news-150319848-ar-0-esjqglectggl.jpg
Dr. Murray Feingold

Dr. Murray Feingold: What’s your excuse for being late?

Many people, as they get older (usually starting in their early 50s), who were once very punctual and always on time, start noticing they are now late for some of their appointments or meetings with friends. This lack of punctuality usually increases as the years go by. There are many reasons for this change and, frequently, preventative actions can help improve the situation.

Let’s start with some of the more common reasons for being late. As I relate them to you, they will sound familiar, but you may have not given them too much thought.

You know it takes about 40 minutes to go from your house to the restaurant where you are going to meet your friends. So you leave 45 minutes before the meeting time.

As you are ready to start the car you realize you have forgotten the car keys and have to go back to the house to retrieve them. Or you have to go back because you forgot to bring your driving glasses. Or back you go because you didn’t bring the directions to the restaurant that took you 45 minutes to finally download. You are now at least 10 minutes behind schedule.

Another stumbling block to being on time is, with age, we experience increased difficulty processing information. When you were younger you never gave much thought about driving from destination A to B and before you knew it, without any wrong turns, you arrived at destination B.

Now, at age 60, you must concentrate much more on where you are going or you will end up at destination C, the wrong place.

To make matters worse your motor skills, reaction time, and vision are usually not what they use to be.

At this point, a planned pleasant night out may turn into a mini-battle between the driver, usually an all-knowing male who will never admit he is lost, and the passenger, usually the long suffering wife who has experienced this scenario before.

The first thing is to realize that such a process is going to take place and there are steps that can be taken that will help to alleviate their impact. Something as simple as keeping a second pair of glasses in the car. Or giving yourself more time to get to where you are going.

Don’t always rely on your GPS. You may have some violent arguments with you GPS person. I have never won any of them.

Most importantly, don’t multitask. Concentrate just on your driving to make certain you get to your destination safe and sound.

And, in the big picture of life, being a little late is not the worst thing in the world.

Massachusetts-based Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of The Feingold Center for Children and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.

Share This Story