I tend to panic when I don’t need to. I do this really cute thing where I insist on being at my bus stop at least 30-45 minutes early. That usually puts me close enough to the front to ensure I get a window seat for the 8-hour trip back to my parent’s house. Of course, because I plan on being 45 minutes early, even if I had to walk, there’s almost no way I could miss my bus. Yet when I find myself at Times Square, waiting for the 7 Train to take me over to where the Megabus picks up, I flare up the drama. If I’m waiting for more than 3 minutes, I send the Bat Signal out to a friend who knows how to deal with me.
I’m seriously not going to make the bus. There’s no way I’m going to make this bus. I know I say that all the time, but I am seriously not going to make the bus this time. This is it. I’m missing Christmas. Game over.
Because this is a recurring theme in our friendship, they know exactly how to deal with my “Girl Cries Wolf” situation. And usually, before they can even respond, I’ve followed up with a:
Okay, sorry about that. Yep, I’m in line. There’s like no one here. Definitely getting a window seat.
I take timeliness seriously. I like being on time and feeling prepared and knowing what’s going on. Rushing is a major pain point. While I’ve gotten much calmer about my fear of being late, I have noticed some of these mannerisms seeping into other parts of my life.
Last summer, I was working on a project with a friend when something happened. I can’t remember what, but it was obviously something that threw me off but had no real impact past the present moment. My friend responded with, “It’s only a crisis if you make it one.”
Now, this friend is a poster child for laid back. An incredibly smart individual and brilliant worker, they are not the kind to get easily frazzled (unlike yours truly). Their calm demeanor juxtaposed with my panic made me laugh. I copied it to a sticky note that remains on my computer screen to this day.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the little stuff, or the big stuff, or the somewhere in between stuff. But my friend is right – it’s only a crisis if you make it one. Take a deep breathe. Get your bearings straight. And know that you are fully capable of handling whatever this curveball is.