3:11 pm

Yesterday, as so often happens to me in the afternoon - and by "afternoon" I mean anywhere at all from 12:30 to 4 pm, so there's a lot to work with here - I suddenly deflated, my mind incapable of anything but focusing on specific desires to read celebrity gossip and eat processed sweet treats, to take my pants off and replace them with softer, gentler pants without goddamn buttons and zippers, I mean, come on! I know this is a common feeling among a good deal of the population. It's the "afternoon slump" or whatever you choose to call it. It's the reason we all need a siesta in our workday. Or, you know, to have our workdays end at 3 o'clock. Or, say, a little earlier.

The problem with me, is while I do have childcare some days and some days not, what I don't ever have is an office and, perhaps more importantly, other people watching and judging what I do with my so-called "workday." So if I want to have the sweets and do the pants-taking-off thing, no one is really gonna say anything.

I've learned, however, that succumbing to these desires inevitably leads to feeling not terrific about myself. Afternoon eating of your child's leftover Valentine's Day loot makes you feel bad, is something I am finally ready to admit.

So I texted my brother a complaint about my afternoon loss of inspiration knowing that he, as he likes to do, would tell me to shut up. Or get over it. Or calm down.

Instead, though - I guess he was feeling gracious - he wrote back that afternoons like this one were good for "sunny beers time." Or exercise. And that everything was awesome. So, rather than a swift, harsh kick, which I thought I needed, I got an upbeat pep-talk, which I think I needed more.

Of course, as I had to plow through a few more to-do items that kept me tied to my computer, I didn't have beers, or go for a nice long run. I had an espresso, which is almost always the correct answer to the afternoon slump. But the time is coming for suggestions like my brother's. Here in the Northeast, the winter plods on, but spring, I am waiting, anxious for coat-free expeditions and afternoons so perfect that we are convinced to simply leave work behind.