I told my daughter she could go to our neighbors’ house later since it was early morning. Two minutes later she was out the door. It was then I realized our perception of time differed. For people with no perception of time ten minutes can mean twenty. When my husband claims something should take him ten minutes to do, I give him twenty. When people say, “Give me a minute,” I’ve learned to give two. My girlfriend and I planned to meet at my house at 7:00 to go out. She showed up at 6:45 and said, “C’mon, you ready?” Now when we make plans I tell her to arrive fifteen minutes later so this way I’m right on time.

Then there’s the friend for whom time slips away from. I hate when we’re on the phone and we have to cut  our conversation short with her saying, “I’ll call you back in five minutes.” Five minutes come and go. During my waiting period I eat five pounds of M&M’s and paint the house. Twenty-five pounds heavier and five hours later, she calls back. Like my daughter, her perception of time is different from mine.

Since I’ve started doing speaking engagements I’ve really have had to pay attention to the time as I’m allowed a set amount of it. The other night while I was speaking I felt like an Academy Award winner, on stage, whose time had run out. While I was talking a guy came behind me and started tidying the place up. His hint was not so subtle. I half expected music to start playing (like at the awards show) and the lights to go dark. Instead he took me by the elbow and ushered me to the door. Sometimes you don’t need a clock to tell you you’re time is up.

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