Meeting deadlines…. that’s a never-ending battle! As I reflect upon my past week, enjoying fall break on the white shores of Alabama’s Gulf coast, I am reminded of the presence of reoccurring deadlines in my life. It is much like the little Plover, a sea coast bird that runs back and forth along the beach catching and eating small morsels of food washed in with each wave of the sea. He no sooner gets a bite or two of food until a new wave, often larger than the previous, comes barreling down upon him.
In the Plover’s case, the constant running and dodging of the waves is a life-or-death situation. Typically, it is not that life-threatening for us as we meet our deadlines. Yet, we often act as if it were, making life miserable for everyone around us as the clock ticks down. Being a gifted person myself, I recognize my tendency to put off something until the last possible minute it can be done to meet a deadline. I have a strong sense of commitment, so I will accomplish the task, but Heaven help those who might be in my way as I give my all to finish before the deadline!
Why do we do this? Perhaps it is because we hate to say no to requests for our time or input. Perhaps it is because we have no sense of time management. I do know that the stress it can cause is probably not worth it. I have learned from my very wise husband that taking on too much can lead us to the false conclusion that “I just don’t have enough time!” He reminds me that I have the same 24 hours per day that everyone has. So, I am learning to take on fewer things and to truly concentrate on what are really the important things in my life. My preacher reminds me that no one says upon his deathbed, “I wish I had spent more time working!”
I have watched the federal government set deadlines over and over for us to meet. We do whatever it takes to meet the deadline…only to have the government take its own time in returning its acknowledgement of our status. Perhaps this aggravating stance on its part is due to the fact that they can say, “When all else fails, change the rules!” So, until I can control the rules of the playing field, I will have to learn to meet deadlines. But I can save unnecessary wear and tear upon my life and that of others around me by setting priorities and starting the task earlier. Now, I have to hurry and get this off to Michelle before our deadline!