real life: riffing on deadlines …

June 14, 2010 § 11 Comments

Sometimes, we get wrapped up in doing things.
Some call  doing lots of thing “multi-tasking.” Others call it a non-med version of ADHD.
Some call reaching regular milestones “accomplishing goals.”
Some see finishing tasks as things getting crossed off a list.
I call it push-and-crawl, scribble-and-scream, cross-eyed, down-and-dirty, straight up meeting “deadlines.”
For the past several weeks, it has been all about writing deadlines.
And then I handed everything in.
And suddenly I’m free, popped up on the other side of the red-eyed madness, like having gone through some sci-fi worm hole.
Yup, I’m on the other side, in the limbo of no deadlines.
I do laundry. I delight in it.
I brush the dog. He wriggles in senior beagle appreciation.
I talk at the dinner table with the family. I babble.
I read. I can’t believe  I have time.
I share coffee with HM. It tastes good.
I read. I have time to read, am juggling three right now (one of them is about writing, of course!) Sheer delight.

I write things I don’t have to write. I stretch and write junk and make jokes and scrtich across the page, curling the journal pages. It’s fun.

And so, somewhat shyly, I return to blog world, like coming out of a cave after an explosion – is the world still there? Is everyone still out there? Is Jeanie finding wonderful “finds” to share? And Linda writing about the way people weave through history and the Now to open our eyes? And Bibliophile on books? and Ruth rhyming (or not) some images we all wish we might have put to paper? And Jeanine living on Africa’s southern tip sharing neighbor stories, still opening the world up to us? and Arti up north dealing us pieces of the great northwest? And Qugrainne sharing the people stories that evolve under her roof? And DS threading our consciousness, stirring our memory of great literation and always finding more? And Linda taking a shot at keeping our environment from going on tilt? And 51 Stories still taking the train around Great Britain sharing her travel stories and book insights? And Carrie with her sixth sense -design! And Nora with her 360 degree perspective on single-girl mingle-girl-what’s-it- all-about?

Time to stop rattling on about everyone and get out there and visit.

I see them as an organizing tool, not so much the panic button that the word infers…but here’ s the scoop:
“deadline,” noun  1)the time by which something must be finished or submitted; the latest time for finishing something: a five o’clock deadline. 2. a line or limit that must not be passed. 3. (formerly) a boundary around a military prison beyond which a prisoner could not venture without risk of being shot by the guards. 4)  the time after which copy is not accepted for a particular issue of a publication

Also can be used as  a transitive verb:  I’m not going to be deadlined by her request.

The latest time or date by which something should be completed.
You can be “on deadline” or “under deadline. ”

The word’s history bears some dissonance but we can start here with who notes, like many similar sources, the following:
“Deadline, of course, is made up of dead and line and originally referred to the line around a prison beyond which a prisoner could expect to be shot. The finality associated with that deadline carried over into the metaphorical meaning that is more often used these days. The English word dead comes to us from a stem that is not found much outside the Germanic languages. It comes from Old Germanic *daudaz which also produced Germanic words like German tot, Norwegian død, and Dutch doods “dead”.”

I’m still not happy. The word “deadline” has a lot of clout not only in journalism but in daily life, metaphorical as it may be. I believe it’s the cause for stress, poor sleep, fuzzy word judgement, toploaded schedules and the desire to daydream when indeed, racing to meet a deadline.

 Here’s another bit from
The modern figurative application of the word, to a time-limit (originally for the submission of material for a particular edition of a newspaper), dates from around 1920.

OK, we get the point. (mutter, mutter, I’m still not finding enough about the derivation of “deadline.” Oh yes, you’ll hear more about this!)

Pictured above:  Where the last few weeks went….(ok, interspersed with seeing Harry Connick Jr, and also attending Circus Flora and then there’s the whole home renovation issue which I will continue to tap dance around before spewing on paper about this renovation thing. Yikes – everything from furniture right down to bobby pins, is in disarray. Chaos. Swept into piles and corners and not in the rooms they belong in to begin with. I am tempted to have a dumpster pulled into the driveway and slowly, on the sly, in the dark of night, fill it with the things with which I have no idea what to do.)  Bless the dogs; they sleep easily through all this.

