The trick to getting out of work without guilt is to have one of those bursts of ambition on a day when you have to go somewhere. Walking down to the barn yesterday on a perfectly gorgeous morning, I passed the weed-choked garden plot. "This would be a good day to get out the weed whacker and get that cleaned up." "Oh, that's right. I can't. I'm to meet Arden for lunch (for real, this time)." Coming back up to the house, I thought, "I really should pick up all those fallen branches and twigs from the front yard. Oh, I can't do that today." Taking a quick break before getting spiffed up for my outing, there was no time to swipe off dust in the living room. There you go! All of the credit for thinking good thoughts and none of the guilt because I didn't follow through. Easy peasy.
I enlisted the waitress as a witness to the fact that, hard as it might be to believe, not only was I on time, I was early at the restaurant. (Okay, calling Bones a "restaurant" might be overdoing it. Bones is essentially a biker bar that serves outstanding hamburgers to an eclectic clientele.) Arden gave me some "lame excuse" about a broken watch or some such. Didn't matter. I beat her by three minutes and I claim victory! We don't get together often anymore and it was great to spend time with my friend.
Arden provided me with a reason to avoid any work for the rest of the day by loaning me books by an previously unread author, so of course I had to take one out to the deck just for a sampling. Ta da! A whole day off, guilt free.