You know that light at the end of the tunnel people talk about? I’m starting to get suspicious. You know how it goes. It’s like how students who have been students for sort of ever look to graduation as the light at the end of the tunnel. But then, they have to get a job. Another tunnel.

That’s what happens, I’m discovering, when you have deadlines for things. For me, right now, they are deadlines for my writing. I have a leader’s guide that is due on Monday, and you’d better believe that Tuesday is shiny and bright and open in my mind. But life goes the same way. If I don’t have work-ish deadlines, then I make up other types of deadlines in my head, though I won’t really call them that–goals for cleaning or kid stuff or other projects. When I get close to meeting those goals, I say I can see the light. But can we really see the light? Because in my experience, the end of the tunnel only leads to more tunnel.

I’ve been living for the light at the end, and I have to stop. I’m not saying it’s bad to finish projects or to look forward to things to come. I am saying when I put my face to the ground and barrel through just to get there, I come undone in a bad way. When I pick up that leader’s guide to work on in the early morning and in the lunch time hours and then late at night, again, I’m working hard in the dark because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But there really is no end, you see. And life is a lot about finding the light in the now.

Because what can happen in the tunnel is the thrill of hold your breath, honk your horn, and turn on the headlights til the end! I don’t want my deadlines or my goals for next week to keep me from the now. What about you? Is there a light you’re working towards?