Saturday, April 11, 2009


I have never in my life missed a deadline and I don't intend to start. So that tapping sound you hear-- Gwen Hayes' foot-- will be stopping soon. I've got a few pages to finish before sending them off to her and I'm a beastly nit-picker about reading things over. Not that this stops her-- thank heavens-- from finding problems. She's good.

But last night I got into a discussion about procrastination. I'm guilty of putting things off. I'm also guilty of blowing valuable time on nonsense. Honestly, I think this has become a national disease. When I was working for newspapers and magazines it blew me away how often an editor would be griping-- justifiably so, btw-- about a colleague who was late with a column, review, or story.

I think I would genuinely rather chew my own arm off than miss an actual deadline. Now... a request for something from a friend or relative? You may have to physically beat me to get it out of me if I'm busy. I'll keep putting you off. I do not deny this. But if I'm either being paid or have entered an agreement? No way. It will be on time. I promised.

It's really the promise part that binds me. I consider giving somebody a promise pretty serious, which is why I avoid doing so. The number of times I have seen my brothers squirm and turn red as my Irish mother said the dreaded words "you promised me" is absurd. It's, like, pretty much daily. Me?

Nope. She even tried to trick me when I was younger by saying "you promised me" all the time. I'd look right at her and say "no, I didn't." My brothers fell for that one because they could never remember whether they'd been bullied into promising or not. I never, ever took that bait. No way. But I'm the smart one.

It's an investment in your karma. Keep your promises; meet your deadlines. So why are you reading this? You probably have promises to keep, too.

Stop tapping your foot, Gwen. It will be in your inbox before the end of the day. I promised.


  1. ROFL--I hear ya. I try very hard to keep my deadlines...sometimes I overextend myself and have to back off stuff, though.

  2. I'm not exactly patient.

  3. Fear Gwen. She might hunt you down.

  4. Yah, but if she did that would be kinda hawt.

    Plus I made my deadline. PHEW