I am at work. An email arrives in my inbox. About two minutes later the person who sent the email is at my desk to discuss the email they just sent me. This drives me crazy.
And yet, here I am at home, trying to get my son ready for school. He dawdles coming down the stairs, insists on hugging me a bunch of times before putting on his shoes and generally doesn't care about how long he is taking to get ready. I am trying so hard not to encourage him to hurry up, but in the same breath I wish he knew how to tell time so I could point out how long he is taking.
I really don't want him to be like me: I walk fast, I eat fast, I have had slowpoke rage at strangers who take too long in line. I need a cure.
Actually, we all need a cure.
Scientists have been studying why our brains hate slowpokes. Part of the reason is left over from evolution, when we had a balance of patience and impatience and knew when a hunt would be fruitful and when it should be abandoned. The other part has to do with heightened expectations: I know that a website should load in half a second, so when it takes longer because it is bogged down by ads, frustration immediately kicks in.
When it comes to my son getting ready in the mornings, I am the one who needs to look at the clock. All of his delays - although they seem like a lifetime - really only put us only a few minutes behind. My sense of internal time has been warped.
According to his internal clock, he is right on time.
What do you take too long to do? Confess to me in the comments.