Friday, July 31, 2009
Dealing with Time; a Challenge for Me, By Mitch Paschen
My picture this week is of me and my grandma on the terrace on the top level of the Newseum. I also have a video of a news broadcast which I am a part of in this week's post.
Time to me is very valuable. Great responsibility is shown when one is either early or on time. I am not sure where my obsession with time came from, but I get very uptight and nervous if time is cut close for an event or if something causes me to stay somewhere later than I had originally planned.
Part of my Asperger's is that I get very obsessive compulsive about time. While here in DC, I've had to learn how to deal with this obsession in a fast paced city. I have learned how early to leave for work in order to get there by 9. I have also learned that it is much better to be early here than it is to be late.
Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, it was very easy to arrive someplace on time because there were never any delays. There was no traffic, no distractions, and no Metro system that could ever slow you down. Traveling on vacation was always a very stressful time for me and my family because I would always constantly be worried that we would be late either for our flight, or for something small such as dinner.
Middle school did not help; in fact, it added to the problem. For lunch, we were given a half hour to eat, and that did not include passing time in the halls. Once we would arrive in the cafeteria we had to sit down and wait to be called. Once we were called to get food, we had to wait in line and get our food. Once we actually sat down to eat, we had about 10 minutes to eat. I had several meltdowns because once lunch was over, you were required to throw away any uneaten food, even though you bought it with your own money. If you were disciplined for some reason such as forgetting a pencil, you would receive a lunch detention and not be allowed to eat lunch until everyone else had.
As middle school passed and I moved on to high school, I became much more relaxed and open to changes in time. Although, even as recently as a few years ago, I could not go somewhere new without getting very stressed or without asking tons of questions about how long in particular something was going to take.
These days, I am able to go somewhere on a whim, a nice characteristic for a college student. College has allowed me to make my own schedule and manage my time in a way that doesn't make me nervous about how every minute will be spent.