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My most recent single release - "My True North" - is now available on Bandcamp. Open my profile and click on "audio clip".

Monday, June 13, 2022

Words That Can Haunt Me, Part 18: Deadline

 deadline: the latest time for finishing something (as copy for publication). 

(Apology in advance for today's post to my devoted daughter.)

For the majority of my working life - as a full-time musician and otherwise - I suspect I handled deadlines no better nor worse than most of you. Sometimes I thrived because of the pressure, other times I buckled. They were an inescapable part of the rhythm of a work life - usually tolerable, oppressive, at least some days. 

Nowadays - in the midst of Act Three - deadlines can take on a slightly more ominous aura. Anyone out there who is either approaching or in the midst of Act Three relate to what I'm saying? If you don't want to come clean via a public comment here out of concern for dismaying young adult children or other loved ones, I get it. But for me, it's hard to ignore the dead first syllable in that word, at least some days. 

The good news: All my deadlines nowadays are self-imposed and there is little consequence attached if I fail to meet any of them. The not-so-good-news (sorry sweetheart): I'm reminded regularly - by the passing of peers and the undeniable reality of an expiration date not that many decades away - that deadline is a word that can haunt me, at least some days.         


  1. So your reference to the "dead" in deadline made me curious. I found the following: a line drawn within or around a prison that a prisoner passes at the risk of being shot. I never thought about it in reference to the passing of time....hmmm.

    1. Ines; Thanks for the comment. Wished I'd thought - as you did - to research the etymological origins for "deadline" before publishing my post. I instead used my tried-and-true source, i.e. the dictionary, taking the word at face value. If I'd been as thoroughly erudite as you, my post could have had additional gravitas. But ... maybe then people wouldn't recognize it as my work? Either way, I came up short.

    2. You didn't "come up short." You made me explore and think!

    3. Good morning, Pat. I've often found that deadlines have had an adverse affect on me. For example, we've discussed reading on a number of occasions, and I have, since retirement, found more time to read. I had experienced a sort of pressure when there was something that I 'had to' read, or do, or complete. It took the joy away from it. And, as you have stated in your last paragraph, most deadlines these days are self imposed and I try to complete whatever the task is in a reasonable amount of time. Admittedly I am not always as successful as I would like. Even if there are no consequences. As for 'Act 3' ... Well, there are times when it will enter my mind for longer periods than I like, but I try not to let them have too much of an impact as they may want.
      Be well,
      ('Anonymous') Bob

    4. Bob; Thanks for your honest comment. I agree that "...having to do..." stuff can suck the joy out of the doing. As for Act Three? Unavoidable to think about from time-to-time but no good ever comes from dwelling on it for long. Sound like you have that balance under control.