The quick onset of colder temperatures at the end of October coincided with a variety of deadlines: the Perry Group photography contest, the pre-purchase winter fuel program at Erie Islands Petroleum, and the winter meat order at the Island General Store, to mention a few. There were others to be sure, personal and business related, but the point is our journey through time/space is cleverly outlined by ordinary events in the calendar.
The time-stamp of a deadline is a unique motivator and an efficient way to keep pace with one’s life expectations. Although a deadline demands attentiveness and timely behaviors, its beauty lies in the fact we choose which deadlines are paramount. For example, a vegan need not pay attention to the General Store’s offering while placing significance on securing a winter fuel supply. Or, an amateur photographer may choose to enter the Perry Group contest and keep a sharp eye on the fuel-purchase deadline. Submitting an article to The Put-in-Bay Gazette requires calendar attentiveness, as does getting to church on time after the seasonal schedule change, as at St. Paul’s Episcopal.
Clearly, effective prioritization becomes a necessary life skill. Most people learn this early through family, school, work, and citizenship expectations–and Island life puts an accent on the need for self-discipline and life management. Where would we be without a lucid schedule from the Post Office, Miller Boat Line, or the First National Bank? How successful and satisfying would Tipper’s euchre tournament be sans official Wednesday evening start time?
The consequence of recognizing how deadlines shape us is realizing where we exercise emphasis. Scarlett O’Hara, of Gone with the Wind fame, is often remembered for stating, “After all, tomorrow is another day.” On the island tableau, waiting until the morrow must be considered cautiously. Consider the circumstances when the winds peak and the ferry runs an abbreviated schedule, or fog sets in and the planes will not fly. Suddenly, the delivery of prescription medicine becomes a critical issue. Procrastination does not serve ice fishermen well, nor does delayed maintenance of ice boats provide satisfaction. Certainly, in this age, neglecting the telephone and Internet bills creates misery.
Oh no, the editor calls. I’ve gotta go! Just remember, facing and meeting deadlines is a sure-fire way to keep our island days energized and under control.