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Itís my day off. Even yesterday was filled with the laundry, shopping for groceries, doing the bills, replenishing the firewood. So now I am set for another week of work and today I can do anything I want. Itís all mine. Itís noon and Iím still in my pajamas. At nine, I opened my eyes. Until nine I had no thought of what the day might hold, a reprieve of sorts.

My dream consumed my attention for the first half hour. It seemed to be the latest in a series. In this one I made the right choice to discourage a suitor who was definitely not suited.

The exercise bike relieved the stress of that obligation. Phone calls from family brought their own feelings. Breakfast was leisurely and tasty. Now what?

I build a fire and listen to the kindling snap as it catches. Sitting and doing nothing is not satisfying. But tomorrow is work and then there are no choices.

George worked yesterday and seems to be content with an empty day, commenting frequently that he is glad there is nothing he has to do. But I sit in that same emptiness, discontent. Where is the meaning in the free time? What can I do or think or plan or enjoy that will bring contentment tonight when I snuggle in bed with my book, knowing that the next week will be spent on the hamster wheel?

My mind goes to the chocolate chip cookie ingredients I know are in the cupboard, but if I am honest with myself, it is the sweetness of the dough on my fingers that I crave. It is only a distraction, and one that will supply guilt and inevitably an irritable mood.

I am not eager to work on the quilt I have started. It feels empty, like I would simply fill the time. But then I would no longer have to wonder where the meaning in this day was coming from. I would be busy and if someone calls, I can say I am quilting. I can get through the time and when I lay down tonight, I can convince myself that I did what I wanted.

Itís cold and wet outside. In warmer weather, perhaps nature could soothe this emptiness. But even during Christmas break, in that cabin in the snowy mountains, it took a couple days to feel the rhythm and another day preparing my mind to return to work. There was a time in between, however, when I woke with the daylight, cherished my dreams, ate breakfast, went out on my cross country skis to enjoy the mountains, and came back feeling content to read or write by the fire. Is that retirement? Or just the way human animals were meant to live? For now though, it is Sunday and tomorrow there is work.

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