I wonder what it would be like to work without deadlines. To just work until the work is done. I hate the feeling of a deadline. The way it wraps itself around the base of your spine, and travels up through your ribcage, compressing your ability to breathe deeply, and then settles into your neck. That vice-like grip on my body has haunted the last few days of every month for my entire professional career. It makes me short on patience, it causes sleeplessness and needless worry. And now, as we broaden our publishing interests from print to web and other products, the deadlines are more frequent. Now besides once a month for the magazine, I publish twice a day on a blog, and twice a year for a visitor's guide. There's never anytime to clear out the mess, regroup, retool. There's no down time.
What would a garden look like on that schedule, if it was constantly producing and never had time to rest or re-nourish itself and regrow? I'll answer that for you. I know just what it would look like. It would be a dull, monochromatic space with vine-like plants--pachysandra and English Ivy, perhaps--that grew uniformly across the landscape. There would be few opportunities for delight. All of the annuals would wilt and fail. The bulbs, too, would play out in exhaustion. The seasonal flourish and flash of color, too, would be gone. The trees would not be able to keep up either. They would possibly shed all their leaves and then just simply run out of sap.
It's a Saturday morning, and I am charged once again with ambitions that I can't possibly achieve in just two days. There's laundry, grocery shopping and yard work to do (I make a distinction between yard work and gardening; one work, the other pleasure.) There are expectations from others and there are my own expectations. I want to be able to go for a run. J wants me to spend time with him at the pool this afternoon. I hate to say this. But quite possibly, I'm going to have to go to the Mall to buy a few things. I hate shopping at Malls. And yet, here I sit, having a cup of coffee, cozy in my happy weekend surroundings, no haste, no worries. Living the discipline of a deadline has taught me one thing. It always gets done on time. Even the worst of the deadline violators eventually put down their pencils and say that it's done when the deadline is hard at hand.
It's a beautiful day today. I'm off to enjoy it. The Putterer