Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Missed a Deadline

I don't miss deadlines. I finish early. I have time to polish and revise. And I still turn my work in early. I'm efficient. I can concentrate mind mind and focus my energies. I've been known to do other people's work if I'm on a committee -- just so the project will get finished -- early.

Not this time. I totally missed the deadline for the mystery contest. If there is a 2nd chance it won't be for a year or more. Why would I do such a thing?

I made choices. I know -- everybody makes choices -- and most people have things they'd rather do than meet deadlines. I like meeting deadlines. I chose to spend time finding a better physical therapist to recover the use of my shoulder and left arm. I chose to spend time sleeping, because sleep is supposed to help bones knit. I chose my health over meeting a deadline.

I have a writing partner. When I don't meet my deadline, she can't meet hers. She also did not get to enter this mystery contest. Normally, knowing that two of us depend on my finishing my part, would have been a strong reason for me to put in the extra effort. But my writing partner is a grownup. She's had health problems. She understands.

I've never phoned in sick when I wasn't sick. I've gone to work with injuries that would have justified staying home. But being hit by a car was more than I could fake my way through.

I'm not allowed to tell my dog his meal will be late because I don't feel up to feeding him by his deadline. I'm not allowed to tell my utility companies that I'm not going to pay them on time. But a contest is optional. It was the one deadline I had that I could shirk. And I shirked it.

I'm as remorseless as most people who miss deadlines. Most people turn things in late because something in their lives is as demanding to them as healing my body is to me.

I don't intend to make a habit of it -- missing deadlines or being hit by cars.

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