Timing problems

I have been intending to write this for ages, but other stuff seemed to crop up, however I digress. I think I have always had a problem with timings. Not usually my own, but other people’s. It used to be that if say I was at Music Centre (read orchestra) and it was meant to finish at 11:00 and it didn’t I would get extremely anxious. Even when I was that young I knew it was irrational but I couldn’t stop thinking that I would be trapped in that room forever, having to do the same thing over and over until I died. This was problematic as panicking every time something runs over, which is quite a lot, is very inconvenient. So what I started doing (unconsciously) was giving myself time frames. So if something is meant to end at 15:00 I will tell myself that it will be over by 16:30. That gives an hour and a half for it to run over into before I start panicking. I use this all the time now and it helps so much.

I also like to be at places at certain time. For example if I am starting a new thing like work experience I want to be there early, but not too early. This means getting there between two and four minutes before I am meant to be there. The same sort of thing happens with lessons. I don’t want to be the first there (and have to have an awkward conversation with a teacher) and I don’t want to be late. What this leads to is my wandering round school aimlessly at the end of lunch because I left the library too early and it’s too early to go to lesson.

Another problem with time that I have is that I need to know what time it is at any given point in the day. If I don’t know what time it is it produces the same effect as what used to happen when something ran over. I panic a bit. It is at its worse when in a boring lesson and I look up to check the time and there is no clock. I start thinking I will be trapped in the boring lesson forever! The easiest remedy for this would be to wear a watch, however I don’t find them particularly comfortable and the teacher may take offense if I am constantly checking my watch. Luckily, there’s usually someone else in the class with a watch which I can read from across the table.

When I am on camp with army cadets (mostly weekend camps, but there is an annual two week camp) I do wear a watch, mainly because we have to be at certain at certain times and there aren’t any clocks around. However a side effect of this is that I start counting down the hours until it ends (well until about three hours after it ends), even on the two week camps! At any point I will know how many hours until we will be either at home or on the bus home, but this isn’t because I dislike camps. No, I think it is a form of grounding myself, sort of making myself feel in control of a situation that I am not in control of.

So those are my timing issues, if you have any write them in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Timing problems

  1. I am exactly like you, time always is an issue. With my issues though, I get lost in time a lot too. I have difficulties with the things you talked about as well sometimes but I have lots of issues with losing track of time when doing various tasks, probably because of my OCD or the combination of things I suffer from. It’s odd though because when I’m not doing something I usually am painfully aware of time. I’m a mess.

  2. I feel the same way, I always have to know when something starts and ends, and if it doesn’t keep to the promised schedule I get very anxious.
    And I too count down hours to feel in control.
    Great post.

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