Yesterday, I dropped my spouse off at choir practice and went to Target. As I turned into the parking lot, I thought, what am I doing, going to Target on the Wednesday before Christmas. But we had a coupon that expired on Dec. 24, and my spouse needed more nicotine tablets. My watch stopped over Thanksgiving, and I've been meaning to get to Target--and thus, there I was, with all the shoppers and their very full baskets. But I found a short line with a cheerful check-out clerk.
In fact, the whole day was full of those kinds of gifts. Let me list the gifts of Winter Solstice 2016:
--At Target, I parked far away from the door, under a peaceful tree. I was able to avoid the honking cars closer to the door.
--The watches were on sale. And the store was stocked with nicotine tablets. And I found a pair of sunglasses to replace the ones that disappeared during our Thanksgiving trip.
--Before I went to Target, I went to the public library at the south campus of Broward College. I spent some time in the poetry section, and spent some time in fond memory of the time when I taught there during the 98-99 school year. When I needed a break, I'd wander to the library, check out a volume of poetry, and devour it. Thus, I taught myself a lot about late-20th century poetry.
--The library had several books I want to read over the next few weeks--hurrah! In the late afternoon, I looked at several lists of best books of 2016, and the south campus library had most of them. First up: Ann Patchett's Commonwealth.
--But first I must finish Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower. It's been long enough since I last read it that it contains some surprises. But I know the plot, so I can read it without the sheer terror of the first read. I had some reading time yesterday, a wonderful gift.
--It's been a long time since I worked right up to Christmas, and yet, I don't mind. I still have a lot of work to do, but there's a festive feel regardless. Yesterday was our Christmas party, which went well. Some people, including my Secret Santa, went way over the $ amounts we were supposed to spend. I will do as I've been trained, write my thank you note, and try not to feel guilty.
--Yesterday, the kind HR woman let me know that there were some onboarding tasks that remain undone for my new Allied Health Department Chair. I was able to do them, in part because of the hours I spent trying to access one of the portals on Friday.
--I have spent weeks working on a letter that will go out to recent graduates in a program who have yet to find a job; the letter outlines a way we'll help them take the registry exam so that they will have more employment options. The last step was to show it to the president and owner of the college. She approved it, and with some kind words in the e-mail that let me know that I can send it out. Hurrah!
--In the afternoon, I interviewed a woman for our one English class that needs a teacher. I think she'll be a good match. And should she change her mind and decide she's not interested, I have another teacher waiting in the wings. And so, for a brief moment, we are fully staffed.
What do I still want Santa to bring me? Well, there's the traditional request for peace on earth. But I could also use inspiration about how to find some needed office space for my full-time folks at work.
I'd be happy with time to read, time to cook, time with friends--and I expect that Santa will be able to make that delivery!