There are times when I eagerly look forward to work on a Monday morning.

Unfortunately, today was not one of them.

Earl arrived home late Thursday night, and we took the opportunity to celebrate his birthday on Friday night. It was a fun evening… I took him to one of the area’s more upscale restaurants for a quiet, romantic dinner. The restaurant was virtually empty because the weathermen were predicting everything short of a new ice age, though nothing of the sort was happening. There was candlelight, and soft whispers among the few patron that were there… except for one table. This table was populated by a sloppily mannered, inappropriately dressed family, complete with an obnoxious, cud chewing, wild-haired woman. Had it not been for them, the scene would have been positively serene, but her sqwaks detracted slightly from the mood. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable experience and we both had a good time. I asked Earl if I was becoming a snob with my “poo-poo” attitude towards that family. He assured that I wasn’t, because I already was a snob. Oh well.

Later Friday night, Earl’s brother Dave and his wife Kelly arrived for a weekend visit. It was Kelly’s first time up here, and the first time in the new house for both of them. We just sort of hung out most of the weekend, relaxing and shootin’ the bull. Saturday night I set aside my vegetarianism and we went to the Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse. There was a two hour wait, but it was worth every minute and the food was out of this world. I paid the price for setting aside my vegetarianism later on, but I guess it was worth it.

After Dinosaur BBQ we stopped off at Turning Stone Casino, where I followed tradition and gave them a sizeable chunk of change. Sometimes I wonder why I just don’t hand in my wallet is at the coat check and tell them to just take what they want. At least Earl broke even on the tables so we didn’t lose everything, just half of it. But it was fun, and that’s what’s important. I guess I have to get over feeling guilty about losing money at the casino. Earl tells me that we wouldn’t go if we couldn’t afford it, but nonetheless, I still feel guilty.

Yesterday we did stopped off at Panera’s for a Chai Tea Latte (great for my health plan) then the grocery shopping, household thing after Dave and Kelly left and then we futzed around on the computers a bit before Earl packed for this week’s business trips and we called it a night.

And then this morning was work. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, so I had a hard time getting up at my usual 7:00 a.m. I do much better sleeping in, and I’ve felt sort of draggy all day. I don’t know if I have a lack of enthusiasm going on because of work or because Earl is out of town. Deep down I know it’s the latter. I enjoy my job, very much so, even though this week is a hectic week, especially with a couple of big projects winding up. Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines. Just typing this paragraph is reminding me of what awaits tomorrow. I can deal with it just fine, but do I really want to? I’m not sure. Do I have to? Of course. I’ll get through work and Earl’s absence just fine.

At times it feels like the world is moving way too fast. Zoom. Hectic. Be here. Be there. Ringing phones. Obnoxious intercoms. Virus alerts.

I have to remember to work hard at staying focused. Do the right thing. Slow down, savor each moment. Look for the sparkle in the eyes of those around you, even if they’re wild haired and cackling in an intimate restaurant.