Mr. Birch, I too am a recovering ‘late-to-everything’ individual. While I was on time for most of my working-life appointments, it was always on the nubs.
For 12+ years, I was a small-city mayor. No meeting started without me — and I conducted hundreds — so I was lulled into believing that my presence was worth the waiting time of my coworkers. As you indicate, it was not. I was being selfish. Not calculatingly, just thoughtless.
I came out of retirement after one year of idleness to teach in an after-school program, three afternoons each week. I am in my second school year. Schools require punctuality. I have kept my students (last year grades K-2; this year grades 3–5) uppermost in my mind. I have a duty to avoid disappointing them and me.
Thank you for your willingness to write of our shared embarrassment. Good luck!