“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Master Yoda
When a deadline is fourteen days away, that can seem plenty of time to get the work done. Even at seven days away, it seems obvious that the graft will be completed on time.
But as the days dwindle to five and four and then three, the passing hours burst like bubbles, and tasks that seemed simple suddenly become complex. A little-known fact is that dread can weary a man more than honest labor, and my dread built with each passing day.
Like a few nights ago; I felt exhausted and half-sick with it. That tension woke me long before dawn and denied me any more sleep. I thought of reading a bit, but felt too weary still. I was too worried to sleep and too tired to admit that I was now awake for the day. It was a miserable place, one that becomes achingly familiar as the due date draws closer.
I tried to get an early start, switching on my computer to try and make some headway. That did not last long. Folding my arms, I dropped my head back on the sweat-drenched pillow and stared into the darkness trapped in the ceiling. My guts were cramped with dread. I was screwed.
Round and round, my thoughts chased themselves with no escape from worry. I eventually resolved to try again. When my forehead thumped solidly against the keyboard, I abruptly came back to wakefulness. The sleep that had evaded me on the pillow had captured me on the laptop.
With a sigh, I sat up straight, rolled my shoulders, and resigned myself to the day. There were tasks to accomplish, and little time to do them in. When I was done I’d have plenty of time to sleep, and even more time for fruitless worrying.
Now here I am on deadline day, the job is done, and I am exhausted. Not from the work I had to do, but from constant worrying about it and lack of sleep.
What is the lesson here? There is no point in worrying about tomorrow. Do what you can today. If there is a job to do, stop thinking about it. Get on with it, get it over with and do it in plenty of time.
“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try” – Master Yoda