“The difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline” Unknown
When I was teaching middle school science my life was run by daily, weekly, and academic calendar deadlines. When I walked into my classroom door every morning I had to be ready or suffer some really awful consequences. (Students can smell when you are unprepared).
I longed for retirement when deadlines no longer ran my life. Finally, I could concentrate on my art and the other things I had left simmering on the back burner. It didn’t take me too long to realize that unless I imposed my own deadlines upon myself, my dreams would still languish on the back burner. As unpleasant as they can be, deadlines can provide a sense of structure and accomplishment- that is if one sticks to them. Otherwise, count on suffering a hit to your self-esteem.
It’s been a learning process. One thing I’ve realized is to have a series of deadlines mapped out. Otherwise, when you finish one there is a sense of disorientation that can set in. Paying for guitar lessons and showing up weekly has definitely insured progress. My writing and visual arts practices have been trickier.
I usually get one blog post out every week and try to work on either a poem, essay or journal entry every day before I get out of bed. Recently I joined a neighborhood writing group that meets monthly so I need something for that. Then I go online to find publications soliciting for entries and mark my calendar with the deadline. I have had 3 pieces published in the last 2 years with that strategy.
Artwise I just made a huge (tight) deadline applying for a juried membership in Print Arts NW, the regional printmakers association. It was a lot of work but success! I was accepted this week and now can put work in their holiday show.
My continuing challenge is structuring my home studio time with deadlines to be more productive. Having a flow chart posted with milestones has worked before and I’m going to try that again. Stay tuned…..
Sprawled flat in your path
Like giant road kill
Small, undetectable from a distance
Looming larger and larger
Until its great heaving, behemoth body
Brings you to your knees begging
For mercy between pathetic sobs
And muttered excuses
All the while knowing full well
Relief will only come
When you shut up and scale the smelly beast
Head down, focused
Heaving with all you’ve got
Step by step
Leaving all your whining behind
blocking your ears from the siren sounds
Of your favorite distractions
Eventually, you make it
Drinking in the expansive view from the top
Wondering why you made such a fuss in the first place
Until scanning the horizon
You notice a small lump
Blocking your path in the distance