There's something about the beginning of new year feels like a fresh start (even though it's our fiscal midpoint). During a winter break, you do come back feeling pretty refreshed (well, kind of). It can also be a little hard to get your work motor humming again. So it's a good time to do that "step back and evaluate" thing. For me, that means a bit of office cleaning ritual and tearing into a new day planner. I know, you are disappointed that I don't have a higher tech approach. I like to write stuff down.

I will say that the power outage turned my time away from the office into something I hadn't intended (and I hardly made a chip in my list of holiday "to do"). Plus my incredibly gracious neighbor friends made sure I had plenty of good conversation to occupy my time. This all resulted in one positive thing: an almost complete disconnect from work (well, we won't count those few days I was sleeping in the office and checking e-mail). So coming back to "the office" (haha...eight steps from bed to office) was an adjustment. I feel new and shiny.