Good morning, Friday. It's been a WEEK.
Lately I've been feeling like my whole life is on deadline. If you have ever worked in advertising or any other time sensitive industry, you know that being on deadline is the norm. As a freelancer, you are perpetually chasing time for project based spurts, and more often than not, it's hairy until the bitter end. When you work like this, you put a lot of things in life on hold, because if you're not laser focused on this thing you have to make or do within a tight grid of time, you're not going to make it.
There's a weird autopilot thing that happens to you when you are chasing a deadline- in many ways you feel like you are in the spin cycle at the laundromat. Wake up, jump out of bed, try and solve a bunch of problems, go home, stuff a bit of dinner down, and go to bed. And then repeat repeat repeat. Sure once in a while a glass or two or ten of wine sneaks in and maybe you are too tweaked to sleep late so you make it to a very early class at the gym. But for the most part, you are a deadline's bitch, and that's the absolute truth. If you remember to put your shoes on let alone lipstick you're keeping it together just fine, but for the most part, you're living for a calendar date vs. living a real life. And you tend to eat things out of bags.
I'm thinking about this because none of us are getting any younger, in fact, we're all on a time sensitive mission through life until we watch that very final deadline, emphasis on the dead part. There's much talk about work/life balance but it's so hard to connect to that when you're constantly in a sprint against time. It's almost cliched to talk about, but wondering what all of this deadline based work is doing to my brain and my body? Will I reach a natural expiration date myself when I can no longer watch the clock on an endless loop? It's a very big challenge, at times super exciting and heady and rewarding, at other times, completely depleting and beyond stressful. And because somehow I've found a career that requires an indefatigable pursuit of bringing order to chaos, I'm well knackered right now.
It's no surprise to me that at times like this, I yearn for going within and shutting it all down. I crave like-minded spirits who are kind and connected and compassionate. I find myself fantasizing about silence and solitude. When all of the deadlines pile up into one big pile of stress, I start thinking about what it would be like to have the time and energy to write a book, learn a skill, or cook something I've never tried before. I'm wondering if all of this deadline based work we do is taking us out of the real race- the one we should be most focused on- that one formerly known as life. Oh, yea. That. It's very cool to be the order bringer, but with so much disharmony caused by too little time and too little sleep, it's no wonder I want to crawl under the duvet all weekend and make like a mummy. It takes a lot of buoyancy to be a harmony maker, and right now, I'm trying very hard not to deflate. I'll be better next week when the next deadline feels more attainable and not so intense, until of course that next calendar date comes around to remind me that indeed time is just not on my side. I need to change that. PS before you hashtag the crap out of this post with first world problems, I'm aware that I am lucky to have work and do work that is interesting and fun. I'm lucky to have the life I have and the love I have and the home I have. But besides the gratitude for what I've got, sometimes I think (probably too much) about what I've not. #sueme.
Phew. I needed to get that out. I'd love to chat with you more on this but I'm on deadline, closing in on the dream but losing sight of reality.
I hope wherever you are you are not chasing a deadline, although most likely you are because who isn't these days. Needless to say, it's the weekend, we're breathing, we're alive, we're lucky. I'm going to try and be in that moment come Saturday morning, but until then, my head's gotta stay in the game. Cause that's what's up this running out of time kind of Friday on my favorite little island of Manhattan. Yours, in catching up and breaking the cycle. XO