What’s your next, most pressing deadline? Are you excited, stressed, or ambivalent about it? What’s the first thing you’d like to do once you’re done with it?
I suppose the guys working on this building site will have a deadline to complete whatever is being built, but it seems there is no-one around. They were probably taking their z’vieri (the four) which is Swiss German for an afternoon break. they are building a new school for the youngsters that are learning a trade. The old school was demolished a couple of months ago and shifted somewhere else until this one is completed. Yes, the youngsters have to meet their deadlines to complete the training for their various professions.
What is with the golden oldies, people like me that no longer work. Huh! Of course I work. This morning I cleaned the kitchen and the shower. Generally I clean the kitchen in the morning and the shower after my golden oldie sleep, but today I decided to take a risk and do it all in the morning. Mr. Swiss visited his drum room in town for a practice and I was left to my own devices. Out of boredom I decided to do it all in the morning and it worked. I even had time for a fifteen minute relaxation in a horizontal position on the bed after the work was done. That is organisation, but not a deadline.
Deadlines are something for the work force, those that have to do something and in time. I worked thirty years in export, delivering stuff all over the world, writing the export papers and organising the shipments, whether by post, rail, sea or air. I got used to it and although deadlines were 95% of the work, I took things one at a time. I never lost any sleep over it, but then I was not in charge of the department. I was just part of the working force. Was I glad to be rid of it – oh yes, I do not miss the rush and the telephone calls from customers under pressure from their bosses or companies where the machines would be on down time because something did not arrive. I remained cool, and just muttered a few profanities about the customers in silence to compensate for the stress.
One day it was all over, work was finished, you were thrown on the heap of the happy senior citizen grounds and now I could do what I wanted to. This condition has formed my life for the past six years and I am not unhappy. Deadlines are something for the newspapers, for the journalists, for the boss on the building site, and for the customers and manufacturers and that’s life.
My next deadline would be lunch for the family on Saturday. Son No. 2 and girlfriend will not be here at Christmas so we are having a pre christmas meal this week-end, but it is not a deadline, it is a family gathering, no stress.
Christmas has become a deadline for the general public over the years. In the days of my great grandparents it seemed to be a day of getting married. When I look at all the marriage certificates in my family ancestry, they all married on 25th December. This was probably because it was one of the few days during the year that they all had a holiday.
Times change and today Christmas is one of the main deadlines during the year for many. It is a deadline for business to get the orders out, to finalise the financial side of things and even the Christmas dinner in the office has become a deadline, squeezing it in somewhere between the general Christmas customs. Presents have to be bought, packed and organised – all in the name of Christmas and deadline stress. Food is arranged, but not just food. The biggest and best turkey, the best piece of beef filet and all the trimmings: order the meat a week in advance to ensure that you have it in time. Do not forget the drinks, yes, we must all drink at Christmas and invite the family. Eventually you sit beneath the Christmas tree with a well cooked meal and distribute the gifts afterwards. There are some that might even fall asleep beneath the tree after the meal, being exhausted from the preparations, mainly the females that cooked it all.
With age you begin to wonder if this is really necessary. Was it the real meaning of Christmas to go on a spending spree and logistic organisation of the presents, meal and festivities. I am an atheist so I watch on, but participate. Who am I to say I do not do it because I do not believe. Others believe and it is tradition and it is not my aim to disappoint. Perhaps I am cynical, but the Christmas deadline is really not necessary. Great grandparents Jason and Emily married on Christmas day because they were working all year. Ok, in the following January their first son was born, the first of many (16 in all approximately), but they had to wait until Christmas because all the other days were deadlined with work on the fields (Jason was a farm labourer).
Those with deadlines at the end of the year, take it easy, one day you will no longer have them. Those that are already in the golden oldie group of “no-more-deadlines”, enjoy it a long as you can. I am enjoying it. Oh, I forgot, of course I have a deadline daily, the prompt.