Deadlines have no mercy
Deadlines have no mercy for the other aspects of your life that also are important.
I went into this past weekend with a burdensome load of work to do for both the daily newspaper and the monthly magazine, which was going to press Monday. With my husband away on his annual hunting trip for the next two weeks, I was heavily relying on the fact that I can access The Saratogian's network from home so I can work from. Bringing my children to the office all weekend was not a workable option, so you can imagine my dismay when I discovered Friday night that the program that allows me access to the system was malfunctioning.
Dismay doesn't describe it, actually. Panic ensued. And that doesn't happen too often with me. I'm the optimistic type that will generally assume things are going to work out, that this must just be a little hiccup. Not this time, though. Nope. I pushed the panic button at the first sign of trouble, first making a call to the IT guy, then following with a desparate e-mail laying out the situation.
He assured me it would get fixed, and indeed, by the next morning, I was able to get into the system from home and work without any problem. I managed to push the daily newspaper stuff off my plate by mid-day Saturday, and in between my daughter's last football game for cheerleading on Saturday evening and and raking some leaves and running errands Sunday, I worked on the magazine. By 2 a.m., I got to a point where I thought I could (and should) stop for the night.
A few hours later, after getting the kids off to school, I resumed working -- last-minute layout and editing, writing my letter for the signature page, making corrections and tweaks, etc.
Of course, because there are not enough hours in the workday, 5:30 p.m. arrived and I still had a huge chunk of my to-do list left. So, I ran across town to pick up the kiddos, grabbed dinner at Wendy's and set them up in the office lunchroom to do their homework.
That didn't last long, though. Once they finished their chicken nuggets, they were swarming my little corner of the newsroom as I desperately worked to keep them quiet while putting the finishing touches on the magazine. (Unfortunately, working at home wouldn't have been prudent for this portion of the process.)
By the time the last page was converted to a PDF to be sent to the printer in Pennsylvania electronically, I had about a thousand new gray hairs. And it was 9:30 p.m., definitely past bedtime.
We got home and to bed pretty quickly — an end to a stressful stretch in the life of this editor/mom.
Like I said, deadlines have no mercy.