Just Add Free Time

Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.  — Robert Benchley

I'm teaching fewer classes this semester than I taught last semester. In fact, due to a unique scheduling situation, I'm currently teaching fewer classes than I've ever taught during any semester in my seventeen years of college teaching.

In short: I have more free time than I've had in nearly two decades. It. Is. Amazing.

Of course, work always finds a way to take the available time you have to complete it. It's fluid. It reminds me of the "cats are liquid" theory where any cat can conform its body to fit any vessel.

That's how work works. Give it an hour, it'll take a hour. Give it a day, it'll take a day.

For example, when I left campus yesterday, I had four hours of grading to complete. Four hours later, I still had four hours of grading to complete, except that I now had more knowledge about pre-diabetes since I had Googled the condition after reflecting on how much sugar I consume, and I had spent twenty minutes wandering Rural King to admire their baby chicks and eat their free popcorn, and I realized that the last time I had completed an entry in the wedding anniversary book my mother-in-law gave me as bridal shower present was when we celebrated 13 years of marriage. That was in 2014.

Just in case you were curious, my anniversary is in August -- and to point out the obvious, it's February, so nothing significant triggered me to look at book commemorating my wedding anniversaries. I just happened to be sitting cross-legged on my office floor in front of my bookshelves, surrounded by various piles (read! re-read! who-are-you-kidding-you're-never-going-to-read-this), and I stumbled upon the anniversary book, right next to my wedding scrapbook and our old high school yearbooks. (Fun fact: in addition to soccer and track, yesterday I also rediscovered that I had been in student government as the treasurer of my junior class.)

Of course, even though I can't remember exactly what I did last week, much less last year, it became top priority for me to remedy those blank pages and document our last seven years of marriage.

And I told you all of that so I could now tell you this:

Today I completed four hours of grading.

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