That is the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes this morning. My husband has a clock that projects the time onto the wall across from the bed, and it said
So my first waking thought of the day was that I had to leave for work in 10 minutes. (Apparently I had turned off my alarm and had two conversations with my husband before he left for school. I have no memories of those things.) I was going to be really late. That awful feeling stayed with me the entire day. All day long it was
My first decision was shower? or coffee? There wasn’t time for both. I grabbed some clothes off the floor of my room and headed toward the bathroom. I didn’t fire up my laptop to check mail and headlines. I didn’t take the dogs out. I didn’t give Dog Three her medicine or take my own. I just threw things into my bag, brushed my teeth and took off. All the things I forgot occurred to me in succession as I took the 15 minute drive to work. I realized that I would have to drive home again during my two hour break between teaching and our weekly meeting to pick stuff up and take care of the dogs.
At school, the first thing I saw was my co-teacher Mark sitting with the group that I had prepared to work with. His eyes looked up at the clock before turning in my direction. We quickly revised our plans and I improvised through the next two hours – which seemed like five. They went okay but everything felt a little . . . off. Like it was still 7:20
The stuff I had planned to do during the break all got pushed off to the evening and I drove home to redo my morning routine: cleaning up Dog Three’s accident, feeding, medicating and walking her. I finally drank a cup of coffee and checked my email. There was a slightly nasty one from the university IT department threatening to put my homepage on ice if I didn’t respond. All of this was because of 7:20.
Then it was back to work for a parent teacher conference, followed by a team meeting. Once again, everything seemed somehow wrong. No matter what the topic, I discovered that the decisions we had made in earlier meetings had been changed or overturned since – but I had not been in those particular loops. Whatever, I adjusted to the new situations one by one and wondered if it would ever stop being 7:20.
On the way home, I thought about all the details I have to take care of – a translation to finish, a slideshow of the school year to start and finish, organizing my London school trip, doing my tax returns, taking care of my ailing dog, physical therapy sessions, saving my homepage, doing all the arrangements and paperwork for my older daughter’s upcoming exchange year, planning my younger daughter’s confirmation party and my husband’s fast approaching 55th birthday. I felt like I was way behind on all of these things, but in no shape to tackle them tonight. I filtered my To Do list down to the things that had to happen tonight and that turned out to be answering three emails and changing my alarm sound to the loudest most obnoxious one I could find. I would follow those things with a glass of wine and a quick blog rant and then it would be off to bed whether the sun had gone down or not. This 7:20 day would finally be over.
I was at the finish line. The above had been written – originally with a slightly different ending – and all I had to do was open WordPress and post it. I checked the time on my cell and – no lie – this is what it said. I took a quick screen shot to prove it. (Look at the top right corner.)
It was a sign.