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One day at a time

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One of the realities of working alone is that you can lose track of time. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but not when you also lose track of what day it is.

I suspect many of you one-man shop guys have occasionally lost complete track of time. You’re so involved in what you’re doing that when you finally happen to glance at the clock you’re surprised to learn that you’ve worked right through lunch. Or dinner. Or both. Before I got my shop window I frequently got “lost in the zone” until early evening; now, getting dark outside is a good clue that it’s time to wrap things up for the day.

Other patterns help guide my day as much as the sun or clock. My wife is a teacher, and I’m used to her leaving in the morning about the time I head to either my office or shop. Likewise, her coming home in late afternoon tells me the day’s winding down. When she’s around all day it’s the weekend, and while I typically work weekends the pace is far different. But in summer – when she’s around all day, every day – I’m thrown off completely.

I’ll work as normal, but the day just “feels” different. For shop work, I tend to forget that running out to the store for a needed supply may be different than on a weekday; either the place will be swamped with weekend warriors, or it’ll be closed. If I’m doing office work, I’ll pick up the phone only to be reminded that most people I’d call are at their desks only Monday through Friday.

The trouble is that I don’t remember what day it is. I’ve missed taking trash out on a Monday night because the preceding hours felt too much like, say, a Friday. Or I’ll turn on the local evening news after a good day’s work only to find some sort of ball game on.

I enjoy having Sally around, I really do. But school starts at the end of the week and I’ll be happy to get back to normal.

Or at least I would be if I had any idea when the end of the week is.


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