Moving Forward Without Looking Back

It is time for me to move forward.

My life has seen a number of dramatic, and some would say, “big” changes in the last 12 months. I confess, meeting someone very special, falling in love, and committing myself to her for the rest of my life, would certainly fall under the category of “big.” And perhaps “big” might be used to describe moving from a location that has been my home for the previous 37 years. And just as easily placed in the “big” column could be terminating ownership of businesses I have owned and operated for 37 years.

But I suspect the biggest change is the fact that my life, after 39 years, is without a daily or weekly deadline.

For the first time since 1976, well technically since 1975, my final year of college, I have been involved in the newspaper business. With the exception of seven years working for daily newspapers, my deadlines have been weekly. Again technically, five of those years I worked for a daily newspaper AND helped to run my weekly newspapers, which presented me with daily AND weekly deadlines.

But since mid-January 2014, when the sale of my two weekly newspapers was finalized, I have been without the weekly commitment. Oh there have been minor deadlines I needed to meet, but that is a basic part of living a life. It’s the knowing that people were expecting to see their hometown newspaper each and every week, and it being my responsibility to meet the deadline so each week’s issue would show up in their mailboxes every week — that kind of deadline is much different from life’s usual deadlines.

During the last few issues of the newspapers I was responsible for, I began to look forward to not having to do all that was necessary to make deadline. I even allowed myself to daydream a bit. Over the last 37 years, I also confess, there were times I wondered if I would ever have a life without a weekly deadline. And beyond that, what would that life be like? I saw myself doing all kinds of activities, going all kinds of places, and enjoying a deadlineless life.

So now, with a few weeks of “no deadline” under my belt, I have one more confession: I don’t really know what to do without a deadline.¬†After all those daydreams of a life with no specific thing to do, I am finding it’s not quite as glamorous as I envisioned.

For now.

What I am realizing, is I need to change my thinking. I need to start learning to live without a weekly deadline. I must embrace a life that is not controlled by the confines of a specified frame of time needed to complete a task.

Most importantly, I need to move forward. Furthermore, I must move forward without looking back. My life no longer is fashioned around newspaper deadlines. I need to start living like there are no weekly deadlines.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have deadlines. There are still bills to be paid, appointments to be made, and various other “deadlineish” things to complete.

I have found I still need to employ routine as I live each day. Within the parameters of the weekly newspaper deadlines, I established a routine. While I am somewhat good at a freestyle manner of living life, I find I function best if I establish and maintain a routine. But even getting a routine routed requires retaining rational radial symmetry.

I need to believe I have the ability to live a life without a weekly deadline hanging over every set of plans. I must wrap my mind around the idea that I do not need to first consider that weekly deadline before making a move.

Forward ho! Backward no.