One of the many thoughts that crossed my mind lately is the deadlines we impose in our own lives.
I’ve lived most of my adult working life meeting deadlines. Monthly, weekly, daily, hourly deadlines. Minute by minute deadlines.
I’ve developed an inate sense of timing which has bode me well in the workplace. I know how long 5 minutes is within a second or two. I can tell you the time without looking at my watch. At a meeting today, which I said would only last until 3pm (30 mins), I somehow managed to “time out” almost exactly without looking at a clock.
This is in stark contrast to my earlier adult life at university where I was never able to meet deadlines. Well, actually I did in my first year. I delivered every assignment or essay on time. But once I discovered you could get “an extension”, I was never able to deliver another assignment on time after that.
In my personal life, however, I’ve never been much for a notion of hard and fast deadlines.
You now what I mean? Those common deadlines which demand a mortgage, a relationship, and a child by thirty. I’ve failed to meet everyone of those deadlines for whatever reason.
Maybe, like a lot of my generation, I just don’t want to commit?
Actually, I think I do. It’s just about setting a deadline.
If I said to myself I wanted x y and z at age 45, I could probably do it. But I’ve never really had that instinct within me, for whatever reason.
Maybe with maturity I might meet some of those deadlines?
Maybe the tick of the clock will force me to achieve those things?
Or maybe not?
Related to this, I was chatting with someone from work today on a reasonably deep level about how much of our identity is bound up with how we perceive ourselves to the world. Like a lot of people, I think work defined me for most of my life. If I was successful in my work, I was successful in my life.
But somehow, something changed. A lot of it had to do with my overseas trip, and taking a break from my working life, allowing me to realise I was an okay person outside work, something I probably didn’t believe deep down.
It’s silly, eh? To learn these lessons so late.
Perhaps I’ve lived my life to date still believing I “could get an extension”? Maybe in life, also, I need someone (maybe myself actually) to declare a deadline, where I can’t “get an extension”?