It is a curious how you find time in impossible circumstances to make final preparations and finish work for an exhibition. Surrounded by to-do lists and shopping lists and lists of work issues, the days and nights are sucked into one seamless timespace as you find that final burst of energy to Meet the Deadline.
I always set myself an early deadline, which is intended to allow not for work slippage but for disasters like the car breaking down or the work not actually fitting in the car. That is often a very real nightmare. One of the essential life lessons I learned many years ago as an international finance lawyer doing deal completions at silly times of the night was that however long you reasonable and carefully calculate it will take to do something, it will actually take double that amount of time. I also learned to assume that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. With this mindset, you can see why I approach an exhibition with a risk assessment plan and timetable worthy of a polar expedition.
With all this frenetic yet efficient and timely activity, I find myself determined to carry on with my amazing productivity as soon as the exhibition is in place. There is no doubt that the more you make work, the more you want to make work, and I am always at the peak of enthusiasm as soon as everything is in place.
And so what happens then? Catch-up time. Catch up on everything I have ignored for a couple of weeks. Washing. Tidying. Shopping. Taking the dog for proper walks. Answering kids’ questions during the evenings. After a week of solid catch-up, I am already off the boil about the idea of maintaining frenzied momentum to making work, and back to the eternal balancing act. At least it no longer comes as a surprise.
Details of the exhibition (in Solihull in the West Midlands) may be found here.