don't take me. I'm hopeless. I'll be done packing 4 days in advance and will be sitting holding my ticket by the front door 3 hours before taxi is due. And I asked the taxi to come 2 hours before even the most conservative estimate said we had to leave to get to the airport on time. For a short vacation, I'm often packed and ready to leave 5 minutes after we arrive. Relaxation is not an option. [n.b. this is why when people ask whether I'm going anywhere for vacation I say "no -- being here is vacation if everyone else goes away; I'll relax when I don't have to be ready to do anything."]
Shabbos comes every Friday night (and, as I have noted in an earlier post, Judaism coddles my OCD-ness by having precisely calculated start times that are ever shifting but printed on myriad calendars with which I can surround myself) and at about 12 noon, I start getting into a pre-Sabbath frenzy. No one should leave the house, make appointments or do ANYTHING which is even potentially unrelated to Shabbos preparations.
And when my favorite TV show comes on, I want to be in the proper seated position with the phone, the remote and a snack all around me so I don't have to move or miss anything. Could I DVR the show? Yes, but then watching it isn't "at the moment" and is an inauthentic experience. It doesn't count.
I'd tell you more but I just heard a motor which might be the truck which the mailman drives so I have to run and get my checkbook. I want to pay the bills as soon as he gets here.