The Silent Sound of Deadlines Flying Past
by Fiona Crawford - February 16th, 2012
Douglas Adams famously said that he loves deadlines and, in particular, the sound they make as they fly by. I’m not normally one who hears that whooshing sound, studious and OCD deadline-meeter that I am.
But fatigue has gotten the better of me lately—it’s been an extremely big 18 months work-wise—and I’ve been swamped by the never-ending tsunami of deadlines. So, impelled by the complete inability to take any kind of holiday, but clearly driven to go to my happy place, I’ve these past few weeks done the only two mature, rational things possible: retreated to bed to read the entire series of Vampire Academy and then watched (in short succession its entirety) True Blood Season 4.
Ah, vampires: aiding procrastination since, well, for a very long time.
The weird thing about missing some deadlines is that they do something worse than make a sound—they actually, for the most part, don’t make any sound at all. In fact, once you miss one or two deadlines you actually start to marvel at how no one notices or chases you, how incredible it is that the world doesn’t end, and how an afternoon nap seems like the best idea you’ve ever had.
I’d like to say you feel less guilty too, but I haven’t yet tapped that rebel-without-a-cause nonchalance the deadline-missing rule-breakers exude. Instead I’ve been an anxious procrastinator, applying the attention detail I normally apply to completing work to re-reading the series I love but have no need to re-read and watching (and comparing notes on) Season 4 of the adaptation of the Sookie Stackhouse series I’ve read too.
Procrastination karma, though, has come in to play. I realised I’d loaned the first three Vampire Academy books to my sister, who lives in Melbourne, only when I went to fish them from my bookcase. I had to re-read the series starting from book four. And, contrary to my hyped-up expectations that this was the season Sookie and Eric went to town on each other (if you’ve read the books, you’ll recall when Eric loses his memory courtesy of the witches—‘nuff said), Season 4 of True Blood completely lost the plot and was a bit of a bore.
I realise each of those could be a blessing in disguise. Had I started Vampire Academy from book one, I would seriously be in some deadline and sleep-deprivation trouble. Were True Blood Season 4 outstanding, I would probably be inspired to go back and start re-reading those books too.
Instead, I fast forwarded through some of the lame bits (seriously, the Lafayette and Tara and Andy Bellefleur characters were small in the books and, in the case of one, even killed off—the TV series has tried to resurrect and enhance them and it really, really doesn’t work). I also reminded myself that avoiding the deadlines is, in the long run, only going to make them worse. Sigh. It’s back to catching up on/meeting deadlines for me…