Parts of me at war

I defy deadlines. I don’t know why.

I often wait until the last minute to execute when it’s someone else’s deadline, and as for self-imposed deadlines, I often just blow right past them.

Part of me never grew up. Part of me is stuck in the “Oh yeah? Make me!” child’s petulance of refusing to be told what to do.

I want to meet those deadlines. They’re essential to my desire to leave something behind when I go. Maybe that’s another part of it — a big part of me doesn’t want ever to go, and part of me doesn’t believe I’m actually going to come to an end.

I’m at war with all these various parts of me every time I face a deadline. There’s a reason for that word — cross this line, and the project is dead. Too many times, though, I’ve discovered how arbitrary the line can be. You almost always have some wiggle room, and while it inconveniences someone down the line, selfish me realizes it’s not the literal death of the project if you cross the line.

And the self-imposed deadlines? Pshaw. Those are when I “want” to be done. It’s usually as arbitrary as arbitrary can get.

I’ve always been this way, and no doubt it’s human nature. How many “complete this project in six weeks” school and work projects get completed the night before the required date? You don’t know how much of a miracle my daily blog streak is — to make a self-imposed deadline more than 1,000 days in a row? Me?! Unbelievable! And even then I cheat sometimes.

The actual self-imposed deadline is to post at 3 a.m. so that my friends, family and any other readers on the U.S. East Coast — if they so desire — will have something waiting unless they get up before 4 a.m., God bless their souls. But more than once lately it was several hours later than that. The rationalization is that I haven’t missed the daily blog goal until a day has actually passed, so I have 21 hours after the deadline to reach the goal. Talk about wiggle room.

I wish I could grow up, but wishing doesn’t make it so. And now something in the back of my devious mind is whispering that if I stop setting deadlines and just do the work, I might finish more projects on time. Wouldn’t that be ironic?

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