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!


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.

    • Yeah, I remember playing video games for hours and not realising any time had passed. It’s probably worse when we aren’t doing anything because we haven’t got anything better to think about.

  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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