The start of a new year always seems like it should be different. After all I’ve been, mostly, away from work, since mid-December. The one exception was last Wednesday when my boss asked me to come in and take care of a few things that couldn’t wait five days, and even then I worked from home and had to sign out early to go to a doctor’s appointment. In spite of getting a lot done it didn’t really feel like working.
It also gave me an opportunity to clear up a lot of the ten thousand or so junk emails I’d gotten in the time I was away.
This morning I was fifteen minutes late getting to the office. That’s not terrible, and it really just reflects that I’m still getting adjusted to coming back to work in the office. Part of the reason I was late is I forgot the way to get to work. When I started coming into the office I took the same route I’d been taking for years that led to a parking garage that’s approximately half a mile from my office. I don’t use that parking garage anymore, though; I park in a garage that’s next to my office building. So I’d pass by the old garage on the way to the new one. Then, a few months ago, I realized I was wasting time, and that I could take a more direct path—one that’s pretty much the same as my old bus route, funny enough.
Then this morning I forgot to take the direct path. I took the one that went by the old parking garage. I would have waved as I went by but I had both hands on the wheel and was sweating over being late.
The other reason I was late is because time seems to stretch or compress no matter how much I prepare. I got up fifteen minutes early this morning, knowing I’d be groggy and slow because I’ve gotten out of the habit of getting up early and going to work. Somehow, though, in spite of doing almost everything the same way I would on a work day, and moving through at pretty much the same pace, that extra fifteen minutes disappeared and an additional fifteen minutes got added on.
For months now I’ve been arriving at the office on Monday morning at the same time, taking the same route. This morning I went the wrong way, or at least a different way that hadn’t been my normal one, and I was fifteen minutes late. It’s not the most auspicious start to 2023 but at least it’s different.