12 Here’s how I feel today.

I didn’t sleep well last night for some reason, and was up a lot, so I slept late (like7:30!) and still feel sleepy.

Note also the down jacket in the photo, symbolizing how terribly cold it is outside today, and the grade book and file of papers to be graded, symbolizing how I still have a bunch of work to do, and the tea cup symbolizing how I’m hoping caffeine will do the trick, and … let’s see… the container full of CD-ROMs symbolizing how I also didn’t finish the work I had to do on the computer this week. Any remaining mess in the photo can symbolize the messiness of my house.

Now I intend to make some notes for my future self. They will be dull, so feel free to skip ahead to the song of the day.

This week, I had the number of billable hours I am aiming for, so my goal was to keep close track of my time use and see whether I could get all the work done within a forty hour work week. Nope. I got 15.5 hours of billable work completed. I spent six hours total on the driving and teaching of a class which I only count as three billable hours, and I had a four hour training afterwards, with an hour between class and the training, so that was eight hours right there of unbillable time. I had two new clients, both of whom required interviewing and so forth, so that was two more hours. Paper grading, 12my own blogs, emails back and forth to clients and students, a routine “Let me know if I can help” to the people who’ve said they want work done but haven’t signed their contracts, and a lengthy phone call with a prospective client filled in the remaining time. I also had a little bit of paperwork and normal interruptions — letting the dogs out, making tea, answering IMs, non-work emails, that kind of stuff — and that made a little more than 40 hours of work, but only 15.5 billable.

This morning we had a bit of excitement at our house, and I had to go pick up #1 son’s tux, do the grocery shopping, and pick up a few things for stockings, so here the morning’s almost gone and I haven’t done any of the remianing work.

I also haven’t done any Christmas decorating. What you see above is the sum total of it —  I did this last week when I heard that my in-laws were on their way, just taking off the Thanksgiving decorations and doing the fastest thing I could think of to replace it.

12It looks nice in the dark, but that may not be much of a recommendation.

So I might need to spend the day working on cleaning up the house and decorating and otherwise catching up on holiday preparations, rather than working.

My online class for next term has been confirmed, too, so I might need to work on that.

So perhaps, rather than going out clubbing as I usually do on Saturday nights (no, I don’t), I may work tonight.

This means that I will need some holiday preparation inspiration. Amazon sent me a credit for some free MP3s, so I got Darlene Love singing “Merry Christmas Baby,” “Josh Groban doing “Angels We Have Heard on High with Brian McKnight,” The Kings’ Singers with “Born on a New Day,” and some jazz piano Christmas. I am therefore all set for some Christmas listening.

“Born on a New Day” is a Christmas take on “You Are the New Day” by John David and Peter Knight. It’s beautiful, and here are the words, so you can sing it while you put up your tree or whatever you need to do.

Meekness, love, humility Come down to us this day.
Christ, your birth has proved to me You are the new day.

Quiet in a stall you lie, Angels watching in the sky
Whisper to you from on high,“You are the new day.”

When our life is darkest night Hope has burned away;
Love, your ray of guiding light, Show us the new day.

Love of all things great and small Leaving none, embracing all
Fold around me where I fall, Bring in the new day.

This new day will be A turning point for everyone
If we let the Christ-child in and Reach for the new day.

Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life; Healing sadness, ending strife;
You we welcome, Lord of Life, Born on a new day.

Me, I will either be decorating and making gingerbread and cleaning house and grading papers and optimizing a website and planning my online class — or lazing around in the mess like the cat at the top of the post.