#114: Moving Day

Sparse, sun-lit bedroom. Yoga mat on floor, box fan, stacks of books, plants in window.
Woodbridge, Detroit, MI

And the completed third draft is due tomorrow. On our way to the old apartment to pick up the last of our things, my roommate and I talked about the finality of deadlines.

There’s a kind of person who never misses a single deadline, and another kind of person who knows the art of asking for extensions. (I am oversimplifying as usual.) The first treats all deadlines as hard; the thought of not turning in a paper or project on time is unfathomable, the consequences paralyzing even to think about. This person uses rigidity as a motivator, though sometimes with the yield of un-great and slightly incomplete work. The second person treats deadlines as mostly soft, which I’d say is a more accurate reflection of reality (along the lines of “everything is negotiable”). Person B is willing to have (perhaps) uncomfortable conversation to bide time to get things right. The downside here, of course, is you end up being late with most things.

But really we’re just talking about two different kinds of procrastinators. And both strive for a third way: To be mostly on time but never at the expense of the work. To meet the deadline while being free of its influence. Virtually impossible, but a target.

It’s raining outside. It was hailing when I sat down to write to you. My roommate and I have unpacked most of our belongings into our new apartment, and I’m sitting at a table I’ve been sitting at for most of the day, near a patio door that when it was still sunny and light out I’d left open for the breeze. The door is closed now. And I’m going to shower and sleep. Tomorrow my book is due.