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April 21, 2004
My feet are more like hooves, really -- I get a pedicure this morning, or face amputation. My hands, too -- garden work doesn't agree with a manicure, and I'm forever taking off my gloves in order to feel something, and then forgetting to put them back on.

So I can go to the nail place, and pick up the dry cleaning on my way back.

That leaves only the two deadlines staring me in the face. They are not the same two deadlines I had a couple of weeks ago. They are new ones. There is always a deadline in life. I haven't been home free since I was sixteen. I guess we're never home free.

Somehow, I will get enough of everything done to peel myself away and get on a plane bound for to St. Louis tomorrow. I will bring my laptop with me, the ball and chain of the information age, so that I can continue to deal with my deadlines. And -- somehow -- I will get the work done.

I am not the only one, I tell myself. Almost everyone nearly drowns, from time to time, in a sea of unmet obligations. But is that really true? Aren't there careful people, people who never bite off more than they can chew? People who do a little bit each day until it's done, a few comfortable days in advance of when it is due. Aren't there?

I think there are.

One thing is certain: resolving to be other than the way I am hasn't worked very well. I've thrown many things overboard in my life: they always swim under the boat and climb back in on the other side, where they sit, soaking wet and grinning from ear to ear. We're back, they say.
Yes, I see you're back.

In the end, our schedules are in God's hands, like everything else. Those things important to our well-being -- or that of someone else for whom we are truly responsible -- will get done. Maybe not to our satisfaction, but they'll be done. Some other things won't get done, and another way will have to be found. Steadier people than I will shake their heads at my fecklessness, and I'll just have to let them: their criticisms, should there be any, will be well-taken. The truth may hurt, but it's still the truth.

And those things we complete? Those things we actually accomplish? They are very, very good. Congratulations on finishing them. You did well. Blessings -- and a bit of good luck -- on the next project.
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