Today was a long, busy, fairly productive day. I left the house by 7:15 am, after marveling at how long it takes me to get ready in the morning. And honestly, I'm no more than a medium maintenance kind of girl and am fairly efficient in the Getting Ready department.

Being competitive about almost all incidental affairs in my life, including parallel parking in the tiniest of spaces, I pride myself in being able to get dressed and ready to go out in under ten minutes. The exception being any time before 11 am.

It's not that I need to sleep late. I don't mind the getting out of bed. But the errands seem to generate uncontrollably, and I find myself going up and down the stairs after a book I want to take with me to read during lunch, and the extra pair of shoes so I can change at my break, and then for the extra jacket or shirt so I can adjust myself exactly to the temperature in the store, neither too hot nor too cold at any one moment. I need, or want, my IPod along; I listen to podcasts of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" or "Good Food" during my long drive. And then I stop to download something new. Breakfast, putting on makeup, packing a lunch. I look up and I must leave Now, or be late.

I have the clock in the kitchen set at least ten minutes fast. And it dupes me enough that when I see how late it is, I force myself to gather up all my belongings and head out to the car. My brain is just slow enough not to process that the clock is a trick.