I used to believe I had deadline issues, but now I realize I actually have priority issues.
When I see a deadline, I automatically think, "I can! I can! I can!" Nothing can stop me--not the clock, not the hospital, not even a handsome car salesman (or so I think). I am and have always been the Little Engine That Thought She Could. I'll shove over the conductor and head toward the gigantic hill of deadlines at full speed. The problem is, I forget to stock the furnace with coal, my wheels are a little rusted, and the train track isn't even built yet.
Recently (meaning tonight at 11:30pm), I've realized I need to take the shaver to the hairs of my Big-Toe of Busyness, but which hairs to shave? The easiest time-consumers to ditch are the ones I love most--reading, writing, and snowboarding. Naturally, my selfish nature screams, "Don't you dare!" and I attempt to reason with myself ("It's Christmas break, you know"). Never try to reason yourself out of being unreasonable--you don't have unbiased reasoning available to even put to use (I'm already confused).
Back to shaving...(I recommend the Mach 3).
Where are my priorities? I must start with this. I think they're in the back pocket of my overalls with a paperclip, rusty nail, and lip gloss--three things I never use. They must be pulled out and organized.
("But it's Christmas break!")
No no, this must be done. What comes first? The Christmas play? Writing my novel? Editing someone else's novel? Cramming in pleasure-reading? Working at the coffee shop? Stocking the fireplace woodbox? Spending time with siblings? Sending out already-late Christmas cards?
I shove the priorities back into the pocket (the lip gloss protests) and I force myself to face facts: Straightened-priorities or not, shaved toes or not, those deadlines will still be missed and I'll feel guilty. But if I face that fact, perhaps the guilt will subside and maybe--just maybe--my train will find the extra coal, the rust will fall from my wheels, and I'll allow the Conductor to take charge again...
...while I rebuild that track.
Comic retrieved on 12/18/10 from http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/t/the_little_engine_that_could.asp
Track picture retrieved on 12/18/10 from http://www.ehow.com/how_7377877_make-kid_s-wooden-train-track.html