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Wednesday, December 27, 2000

The holiday break is like a Christmas cookie. The taste is so sweet when I'm in the middle of the experience, but when all I have left is a memory and those empty calories, I'm worse off than if I hadn't had it.

The memory of Christmas will have to sustain me through some bleak times to come. I'm overwhelmed with the massive amount of work ahead of me over the next few days and weeks. My energy is still low, and it's all I can do to force myself to keep going. I know that if I don't, I'll be buried even deeper.

It seems like post-holiday letdown, but that's not quite it. Or that's not all of it. Maybe it's just that it ended so quickly and I didn't have time to savor it. It got devalued by the fact that the next day was such a sudden muddle of new work crises to deal with, with no break in sight.

I tell myself what you would tell me, if you dared (or cared) to give advice. Get over it. You have nothing to complain about. You have a great family and a good job. There's nothing you can't handle in that pile of papers on the corner of your desk, if you just keep at it.

Maybe you wouldn't say it in those words, but I'd appreciate the advice, and I'd agree with you.

It just didn't seem that easy today. Sometimes I can't bring myself to take good advice, even my own well-thought-out counsel.

The problem today is that I thought it would be better than yesterday. Yesterday I was still sick, both from the excess of the holiday and the lingering effects of the cold. The cold was getting better, though, and the hangover was temporary.

Well, today wasn't that much better. The cold is worse again, and while the hangover is gone (never to return), the energy it sapped from my body hasn't found its way back to me yet. I can lie still, prone, face to the pillow, for only so long before that seems like a natural position, the desired way to spend my hours, waking and non.

For once it's not sleep deprivation. It can't be, because I'm sleeping all the time. I went to bed early last night and got up late this morning. I fell hard asleep for almost an hour this afternoon, waking up only because the phone rang. Wrong number. She was sorry to have bothered me.

Breathing is hard work, though, and it's draining (in more than one way). I feel most of the time as if my head is clogged with felt, or jell-o, or some exotic combination of the two. Oxygen is taking a less direct route to my brain. I'm a step slow, shuffling around like an even older man than I actually am. I get lost in simple conversations. The words aren't there.

It's taken me all day to write this entry. I wanted to have something positive to write about. I waited, but it never happened. The best I can say is that I made it through, and tomorrow will be better. I haven't lost that faith.

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Tamar, Visions and Revisions, December 26, Handle With Care

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