Deadlines have a palpable effect on people, the frantic frenzy that escalates when the to do list is increasing but the number of tomorrow’s in which to address it is rapidly decreasing. At this time every year it’s much more of a shared experience on a much grander scale than is normally the case (exams, house moves, holidays, work commitments). You can exchange meaningful looks (usually involving eye-rolling) with others in the queues and the crowds, wordlessly sympathising with mutual frustrations. And so, if out of necessity if not actual commitment, we do in fact get things done, partly because particularly in the commercial context of supply and demand, tomorrow might be too late.
It’s a big contrast to all the the things that we are forever going to do tomorrow but don’t because, trite but true, tomorrow never actually comes. Then again, tomorrow isn’t always there. Not necessarily in the ultimately grim, depressing sense (although that is of course also a possibility). But the person you want to spend time with may have moved away. The place may no longer be as it was. The book may no longer be in print (that’s one from my personal list, in case you were wondering!)
There will, of course, always be things that have to be done today and therefore things that have to be pushed back to tomorrow; even more that have to be planned for further on, or moved to a tomorrow after that. In two weeks time it will, in this specific context, ‘all be over’ and through a mix of exhaustion, relief and practicality much of the motivated organisation that got as all to that point will evaporate, and we’ll be more than glad to be able to put a few things off until tomorrow, or the day after – or February! But in the meantime, try to find a bit of every single today to do something that isn’t purely about getting through the next fortnight, that’s about indulging yourself, your loved ones, your passions and your pursuits in a really meaningful way. Despite many of the inconveniences this is also a truly beautiful season, and the shared spirit isn’t only one of frustration (or isn’t meant to be anyway) so make sure you have something worthwhile to you at the end of it – even if it’s only your sanity!
(This may involve visiting a bookshop. It’s just an idea 😉 )