Some people dread deadlines. Me? I thrive on them. Call it a hefty dose of anxiety and a morbid fascination with the inexorable march of time, but nothing gets me jazzed like a fast-approaching deadline.
And believe me when I tell you, I’ve got a big one coming up!
A little over a decade ago, I sat myself down and wrote out exactly where I wanted to be in ten years’ time. It was a tough exercise, but as I sternly reminded myself at the time, “Goals are dreams with deadlines.”
Now, here we are — 2020 is drawing to a close. Nine years, 11 months, and some change have gone by, and the tension between what I wrote down and what I’ve actually done is getting more invigorating by the day.
Though not the type of invigorating that pushes you to actually accomplish your goals. It’s more like when you’re lost in the woods and the sun is setting and you know you’ve been walking in circles, but the panic sets in and you start sprinting, but that just takes you deeper into the woods and now the sun’s last rays have disappeared behind the tops of the pines and wow it gets dark in here fast. That kind of invigorating.
So, as hard as it is to admit, I’m starting to feel like my eyes were bigger than my plate on this one.
Look, back in January of 2011, it was easy to imagine that by 2020 I would be INTERPOL’s most wanted time burglar, regularly traversing the space-time continuum to steal sackfuls of jewelry and famous works of art, all while simultaneously dealing with the crushing blows to my personal life each leap into the past would inevitably cause. There are only so many times you can accidentally stop your future spouse from being born before you start to wonder if the Kandinsky in your guest bedroom was really worth it.
Or so I mused, back in 2017, when being an actual time burglar was looking less likely, but publishing a series of detective novels based on the concept seemed eminently doable.
But now, in the dying light of 2020, it’s time to face the music. I need to push this deadline.
And honestly, I can’t think of a better year than 2050. I mean, look at it. Impressive. Stately. Decades from now. It’s the type of year people choose when they say things like, “We’re going to be carbon neutral,” or “I’m going to pay off my student loans.” Also, 5 is basically a backward 2, so it’s kind of like I never missed my deadline at all!
Now, a lot of you are probably thinking, “Matt, it sounds like you’re making excuses in order to push this deadline decades into the future instead of taking a healthy look at why you haven’t achieved the life you imagined.”
Okay, number one: Ouch.
Number two: It’s still 2020. Sure, it’s 4:39 p.m. and the light is fading faster than my chance of dashing off some sort of Time Burglar screenplay by the end of December. But pressure makes diamonds, bitch. Well, pressure, heat and a couple billion years. And, if you’ll recall, once someone invents time travel, I’ll be pouring out sackfuls of those bad boys onto my coffee table every other week.
So, yeah, 2050 it is.