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Longest Day
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Yesterday started, as do most of my days, at 5 a.m., by a cat importuning me for tuna. Tuned to a cat's meow, I woke up at the first tune-up of the feline vocal chords.

The work hours stretched from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., pretty quiet for once. The long uninterrupted time spans afforded me an opportunity to work on some of my longer range projects. You know--the ones that always end up at the bottom of the "To Do" list, because they are not time critical.

Until they do become time critical, and zoom back up to number one. The hit parade of assassinated "hit" projects. Hit the books, hit the keyboard, she's on a roll.

One of my coworkers stopped by about 3 p.m. and suggested that he pick up dinner for both of us, since he had not brought anything with him to eat. What a lifesaver! If it hadn't been for his being willing to get a burrito for me, it would have been 10 p.m. before I had a chance to eat. Thank you, Dan.

Left work at 5 p.m., got to my evening board meeting at 5:45 p.m. in plenty of time for its start time of 6. Four hours later--productive hours, but 17 hours long--I was ready for some horizontal time with cat, pillow and blanket. I was so tired I don't even remember driving home.

One more day of work and then 10 days off, at least 2 of which will be unholy days of obligation--the obligatory family visits, the "look what I got" exclamations from the children, their greed abated temporarily, the bloated stomachs from overeating, the ritualistic recitations of school grades, how it's going at work, who's dating whom; perorations against our current administration.

The best part will be the games. Our family likes to play games of wit: word games and question games, that everyone can play. I forget the names of the specific games, but they're a big improvement over the activities mentioned earlier. I'm careful not to become too competitive--or too successful. I'm not there to win, to reveal how smart and well-educated I am, I remind myself, I'm there to be sociable and to help others who have less self-confidence shine.

Looking forward also to the week that will follow Christmas, when I'm on vacation. I really want to clean up and organize the computer room. I wonder how I can get rid of stuff without my husband retrieving from the trash everything I throw out. Wish I could dump it in a dumpster far, far from home where he wouldn't see it.

And there are lots of lovely books to read. Friends to visit. Walks to take. Clean the detritus from the garden. Oh, yes, there is no end to the projects list.

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