That time I found maple syrup in my bed (aka Deadlines and the Beauty of the Undoable)

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by Melissa Tagg

Recently I’ve been in the throes of deadline life. And it’s been…interesting.

I’ve had deadlines before. As a former reporter, they’re really not anything new to me. But I’ve never faced one quite this tight. Or this, um, challenging to my daily living and common sense abilities.
Examples of things I’ve done in the past few weeks while suffering from deadline brain:

• About walked out the door with my shirt inside out. And then…because my hands were full and the thought of actually setting everything down and changing my shirt right side out seemed like WAY too much work, contemplated for a good minute whether it was really worth fixing it. For the record, I did. With much grumbling.

• Completely missed the garbage can when throwing out an old coffee filter full of grinds. They went everywhere. And I…didn’t clean it up until getting home later that night.

• Spilled an entire bag of coffee beans. Apparently coffee and I were having an off week.

• Started driving to a work commitment one evening, started brainstorming (i.e. daydreaming…i.e. thinking about sleep) and got about three miles past where I was supposed to be going before realizing I’d passed the place.

• Found a bottle of maple syrup…in my bed! I am not even joking. I had crepes one morning while writing in bed and apparently never put the bottle away…

I’m laughing as I type, but the truth is, this deadline and this book really have challenged me in a way I don’t think anything else has. In fact, I can say with about 100% certainty that nothing else in life has ever been quite this hard for me. Nor have I ever felt so inadequate. Yes, writing my first couple books got messy and hard too. (I’m convinced anyone who says writing is easy is either a) a fabulously good liar or b) isn’t actually human.) But this third one has redefined the word “difficult” for me.

And about a week ago, I found myself telling God the whole thing felt undoable. Completely…undoable.

But that’s when I’m pretty sure God whispered something that went a little like this: Good.

To which my mental response was: Gee, thanks.

But the more I thought about it, the more the surprisingly good reality of the situation sank in. Maybe undoable was right where God wanted me. Maybe that feeling of inadequacy was exactly what I was supposed to be feeling.

Maybe it was the very undoableness of the work that actually made it…doable.

Because the more undoable something is to me, the more I have to depend on God.

And the more I depend on God, the more chance of success.

Which means undoable might just be a pretty good place to be.

MelissaTagg May 2014Melissa Tagg is a former reporter and author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, as well as a current nonprofit grant writer, marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy and total Iowa girl. She’s passionate about humor, grace and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at and on Facebook and Twitter (@Melissa_Tagg).

Comments 0

  1. @Lindsay, the maple syrup bottle was definitely closed. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to laugh about the incident just yet if it was open and had spilled all over my sheets. I mean, syrup explosions in a microwave are one thing…but sticky syrup in my bed? NO. 🙂

  2. Great message, Melissa and as always written with humour and not taking yourself too seriously.

    Well done. And on achieving your deadline, whether you had coffee beans sticking to you because of the maple syrup and therefore couldn’t change your shirt around.

    You go girl!

  3. Totally get what you are talking about. Deadline, God, everything. Isn’t it wonderful the way He reminds us who is in charge? And that He’s God, not us. And when the deadline is finished, you will know Who made it possible.

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