BTW, summer is in full swing here in the Gateway so if you’re not getting enough heat, rain or humidity, come for a visit!

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§ 11 Responses to real life: riffing on deadlines …

  • Ah, deadlines. I sort of made 30 of them for myself with my 30 before 30 list… which I need to revisit because I have basically not accomlished much of any of the list yet… I have until Feb 6th so I’ve obviously still got time…

    I hope the home remodel is complete soon… I had to put up with the disarray associated w/ a small flooring project a couple of years ago – and that was only for a weekend! And that drove me batty! So I can’t imagine a more major project that stretches out even further. Ay yi yi!

    • oh says:

      Lisa, so glad to
      hear from you. I was over at your site last evening and was reading along and the phone rang and I didn’t get back to the blog til ages later and my PC battery had run down. Pooh.
      Your list of 30 under 30 is a great idea. If you even do 5 of them, you’re doing great! Hmmmm…it is in fact a rather inspiring idea (though I’d have to greatly change and modify the numbers!)
      Hope the running is going well!
      And now, for a little reading time…!

  • typehype says:

    Welcome back! Since you’ve been gone, Mars has moved into Virgo, Venus has just entered Leo, Mercury is now in Gemini and Jupiter and Uranus have entered Aires (the latter two transits are momentous is the astrology world) — which all bode well for creativity and getting things accomplished. Enjoy your well-earned free time 🙂 — and, in the coming days, may your most pressing deadline be the due date on your library book.

    • oh says:

      Thanks, T. You made me laugh. HM was at band rehearsal while I huffa-puffed through some errands, made dinner, did some laundry and put together a fan (i prefer them to a/c though hubs doesn’t necessarily agree). And now, it’s reading (blogs and books) time!
      Hope it’s not sweltering in NYC. Wonder what everyone is wearing – can’t help. NY is my benchmark for what-to-wear and I’m always curious. In fact, even my VOGUE is a midwestern version so I know some of the ads are soft-pedalled.
      Lovely to hear from you!

  • Nora says:

    It’s amazing how you make home rennovations sound remotely elegant!

  • Jeannine says:

    The freedom that comes after meeting deadlines is the best kind. Must be the pinch of virtue that gives it that special flavour!

    BTW I love your chairs, each in a different colour – pink and green is my all time favourite combo!

  • jeanie says:

    Welcome back, my friend! I love the “dead past this line” concept — that’s how I often feel! Yes, deadlines are my daily nemesis, but I love how you have tagged them more positively as an organizational tool. I think I need to think that way — it’s far more beneficial!

    Looking forward to more stories about home reno (when you are able to face them!) and getting back in the groove of life with you!

  • Carrie says:

    Horray! You persevered. Welcome back!

  • shoreacres says:

    So here I come, bringing a little love for deadlines!

    The thing about deadlines is – they mean there will be an end. There will be an end to the project, the work, the writing, the challenge. It may be hard to meet a deadline, but they’re goals, and they’re filled with the promise of a real ending.

    So much of my life has no deadline… I simply will do what I do day after day after day after day… Most of the time I have no deadline for my boat work. I just do it. There’s no deadline for caring for mom, no end to all that.

    There are two things I miss about working in a corporate environment sometimes – people to chat with, and deadlines. It’s fun to work toward something, and celebrate accomplishing your task. Somehow, setting a deadline for myself (“I’m going to have the kitchen cleaned up by 10 o’clock… I’m going to get a new blog up by Wednesday…”) isn’t the same!

    So yes – having all that free time on the other side of a deadline is great! But the deadline helps it to happen!

  • shoreacres says:

    I just found the most wonderful youtube – it was a student’s design project. Is this not the essence of deadline?

    • oh says:

      Linda – what a great “summary” of deadline!!! (and also, procrastination!) Ah, yes, I’m friends with both.
      I’m outdoors, it’s Sunday morning and it is the stuff of bliss.(And Archie (the squirrel) just went bounding past me, oblivious, his heart set, apparently on racing up a poolside tree to meet another squirrel.

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