At approximately 5:02am this morning my adorable puppy (worthy of his own post, and will be the subject of one eventually) threw up a small pile of wood chips in his crate. This is a new thing, the early morning throw-up, and in the past two weeks Pal has heaved regularly between the hours of 3:00-5:00 am a number of small treasures: wood chips, plant soil,  an earplug, and a rubber band.

Jon was headed out the door for swimming, and I was left to do the post-throw-up routine: soothe the pup, wash his bedding, scrub his crate. I wish I could say that I do this with a loving tone and smile on my face, but the truth is my patience was thin, my temper short, and I found myself whispering to him through gritted teeth. He decided also seeing he was awake to stay that way. I silently dressed for winter weather and together we left the house for an extremely early morning walk.

As we walked through the darkness this morning I was reminded of this time of year, maybe twelve or thirteen years ago. I'm not sure what drew this memory from the recesses of my brain; I was mulling over this time of year (early December), I was mulling over the stress I find myself under, I was mulling over my expectations of myself for Christmas. Somewhere in there emerged an important conversation I had with my Mum.

I must have been in first or second year of University, and it was right around this time. The glut of exams, projects and papers abound, I was also working at the Bears Den and at the gym, I was also sitting on Student's Union, I was running for office in the PE faculty for the second year, I was writing for The Gateway. In short, I found myself with an overwhelming amount of things to be done and a small amount of time to do them in.

I was messy crying to my mother, and patiently she explained to me that this was not the last time in my life I was going to feel this way. She told me gently that being an adult meant going through difficult periods like this one, times where the amount of things "To Do" far exceeded the amount of time. Together we sat down with some looseleaf and coloured markers, and we scheduled my time (quite literally down to the minute) over a span of a week.

Years have passed and my time management still remains a something I'd like to be better at although I have a few strategies for coping under my belt. I'm in a week (two-week) period of time where I am in coloured marker zone, working towards glorious time off, right around the corner.

I just took hot blankets out of the dryer and wrapped Pal up in his crate, sitting next to my desk. Despite my earlier irritation I smile, I do find the wood puke a little funny.