You know what I don’t need added to my plate during the week of Christmas? Collecting a urine sample from a cat. Figuring out why the vacuum cleaner has no suction. Internet service going on the fritz. If these minor complications to my daily routine could come back in about a week I would be most appreciative.

All the slack is taken out in these days leading up to December 25. Your schedule and your patience are taut. Yet things are just as likely to fall off the table this week as they are in August. And it is no less true in December than the rest of the year that the interactions and responses that may matter the most and might have the greatest impact could be the ones not on the calendar.

It seems that we need to get good at responding to the unanticipated when everything is already full, not only when we have the slack to absorb it.

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