I have a love hate relationship with deadlines. I have to acknowledge that they can motivate me toward an action I’ve been inclined to avoid. They add a pressure to knuckle down and get the work out of the way. They function like a goal line, marking the path to a clear victory. They can also sneak up on you and bite you in the ass!
That pressure can feel like the sword of Damocles hanging over my head. Ultimate doom. Tax day deadline is like that for a lot of people. Often deadlines we know we’re not going to make take on this quality. Those are hard deadlines. We also have soft deadlines, the kind that exist but don’t really have any consequences attached if we miss them.
I’ve always thought soft deadlines were a little silly. Really, what’s the point? On the other hand I’ve had occasions to be very grateful when a deadline I wasn’t going to make got bumped back a little. Those extra few days sometimes make all the difference in the world.
What amazes me about deadlines is the way they like to cluster together. It’s never just one thing that’s due, it’s three, or five. Even better is when deadlines cluster around other commitments. The things you can’t just put off in order to get the work done to meet the deadline. Like when the big presentation at work gets scheduled for the day after your big anniversary dinner.
I have worked very hard to eliminate this kind of pressure from my daily life. For the most part I’ve been successful. Still, as a writer and speaker there are deadlines. If I want to participate in a conference there’s a deadline to submit a proposal. When I commit to present, of course the presentation has to be ready by that date. I have a very understanding publisher, but the contract is clear about how much time I have to respond to the editors comments and requests for changes in my work.
Even when I’m confronted with a crazy busy week I try to take time and make those spiritual connections. Often that’s when I find it’s most important to take a moment and breathe. When the deadlines and activities are a reflection of my spiritual practice it’s easy to confuse the doing with the being. Worrying about meeting deadlines is the opposite of being in the moment. A sense of humor, a little smile, a deep breath are all helpful to stay on track.
This is a heavy deadline week. I’m doing a class on Sunday at Eye of Horus. Two of my great nephews (if I’m their great-aunt they’re great nephews, right?) have a joint birthday party on Saturday. I have a date with my daughter for Dine Out for Life on Thursday. Orion has a major doctors appointment, orthopedics take forever, on Wednesday. I have my dinner/housecleaning exchange on Tuesday. I need to be ready for the workshop, get another workshop proposal (Women and Spirituality Conference) in the mail, put in some serious time on my next book, oh and write my Monday blog.
At least I can check one thing off the list!
Since I don’t have pictures I’ll give you a little humor and this youtube link instead: