Untethered Dog

You Never Know Where He Will Go

Gratitude Journal

9 July 2019

Being able to go for walks in the evening wearing shorts and T-shirts. Just slip on some shoes and go. This far into the summer it’s easy to take that for granted. You are reminded not to because on this night your buddy takes his time sniffing and peeing and maybe he’s soaking it up, too. At point, in the middle of a community garden he frequently guides you through, he stops for a minute and looks around. He has us you wait a few minutes and while you do he draws the interest of a lovely lady with long hair who squats to greet him and ask about him and make his tail wag before she resumes a stroll with her girlfriend and before the two of you leave the garden to find new things to sniff and pee on while walking slowly under the sun and in the comfortable warmth of the evening.

8 July 2019

Making all the lights. Such a satisfying way to go to back and forth to work on the first day following a long holiday weekend.

7 July 2019

You were overdue to clean the fridge. You were up way early and the energy struck. Which, in the direction of fridge cleaning, seldom happens at any hour of any day. Really wouldn’t take that long. It’s Sunday; grocery day — we don’t got much in here anyway. So you cleaned the fridge, start to finish, before five a.m. What a light feeling the rest of the day: you open the door, realize again what you did, and sigh contentedly.

6 July 2019

You hesitated when asked. You are grateful to people who volunteer at animal control centers. But you do not like to visit them yourself. At shelters of any kind. And you heard less than good things about this one. You had driven by before and even that, just driving by, aroused unpleasant thoughts of what might be happening inside. You do not like to see dogs who do not have homes. You expect uncleanliness. You expect sad and lonely animals. You expect to be depressed. To walk away depressed. But you know you should go. This spontaneous opportunity — you would not have decided this but now that it is here you know the planned coffee with friends … that will go on without you. A few blocks from the pound you see a volunteer walking one of the dogs with the same colors as your dog — brown and white — but bigger with sleeker fur. There is some pit bull in there, must be. The volunteer’s body language is that of a person carrying out a chore. On the other end of the lead he the dog explores the world the way dogs do — all in an all there. You have agreed to go with a kind soul who fosters cats. The place is cleaner than you expected. After holding some kittens, giving out a little love, talking to a volunteer, and a couple who will go home with at least one more cat, they just can’t decide which one(s), you agree to go into the dog area, where you see the boy who had been on the walk on your way there. A few minutes later he will walk out the front door again — for the last time — this time with a woman who looks like the female human version of him, who is taking him home. She leaves to cheers from others who are in line. You will also meet a Mastiff who initially struggles to leave his cage but eventually does. Then sits with a woman who wants him. There is something not right with this big boy. Stress? Is it neurological? Two different volunteers use that word. The woman is on the phone. The Mastiff looks out a window. Turning around in an adoption room he bangs his head on a wall. You don’t wait to see how it turns out. Good things are happening. You have more love to give and you should be like these creatures and caretakers and not hold it back.

5 July 2019

To the woman working at the craft store … watching YouTube (or some such) as you approach her desk with your questions … who does not turn off the YouTubs (or some such) as you ask your questions … questions you ask at length not knowing exactly what you are looking for … as she slowly lifts her head away from the screen, listens to each of your questions, not wanting to get up to show you things but doing it anyway … revealing a space between where the back of her shirt ends and the top of her jeans begin, a window into her backside that is altogether lower than she probably intends … and while she is more comely than she might give herself credit for this is not sexy but makes you see her as you are and we all are — as real and flawed and not exactly put together as we might always like … you hope some day the smile she never shows you comes out, stays out — that she finds work that lights her up brighter than the screen you just took her away from.

24 June 2019

To the young rabbit nestled in the grass next to my home who greets me upon my return from the gym in the morning, sweaty and ready for the workday …

… and the slightly older rabbit, on its hind legs, perched on the step of the house across the street, regarding me, as I pull down my bed sheets, ready to rest at the end of the same day …

The thought occurs that you are one in the same, that you moved over there to get a better view. You are the embodiment of the symmetry and symbolism of my waking hours. More likely you are two — two cousins — dual-effort reminders that I am one, too.

To you guides who show the speed of the days as contrasted by the stillness of the moments … thank you.

14 June 2019

After coming back from a fifty-minute walk your little buddy sprints down the line of the fence to chase a squirrel racing down the top, prompting the squirrel to leap onto a tree branch — six feet up being not high enough for comfort. Then he, the little buddy, sprints back into the yard, turns, and sprints with the ball you just rolled his way, pushing that bigger-than-his-head-ball with his nose, sans break stride, popping up when the ball bounces, getting low when the ball rolls, adjusting when the ball runs into the fence, playing it off the wall (as they say in baseball), coming back the way he came, ball still with him — up, then down, left to right, yeah, buddy, go — as he growls the growl he’s earned, the growl that comes with the DNA for play. After all these years he still has that mojo. He still can make the moment. He shows you that.

May 2019

 31 Friday
– Sweet ladies at the DMV. They do exist. You have proof.
– Long workouts with chocolate milk after.

30 Thursday
– Buying just the right amount of mulch.
– The person who invented the sprinkler.
– Your therapist.

29 Wednesday
– Extra sleep.
– The Dairy Queen.
– The one-eyed dog you saw at the Dairy Queen. So sweet. So ready to play. Further proof that dogs are the best.
– The way the unconscious comes up with way better solutions than does your monkey mind.
– Walks that veer off course.
– Comedy clubs.

28 Tuesday
– A rush of adrenaline to tackle projects early in the a.m.
– Itty bitty birds.
– Warm nights with nothing that you particularly have to do.

27 Monday
– Greasy burgers and good fries.
– Left-hand milk stout.
– Rainy days.
– Enough of a break in the rain to take a walk. You aren’t into this one but it’s good for you nonetheless.

26 Sunday
– The Trylon.
– The Coen Brothers.
–  Walks after the sun has already gone down.
– Second winds.

25 Saturday
– Mid-day coffee.
– Thrift-store shopping.
– Writing funny. The effect it has on you.
– Wasting time.
– Afternoons that are the perfect balance of warm and cool.
– Your father.

24 Friday
– Happy returns.
– Detours.
– Patient customer service people.
– The mouse who poked his head out at the garden center this afternoon.
– Opportunities to learn to delay gratification.
– Extra rest. Just need it now.

23 Thursday
The day before vacay.

22 Wednesday
When a problem gets solved for you — like that — poof, it’s gone.

21 Tuesday
– Kind people who work at vet clinics.
– The power of speaking out when someone does you wrong.

20 Monday
– Green grass.
– Night lights.

19 Sunday
– A sweet call.
– A day without the phone on.

18 Saturday
– Thunderstorms.
– Free lawn watering.
The Sun. The magazine. Note that this is no slight against the celestial body of the same name.
– Extra rest.
– Moments of calm.
– Moments when you want nothing and fear nothing.
– Being nervous and excited to see someone.

17 Friday
The anticipation of a rain storm.

16 Thursday
Taking time to breathe in the world with your buddy by your side.

15 Wednesday
– Finishing an essay.
– Earning a promotion.
– Some days are just bigger than others.

14 Tuesday
Mornings when it doesn’t take long to write long.

12 Sunday
– Making your own rainbow when you turn your hose just so.
– Cool but clear and comfortable mornings that are made for walking with your little buddy.
– Spinach and egg scramble, with garlic and onions.

11 Saturday
– Pulling weeds from the ground.
– Green grass.
– The little critter you see crawling in your grass.
– Finding flowers early.
– The discoveries of spring.

10 Friday
– The good that happens when you ask for what you need — even if you don’t exactly get it.
– When you wake up and feel good about the conversation you stayed up late to have the night before.
– Minnehaha from below the Falls.
– Meeting a woman named Siri — a real one, not the one who lives in your phone.
– Talking on the phone.

9 Thursday
Lenny’s Cookies. Chocolate chip, of course.

8 Wednesday
Think Thin bars. Brownie crunch is where it’s at.

5 Sunday
The Russian Museum of Art. Sundays are good days to look at art.

4 Saturday
– Meditation time.
– Seeing your breath in the early morning hours and yet it’s not all that cold out.
– When it’s a bunny bonanza during the morning walk.
– The DavidPal 36.
– Meeting a fellow writer and talking easy about everything that comes.
– Gerten’s.
– Ice baths.

3 Friday
– Easy people.
– The Fish Philosophy.
– Making funny at work.

2 Thursday
The month of May.

1 Wednesday
– Watching a fox amble in the early morning light.
– Spotting two rabbits watching you on the mid-morning walk.
– Getting your squats in. And the rest of the reps, too.
– Making mindfulness progress. Finding practical applications.
– Speaking up.
– Listening well.
– Exploring an area of the neighborhood for the first time.
– The promise of chocolate.

April 2019

30 Tuesday
Cold showers.

29 Monday
Cold baths.

28 Sunday
– Walks along the Mississippi River.
– Light-jacket weather.
– Good coffee, better conversation.
– Getting your workout in after a couple crabby days off (you had to take).

27 Saturday
– Extra time to stretch.
– Extra time to write.
– Extra sips of coffee.
– Full bags of yard waste.
– A full fridge.

24 Wednesday
– Surprising someone.
– New life in the form of budding plants.
– Sudden death in the form of overtime hockey.

23 Tuesday
– Rabbits.
– What you can do to get a quick workout in with just a couple of rubber bands.

22 Monday
– Lactose-free yogurt.
– Hard things.
– Grass.
– My fence.
– Kale.
– Himalayan pink salt.
– Ginger paste.
– My home.
– The Earth.

21 Sunday
– Good grocery store customer service.
– Egg and bean burritos.
– The mist at Minnehaha Falls.
– Mark T. Bedard.
– Trees.
– People who remind you to come back to this moment and not resist anything.

20 Saturday
– Fatigue.
– Free tables.
– Freedom.
– Fish.
– Kind strangers.
– Naps that feel like they were all day when really they were like an hour.
– Trying a new restaurant.
– Being invited to a party.
– Unexpectedly being able to check things off that had been on your list for a long time.

19 Friday
Sharing an accomplishment with your colleagues.
– Buying a card for someone who won’t expect it.
– Bringing just enough food to get you through the work day so you don’t have to spend money at the cafeteria.
– Egg and avocado sandwiches.

18 Thursday
– Overdue haircuts.
– Special ordered doughnuts.
– Swiping clean that nearly impossible-to-reach corner on the far, low side of your claw foot tub. So satisfying to see the dirt on your rag rather than on the floor.
– Learning about running.
– Making all your squats.
– Lifting a little extra.
– Leisurely coffee on a weekday.
– Putting the recycling out a whole eighteen hours early.

17 Wednesday
– Mornings at the gym you set aside as play time — time to work on form, stretch a bit, and hit a few reps in some challenge areas, priming the pump, starting the momentum for tomorrow’s time to push.
– Knowing that is all you have to push tomorrow. Thank goodness for PTO!

16 Tuesday
– Late walks.
– The bunnies that greet us as we stroll through the neighborhood at night.
– Long mornings.
– A long-anticipated appointment.
– A week that breaks the routine.
– A happy dog.
– Seeing the neighbor outside without a shirt on after sunset. Editor’s note: a detail shared entirely as a way to affirm the warmth of the night.

15 Monday
The taxes that pay for our roads and bridges and schools and laws and courtrooms and even the street lights that guide us home in the middle of the night.

14 Sunday
– The Weisman Art Museum.
– Sun that warms a large room.
– The Minneapolis skyline.
– Good conversation.
– Tiger Woods.

13 Saturday
– Working all alone.
– Rhythm and blues.
– Cheap pizza and chocolate chip ice cream and a cheeseburger because what would cheat day be with them?

12 Friday
The chance to teach.

11 Thursday
Minnehaha Falls. Even when it is cold outside.

10 Wednesday
– Feeling confident when you ask questions about things you don’t know.
– The NHL playoffs.

9 Tuesday
Phone conversations in which the only goal is to talk. You know, like people used to do.

6 Saturday
– The sound of rain on the roof.
– Mid-morning naps. Sometimes you need a little extra sleep to recover from the week that was. Get it and you are good to go.
– Connection.
– Disconnection.
– Long talks at the coffee shop.
– Albert Camus.

5 Friday
– Feeling comfortable at work.
– Asking for advice. Getting it. Learning because of it.
– Gym mornings in which you can just play around and practice. You don’t have to hate it — it doesn’t have to be hard — in order to make gains.
– Getting your reps in in other ways, too: another day of doing what you do. The experience, the knowledge, it’s accumulating, even if you don’t see it in the every day.

4 Thursday
– Chicken salad wraps.
– Seeing bunnies scurry across the alley in the morning.

3 Wednesday
– Finding a kind and capable dentist.
– Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
– Tony Kornheiser.

2 Tuesday
– The sweet, stocky dog who sits, at attention, as you and your little buddy walk on by. May he be untethered soon.
– The single leaf that floats in front of your door, riding a wave of wind.
– The man that goes by Moon Dog.
– Sunlight in your dog’s eyes.

1 Monday
– Reminders that prompt you to buckle down and focus anew on something important to you.
– Difficult days.
– What anxiety says.
– The houses on 44th Avenue.

March 2019

31 Sunday
– A certain guy named Larry who remembered your name.
– Sitting in the back pew in a church that is new to you.
– Finding out a given place isn’t the right space for you. Check one more off the list.
– Cod sandwiches.

30 Saturday
– Sunlight.
– The sensation of being open and ready to learn.
– A boosted metabolism.
– Hazelwood’s rotisserie chicken.
The Social Network.
– Reading about philosophy.
– Marcus Aurelius.

29 Friday
– A solid plan for the weekend.
– The Friday night unwind.
– Suddenly being able to process more protein.
– Seeing how excited your dog is to sniff fresh ground — nearly every inch of the park.

28 Thursday
Making a former colleague laugh.

27 Wednesday
Palpable signs of increased (but quiet) confidence.

25 Monday
– Waking up with a juicy dream to write down.
– Spring walks before dawn.

24 Sunday
– Watching your little buddy run on a golf course. Playing through!
– Making it through Trader Joe’s quickly — just like you said you would, unlike what you usually do.
– Failing on the last deadlift and being just fine with that.
– Brazil nuts.

23 Saturday
– Forgetting something at the gym, walking back inside to get it, running into someone with a happy smile you otherwise would have missed.
– Writing time.
– Talking time.
– Coffee time.
– Steaming hot pot roast with medallion onions.

22 Friday
Staying a little late on a Friday to help out.

21 Thursday
A free piece of pizza.

20 Wednesday
Sharing time.

17 Sunday
Finishing a good book.
– Trying a new kind of coffee in your old French press.
– Seeing almost all of the snow, just days ago piled so high, nearly vanished from the roof of your garage.
– Looking up and seeing your dog walk on the snow. What’s the big deal? It seems like it’s been so long since that snow wasn’t his Kilimanjaro.
– Consignment shops.
– Finding a new pair of jeans.
– Long walks through puddled sidewalks.
– The good that happens when you follow the energy.

16 Saturday
– Going to a new coffee shop.
– Connecting with fellow writers.
– Being able to go for a walk with your dog and pick up his poop without freezing your hands.
– The man at the library who has the morning newspaper in-hand as you walk in but immediately offers you sections.
– The calm of the library.
– The reward of a fixed toilet.

15 Friday
– Being funny with someone you don’t know.
– Getting something wrong for a good reason.
– The raccoon you could have easily run over had you not pumped the breaks when you saw the 6 a.m. shadows. Poor thing sliding around on the ice: he looked up at you after you stopped as if wondering where his skates were.
– Seeing the same raccoon saunter up the walkway of the house before you with a gate that said: “I’ve had enough of this. I’m going back inside.”

14 Thursday
Being able to negotiate your car down a Minneapolis alley. For two-plus days, that seemingly simple thing … not possible given the height of the ice and the depth of moats of water running as wide as your tires.

13 Wednesday
– A safe, dry home.
– Inner strength.
– Dreams that challenge you.
– Challenges to your dreams.
– More clarity than you’ve ever had as an adult.
– Daily challenges to staying on that path.
– Journalists. The real ones. The ones that go after the truth, chasing a story for weeks, months, sometimes years. It’s possible they have never been more important.

12 Tuesday
– Laughing before 5:30 in the morning.
– Making up the lost hour of sleep from Daylight Savings.
– The moment you pour hot water into the French press and the coffee soaks and steams.
– The mental health effects reading good books.

11 Monday
– ACE hardware. Because you know you can walk in there with your mistake in hand and that they will help you fix it.
– Taking Monday off.
– Full body workouts.
– Finding a new way to track your food.
– Extra sun in the living room.
– The smell of ginger chicken in the crockpot.
– Chocolate milk. What a treat. Been so long.

10 Sunday
– Heavy sleep.
– Heavy snow on light tree branches.
– Digging out from a snow storm first thing in the morning.
– The philosophical work of Elizabeth Anderson.

9 Saturday
– Library meeting rooms.
– Being able to check out fifty things from a library at one time. Fifty!
– Perspective: yeah, this winter has been hard. But life circumstances for people experiencing winter across history … not even close.
– Extended writing time with others. Shared experience, shared purpose.
– The amount of good you can get done in a span of five minutes.
– Fried fish sandwiches.

8 Friday
– Morning naps.
– Reading in bed.
– Free time with plenty to do.

7 Thursday
– People who make you laugh.
– Getting things in order before you take a break.
– Showing up.
– Showing up early.
– Finding a new comedy club.
– Chocolate stout beer.

6 Wednesday
– Carbs. It’s not a dirty word. It’s not an illicit action to eat them. There’s a reason to eat them, even beyond the need to occasionally find comfort. You don’t believe all the hype. There is almost never only one way.
– Feeling ready to speak your mind to the world.
– Preparing to see a friend.

5 Tuesday
– Doing what you need to even when the world puts up road blocks.
– Not trying to rely on those who aren’t reliable.
– Knowing you made a wave and being OK with that.
– Signs that a seasonal corner has been turned: temps are heading in the right direction, the sun is out longer, melting will soon occur.
– Kind front-line vet staffers. There is a special place in heaven.

4 Monday
Starting a new workout program. And it’s all on you.

3 Sunday
Finding new ways to self-start, self-motivate.

2 Saturday
– Helping out a sick colleague.
– Helping out kind, elderly women.
– Being mostly alone for a few hours at work.
– Scratching all the items off your to-do list (redux).

1 Friday
When the official piece of paper arrives in the mail, saying you earned the prize.

February 2019

28 Thursday
– Learning something about trees.
– Getting all snow off the roof.
– The end of a challenging month.

27 Wednesday
– Getting to work safely. Because you couldn’t say you’re grateful you got to work on time. Not when the highway is a parking lot like that.
– Getting to spend your days fumbling with words.
– Anniversaries.
– Bosses who praise you.
– Working at a place where people share of themselves.

26 Tuesday
Facing a fear. Then finding out the fear was for naught. Is there a greater source of energy to be found in all of the universe?

25 Monday
Extra writing time in the morning.

24 Sunday
– Digging into a good book.
– The Sunday breakfast burrito. A new tradition.
– The Sunday newspaper. An old tradition.
– When your mechanic calls on you on a Sunday to tell you he can get the job done sooner. I mean, seriously.
– Cauliflower.

23 Saturday
– Jimmy Shubert.
– Seeing a new stand-up for the first time that you would see for a second.
– Showing up to the group outing. Leaving at the right time for you.
– Soaking up the night on the way home from a show.
– Stopping by the coffee shop just to see who is playing tonight.

22 Friday
– Laying low.
– Ankle weights.
– An orderly room.
– Extra time with your best friend.

21 Thursday
– Speaking up.
– Realizing that no one else knows it all, either.
– Ron, your mechanic. What a fantastic fellow.

20 Wednesday
– The chance to teach.
– Getting the snow moved. Again.
– The storytelling powers of Tracy Kidder.

19 Tuesday
Look how fast February is flying by! Doesn’t seem like it now but it will be spring before you know it, buddy.

18 Monday
– Small meals.
– Arriving early.
– Humidifiers.
– Hot tots.
– Tartar sauce.

17 Sunday
– Getting lost so that you can find yourself.
– The myriad ways at your disposal to readily learn. Reading a printed book still being among the best of these.

16 Saturday
– Librarians and library aids. So sweet. So helpful. One in particular today.
– Weather warm enough to walk in. Finally.

15 Friday
– Pizza Night.
– Parkway Pizza.
– The hour you take eating pizza, reviewing the calendar, scribbling notes, so as to move from weekday mode into weekend chill — from structured requirements to unstructured enjoyments.

14 Thursday
– Chocolate fountains.
– Graham crackers.
– Fun days at work.
– Love.

13 Wednesday
Squirrels that run into the road and up the snowbanks, around bushes, down trees, stopping their play only long enough to look at you as you drive by.

12 Tuesday
– The light rail.
– Moments when you connect and share and suddenly experience an attitude change. So much can happen with one touch of the thread.

10 Sunday
– The self-healing power of a body.
– The self-cleaning power of an oven.
– Having enough cash at the register to keep the card in the wallet.
– Compound interest.

9 Saturday
– Michael Moore movies.
– Getting up and shutting ‘er down: we give up, Mother Nature. You can have your snowbanks and icy-covered sidewalks today. We’re staying right here.
– A young woman named Hazel who inexplicably recalls your dog’s name weeks after meeting him, and immediately gives him some love.
– Knowing that when you are out in the world your dog makes so many people smile.
– A thoughtful article about a subject you really don’t usually have much desire to spend time reading about, cannabis, and, really, it’s more about our values than anything else.

8 Friday
A rare quiet day at work. And just when you need it. You are cold and worn out: the polar vortex is gonna getcha, getcha, getcha.

7 Thursday
– The positive results you can get from good old-fashioned toe-touchers.
– Just feeling like a million bucks all day … that is, until you slip and fall on the ice at late in the evening. Nothing is perfect.

5 Tuesday
– People who do good journalism.
– People who plow snow.
– People who take care of dogs.

3 Sunday
Turkey meatball sandwiches on grilled, buttered brioche.

2 Saturday
When the words just come out easy.

1 Friday
– Being trusted with a sensitive assignment.
– Knowing when you need a break.
– Making memories new again.
– Having a smart gut.

January 2019

31 Thursday
– When it’s a thousand degrees below zero and you pull up to your gym at 5:04 a.m. and not only is the place open, the same faces are there.
– Au revoir, January.

30 Wednesday
– Positive feedback.
– Negative feedback.
– Feedback from a person you trust.
– Feedback you give yourself in the day after the usual kind.

29 Tuesday
– A warm place for your little buddy to be during an otherworldly cold day.
– The experience of once-in-a-generation cold temperatures.
– Knowing that cold is going away soon.

28 Monday
– Koalas.
– People who care about koalas.
– People trying to save the planet.

27 Sunday
– A few bites of blueberry and almond French toast.
– A day to just be. A day to read and write and think and sleep and eat and honor that way you best connect with the world.

26 Saturday
– Driving by people in the ditch thankful it is not you.
– Long drives on behalf of your little buddy.
– The clarity that comes when you do not eat food.
– Heat that isn’t yet in the room but soon will be.

25 Friday
– The perfect sized pizza for you.
– Finding a new pizza place that you actually like. Strange but true that in recent years this has not been easy to do.
– Early evening naps, late evening productivity.
– Paying bills. It really does feel good — not just to check off an item on the to-do list but to meet your obligations. Better, really, than not even having those obligations.
– Reading time.
– Writing sarcastic comments to a book’s author in the page margins.

24 Thursday
– Baked potatoes for breakfast.
– Baked potatoes with extra sea salt.
– Baked potatoes dipped in steak juice.

23 Wednesday
Knowing your dog really likes someone in particular that he gets to spend time with today.

22 Tuesday
When the fog of stress is lifted and you are interested in almost everything all at once.

21 Monday
– The energy that follows self-expression.
– Evening naps. It’s a thing.
– Speeches that move you decades after they were delivered.

20 Sunday
– A rare day in which you scrap your plans and just get a whole lot of rest.
– Woodward.
– Bernstein.
– Cold days.
– The body repelling something it doesn’t need.
– The mind resisting something that doesn’t serve.
– Sebastian Maniscalco clips on YouTube. Instant laughs when you needed them.
– Baked lemon-pepper chicken.

19 Saturday
– The black dog.
– A clean dog.
– Writing practice.

18 Friday
– Homemade hamburger buns. Such an under-rated item.
– Nice eyes. Eyes you can talk to.

17 Thursday
Having a rich imagination. It can sometimes get you in trouble, no doubt. But oh the places you can go!

16 Wednesday
– A place you can trust.
– The freedom to go.
– Speaking out loud.
– Not trying too hard.
– Not thinking so much.
– Learning a new way to make a baked potato.

15 Tuesday
– Reading the New York Times — a print copy, that is.
– Getting through a stressful day and ending it with laughter.
– It’s so warm.

14 Monday
– Comfortable evening strolls in the middle of January.
– Finding a reason to make a friend laugh.
– Waking up and feeling lighter than you were when you went to fell asleep.
– The compound effect of daily reps.
– Sweet potatoes cooked so long they melt in your mouth.

13 Sunday
– Returns. They are always happy. Except when you have the wrong receipt. But in the end, it is almost always good to have less of whatever came from a store.
– The Riverview Theater.
– Turkey meatballs.

12 Saturday
– A whole day of articulating yourself with written words.
– Working with someone to solve a problem when the person could easily be upset or impatient but is neither and then, finally, after days of trying, you reach resolution for this person and you convey that resolution with complete confidence and from that small place in you in that is complete kindness. It’s one of those exceedingly rare moments in this life when it truly is all good.
– Alpha waves.

11 Friday
– Small moments of human connection. Oh gosh, it’s so big for you.
– Realizing that without vulnerability those small moments don’t happen.

10 Thursday
– Working the legs hard. Seeing it payoff. Feeling it. In your thighs, in your butt. The legs feed the wolf, as the great Herb Brooks used to say. Indeed.
– An impromptu date night with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. You bring the fish-and-chips and Bailey’s (just a small sip for you). She brings the funny. Perfect.

9 Wednesday
– Active recovery day.
– The great good that can come just by using some resistance bands for fifteen minutes.
– Great big salads with cabbage crunch and yummy, not-awful-for-you dressing. At least once a day, for sure.
– Tired dog, tired you, home and warm in the evening and snuggled close. Exhale.

8 Tuesday
The regularity of a predictable schedule.

7 Monday
Being excited to run into someone.

6 Sunday
– What happens when you focus on the most important things at the start of the day.
– Red squirrels.
– Live sports.
– Meal prep.
– Your sigh after you return home after being gone for a few hours.
– A few small bites of French toast with maple syrup glazed on. Just a few.

5 Saturday
– Being in a room full of writers.
– New connections over coffee.
– The energy unleashed when you don’t eat for 18 hours.
– A clean home.
– Sidewalks you can walk on again. Though ice should not be melting in Minnesota in January.
– Forty degrees never felt so good.
– Crock-pot chicken.

4 Friday
– The way one small conversation can brighten your day.
– Car rides with your little buddy. He’s still always so excited to go.
– Don’t tell anyone but 494 is not as crazy-busy in the mornings as it used to be.

3 Thursday
– That your mother was born.
– Reaching the end of this day. So busy at work. Been a long week. Truly a hump day. Pass the carbs.
– Black squirrels.

2 Wednesday
– Spending most of your day manipulating words.
– Seeing pictures on your break during work that make you happy.
– Crashing on the couch after dinner.
– Bran flakes mixed in honey yogurt. It’s a thing — you didn’t you know?

1 Tuesday
– Holiday pay.
– Gyms that are open on new year’s day.
– Having extra time in the morning.
– An easy start to the year.
– Waking up without a hangover.
– Being ready for what is to come.

December 2018

31 Monday
The safety and comfort of home, especially when you have extra snacks.

30 Sunday
– The sound of a tank filling with water.
– The love in dogs’ hearts.
– Being unexpectedly immersed in something on a Sunday morning.
– Sparkly snow.

29 Saturday
– The man at the hardware store you knew would know.
– Who knew new sink strainers could make you so happy?

28 Friday
– Having a good, fair, kind, affordable mechanic in your life.
– Finding the faucet you ordered sitting on the front step.

27 Thursday
– New tires.
– Figuring out a way to save two hundred bucks on tires.
– Easier commutes than you expect on a sleety weekday.
– Managers who take time to talk to their employees.

26 Wednesday
– Noticing that you make difficult decisions faster than you used to.
– Back to work and it feels like you’ve been gone for well more than the five days you had off. Ahh-umm.
– The short week has a long week’s worth of stuff left to do in it. But OK. You’ll plow through.
– Broccoli slaw. With a little extra dressing. Yeah, you use dressing.
– Long walk. In the evening. Not too cold. New area of the neighborhood. Done minutes before the snow flies.
– The way your hands feel stroking your dog’s fur at the end of the day.

25 Tuesday
– Gyms that are open on Christmas.
– Finding the new weight belt you bought three days after you left it near the rack. Merry Christmas to you!
– Quiet Christmas mornings.
– New coffee to try in your French press. Mmm.
– Doing a hundred back-squats with your body weight on your back and feeling fine.
– The resources at your disposal to learn things.
– The anticipation of what is supposed to be a good movie.
– A crowded theater but spots open in the middle.

24 Monday
– Epigenetic researchers.
– Losing 2.4 pounds (this week).
– Losing twenty pounds (seven-plus months).
– Lasagna-smothered bread.
– Unexpected candid conversations.
– Sunny afternoons made for walking.
– Christmas Eve night.
– All the good that happens in your body when you don’t eat for sixteen or eighteen hours.

23 Sunday
– Thin layers of snow.
– Hot ginger tea.
– Coffee shop writing time.
Charlie Brown Christmas music.
– Live jazz. Even if you can’t see the musicians.

22 Saturday
– Cleaning floors. Even in the corners where all that dust and lint and gunk collects.
– Being ready for Christmas.
– Learning about car tires.
– Taking walks in the winter evening, seeing the lights, not in a hurry to get home, it’s so comfortable out!
– Sipping Bailey’s Irish cream.

21 Friday
– Churches that do Winter Solstice services, which, let’s face it, is the reason for the season.
– Being in a night-dark sanctuary with a thousand other people who also hold lit candles.
– Visiting a new (to you) grocery store, one that is manageable in size and staffed by faces and you meet with easy smiles.
– Paying a big bill. Two of them, actually.
– Solving a financial dilemma that has been hanging over your head for weeks.
– Using your rage with calm. She didn’t mean to break your glasses and, look, here is a solution you can live with, one that may actually be better than had the break not occurred in the first place.
– Naps.

18 Tuesday
– Black birds.
– Visits to the vet.
– Watching your dog run in the snow.
– Buying books.
– Peanut butter chocolate smoothies.
– Rabies vaccines.
– Money dilemmas. It is the paradigm. In the challenge is where you find the reward.

17 Monday

16 Sunday
How little it takes to change your mood in a positive way.

15 Saturday
– Sleeping rock-solid after a long, long week.
– Dreams about running as you do, strong and true, with an occasional corner cut.
– The power of gratitude journals.
– Squirrels that talk to you. Literally. You can hear that one squawking from across the street.
– The steam that rises from the side of a house when the furnace is on.
– Being in an architectually favorable neighborhood. Seriously, if you could measure a person’s health, well-being, and life satisfaction in aesthetically poor and then again in aesthetically pleasing settings I think the difference between the two scores would pretty much freak us all out.
– Time to think at work.
– Finding a new dog park. New to you. anyway.
– The curry chopped salad at Trader Joe’s.
– Clerks who ask what you are up to and care about your answer.

14 Friday
– Soft blankets.
– Trash day.
– Corn chips with lime. You could eat guacamole all night.
– The park at night. You can’t believe how many people you encounter still in this weather.
– Being close to a body of water.
– Art, even if it’s a television show, that moves you a little.

13 Thursday
– Thursday. Thursdays are good days. Over the hump, stuff to do, yeah, but weekend ahead.
– Having taken a few small steps forward on Wednesday night so that you wake up a little lighter than you othrwise would on Thursday morning.
– Having the bed made before 5 a.m.
– Another day, another rabbit greets you.
– Possibly finding a good place for a Winter Solstice service.
– Unexpected free time.
– Late long walks late on a warm winter evening.

12 Wednesday

– Rabbits that strike a pose in the early hours. You see them as you return from the gym, as you walk about in the morning dark with your dog. Every day this week they are there.
– Being in a position to teach someone.
– Being asked to take on more.
– Long winter walks, up and down the block, taking in the holiday lights, closing out the day.

11 Tuesday
– Seeing pictures of your dog in the middle of the work day.
– Finding additional love for your dog to break up the work day.
– The Brandenburg Concertos.
– Free spaghetti. With meatballs!

9 Sunday
– Running into a familiar face you have not seen in fifteen years.
– Two hours of work on Sundays are worth at least four on every other day.
– Small pottery galleries open on Sundays.
– People who walk right up expressly so they can pet your puppy.

8 Saturday
Great tacos. Good conversation.

7 Friday
– A dog with a hop in his step.
– People who walk their dogs even when they would rather be inside and warm on the couch.

6 Thursday
Tall, wide trees with several squirrel dreys spread about the top half of the branches.

1 Saturday
– Neighbors who ask for your number. Just to be neighborly.
– Neighbors who tell you what you should not do. Just to be honest.
– Big flakes of snow.
– Learning how to do a real bicep curl. After all this time.
– Writing for its own sake.
– The Mississippi River.
– The fact that November is no longer. With the flip of a calendar a conflict is finally over.
– Not having to go anywhere.

November 2018

30 Friday
– Late breakfast, cheesy eggs and quesadilla.
– Receiving positive feedback.
– Giving a warm welcome.
– Getting an unexpected break in the middle of the day.
– Getting ahead.
– Long walks well after dark.
– The glow of night lights on street corners.
– Movie houses.
– Big sweet potatoes you dip in butter.
– New treats for happy hips that the little buddy loves.

9 Friday
– The writing saves you. And it always can.
– Finishing a chapter. Few things better. Or more energizing.

8 Thursday
– People who provide friendly, necessary services at a reasonable price.
– Putting new breaks on the old car. Ready for winter. Well, almost.

7 Wednesday
– People who provide friendly, necessary services at a reasonable price.
– Filling in holes in your new home. Ready for winter. Well, almost.

6 Tuesday
– The calm and peace of a polling place. Everyone who works there is friendly. Everyone who stands before or after you in line is patient. We are all engaged in the same practice for similar reasons even if we choose different candidates. No ads. No placards. No shouting. No horn-tooting. As so little of life is spent this way you don’t even mind having to register first. OK, take your time, you say, whatever you need, no rush, this is good, you’re good, I am here, we are all here, something, at least, is right.
– Walking in the rain. So what if it means the little buddy’s going to need a bath.

5 Monday
– A short chat in the morning with one of those people who seem to be born to do what they do.
– People who really listen to you.
– Initiating conversations. Following the kismet of the encounter.
– The body: the world’s best lie detector.
– Hemp protein. Who knew it was so good for the skin?
– Discounted sardines.
– Hours at home in the evening, lowering the pile of mail, cleaning the floors, lowering the pile of stress, cleaning the disorder in your mind.

4 Sunday
– Pull-ups. The single best metaphorical exercise of them all.
– Working on a Sunday. Every hour counts as two.
– Raking wet leaves in the dark. On one hand, what a moron. On the other, look, you are almost done.
– Hacking down perennials.
– A short encounter at night with one of those people who help you understand your ignorance really isn’t so strange. You are maybe a little less of a moron about the land than you thought.
– A place to fail. A place to learn. Your laboratory. Increased responsibility.
– Falling asleep in seconds because you are just … so … tired.
– Listening to Seth Godin describe the clarity he has found about how to spend his days.

3 Saturday
– The power of daily progress.
– Getting to know a piece of land.
– Trying a new way to workout.
– Rocking the rowing machine.
– Coffee with a new friend.

2 Friday
Having a place to go to untangle the mess that so often is your mind.

1 Thursday
Being so immersed in the day you don’t even realize it’s your birthday.

October 2018

31 Wednesday
Neighborhoods that really do Halloween.

27 Saturday
Ducking into an old movie theater late at night and watching the original Halloween on the big screen.

20 Saturday
Sitting on your front step after a long and stressful day. A moment to see where you are. A moment to check-in with that part of you that can get muted in the shuffle and clash of the day. See what you should do about a conflict. Actually, you were there for this one. That was you. Nice work. Now you have a thousand and one things to do. But for a moment take this in. You have done something big. You are doing something important. No one else may see it that way; that’s OK. This is not for anyone else. It is important, it is big, for you. See those gold and orange-brown leaves on the grass as you rest with bent knees. Feel the sun on your nose. Listen. You are home. What a perch. Forty-five years to go four feet up. Yeah. You breathe.

19 Friday
Doing something you didn’t think was possible — something, frankly, you had written off years ago even attempting.

12 Friday
A meeting that goes better than you expected, producing the sensation that a goal you thought would be completed in 2016 might actually, finally, happen yet this year. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Oh the motivation of that light.

7 Sunday
The transition from one season to another: a bottleneck through which your body must pass. Temperature, light, energy — all these are different, shifting, lessening, and your systems do not adjust as quickly as they used to. OK. OK. OK.

6 Saturday
– An extra nap just because you need it.
– Talking a long walk in the afternoon.
– Running with your little buddy.
– Yelling while running.
– Watching him dash about an open pitch of green, green grass. Go buddy go.
– Checking the scores from around the league.

5 Friday
– Being complimented while taking someone’s complaint.
– Making the call you need to make but don’t want to.
– Staying late to help someone.
– Talking with total confidence about a subject that is, let’s face it, hard for people who don’t do it for a living to understand.
– A takeout bacon cheeseburger and fries just because that’s what you’re feeling to finish the week.

4 Thursday
Getting your flu shot this year. We’ll see if it works!

3 Wednesday
– Opening night of the hockey season.
– Leafs vs. Canadiens.
– Original Six teams.
– Cool sweaters.
– The way Auston Matthews toe-releases the puck on a shot from the slot. Goal!
– The last gasp of summer — a storm that sits over the horizon, just beyond the houses across the street, Mother Nature’s pouty face.

2 October
– Your brother’s birth.
– Honest first conversations.
– Room to be better at this.
– One good idea.
– The sound of wood creaking beneath your feet as you walk across the room.
– Wind that brings a new season, and shakes leaves from the trees.

1 Monday

A big day in a lot of ways and yet you just show up, take a few deep breaths, and by the end of it, your fears once again proved to overshoot their perceived threats. And besides, free bagels!

September 2018

30 Sunday
– Taking your time.
– Being willing to scrap parts of the plan.
– Weakness. It’s there. Don’t fight it.
– Insights that come when you confront the beast inside.
– Fall afternoons with wind and leaves and squirrels scurrying.
– Birds that fly so high overhead that they can and do glide for minutes at a time, just glide, glide, high up in the sky.
– Good food. No crap today. You need a day of solid choices. You give that to yourself.

29 Saturday
– The potency of dreams.
– The power of self-honesty.
– The solidity of preparation.
– Brisk mornings.

28 Friday
People who help you as though your concern were theirs.

27 Thursday
Broken bits of tree meat in the form of fruit and shells splattered on the sidewalk, presumably the debris from a squirrel party, that you step on and over on the evening walk home.

26 Wednesday
Wearing short sleeves on a chilly day, defying the Mother Nature as long as you can, you rebel you.

25 Tuesday
Really good, organically grown chicken thighs, baked with butter, falling off the bone.

24 Monday
Powering through a draft you have written before, and more than once, arranging the pieces, trimming nearly all the fat, but only nearly all, you’ve got to leave a bit — got to.

23 Sunday
Football games that allow time for naps.

22 Saturday
Being so immersed in a project that you let other things go, including the dishes.

20 Thursday
– An important conference.
– A way forward.
– You got this. You can do this. You will.
– The way your body reacts to an unblocked emotional barrier: muscles can be happy, you know — legs and arms and the way you speak without fear and with much humor you wonder why you would ever not face something you need to. The biggest high, way better than chemicals can produce.

19 Wednesday
High-rep squat day.

16 Sunday
Waking up and getting into the day, without delay, even if slowly.

15 Saturday
– Getting little things done in the small spaces of time.
– That it’s still warm enough to wear a T-shirt for your little buddy’s early morning pee.
– Realizing how great an upset it is for you to be this close to achieving a goal.
– Time spent studying.
– A friendly, patient, young face at the restaurant counter. You don’t see those every day.
– How quickly you can unblock energies that hold you back.
– How important it is to have someone who can help you unblock energies that hold you back.
– That your parents got together all those years ago.

14 Friday
– Hearing from a former employee who is now in law school.
– Facing your fears at work: relearning an old skill and putting it to practice.
– Shining the spotlight on a colleague and not trying to stand at all in the glare.
– When your mind keeps working out a problem, coolly and (somewhat) calmly, even when you told it it could rest for awhile.

13 Thursday
An hour and a quarter of one-on-one education from a good teacher.

12 Wednesday
– Serving as someone’s reference.
– Finding a customer service person who gives you her direct dial. Then calls you right back when you use it.
– Paying obligations back before you have to.
– Finding out those obligations might not be as sizable as you thought.

11 Tuesday
– Hearing from a former employee who is now a writer.
– Writing and working out in the same morning.

10 Monday
When you are looking for a designer and then suddenly you have a conversation with one who just might be available.

9 Sunday
Evening walks that you don’t want to end because the weather just might be impossible to improve upon.

8 Saturday
– When your intuition saves you seventy-four bucks.
– A guy named Ferris.
– Bringing your little buddy to a special place for the first time.
– A woman named Kim.
– Meeting members of your tribe.
– A guy named Dylan.
– When you can rep out 365-pound DLs.
– A woman named Veda.

7 Friday
Good news. On top of other news that has the potential to be good, too.

6 Thursday
– A woman who rescues squirrels.
– A dream that shows you the way home.
– A person who cares enough to get frustrated by you.
– People who care about pigs.

5 Wednesday
– Getting back in the game.
– Chickens everywhere around the world.

4 Tuesday
Going back to school. Figuratively at least.

3 Monday
– When the words that were so hard to find the night before appear, like that, the next morning.
– When you’re a little intense, and you show it, but that’s OK!
– Knowing it will happen now. Or later. You can’t control the when. But it will come. The wheels are already turning!
– Driving down the highway when Madonna’s “Rain” comes on the radio as raindrop appear on the windshield.
– The men and women who brought us the weekend.
– Egg bagel sandwiches.

2 Sunday

… it worked. Oh yeah.

1 Saturday
Sometimes, frankly, it sucks to be one who perceives the world through feel and emotion. The head always comes in. And it must, of course, but here there is a distinction that very probably won’t be articulated just now in a way that the reader will understand, but the intention is there for that. The mind can join the flow or it can interrupt it. Sometimes, interruption is good. Needed. Of course. Yet the mind can also be a task-master that serves only to block you from the path that is before you. This is when we should all over ourselves. Or, in the case of some (ding-ding, winner right here), when the mind presents challenges upon challenges; it’s about all the mind sees. It’ll stop you in your tracks, by golly. Yet the world wants exactly what this mind conjures — logical explanations for actions. You must access them or what else would you say during conversations? Except if you process in these other modes you either have to honor that or you’ll die. Today I am grateful that in a key moment I listened, listened, listened to my feelings, that I regarded my emotions, and that applied my mind in the service of both. Scary as hell. But …

August 2018

31 Friday
– New spaces.
– Clean slates.
– Friendly faces.
– Familiar words.
– Letting go.
– Saying so.
– Coming home.

30 Thursday
– Deadlifts: they make you feel like a million bucks.
– Colleagues who bring treats into work just for you.
– Chocolate-chip ice cream.

28 Tuesday
Yoga release.

27 Monday
– Pumping iron while listening to the 1812 Overture.
– Finding your way back to that project that is calling you.
– Getting outside once more before the storm comes.
– Good news: you passed the test.
– Checking off all the errands on your list.
– The singularity of purpose your little buddy has when a fly has the audacity to zip around the room.

26 Sunday
– The dog who still chases squirrels even after all these years.
– The man who approaches during your morning walk and says matter-of-factly: we’re supposed to get some storms this afternoon.
– Milk shakes in the morning.
– Getting lost. So you can find yourself again.
– Exploring possibilities in new places.
– Encounters with the dark side.
– Meeting a kind elderly woman who does not rush off when you ask your questions.

25 Saturday
Earning another certification. These things, you start to find, give you something beyond the practical. You spend your time on the minor matters, as sometimes you must, as sometimes you wish, and it’s also good to have big, bad, beautiful goals. Why, after all, call it a goal at all if reaching it wouldn’t change something significant in you or for you? But between the tasks of daily living and the wildest dreams there are still other higher and lesser order pursuits. When moved to gain a certifiable skill, especially one recognized as useful to you and can be applied by you for the sake of others, once earned, such skills occupy a place in the pillar of your psyche. They are like bricks cemented into the edifice. You are a little sturdier. A little harder to knock down.

24 Friday
– Being mistaken for an extrovert!
– What you learn about yourself from interactions with new people.
– Being a student of You U.

23 Thursday
The end of the tunnel.

22 Wednesday
– Not asking for permission.
– A chance to audition for a new part in the play.

20 Monday
– Rough drafts.
– Engagement with a problem. It’s way better than not having a problem at all.
– Looking good. Just because.
– Cereal.

19 Sunday
Writing day. It fuels the fire.

18 Saturday
– Gentle movement to start the day.
– Morning coffee with a kind, cool person who gets it.
– Realizing when it’s time to pay the bills you only have one on the stack.
– People who barbecue in the park.
– Time spent clarifying your goals.
– Being OK with not having goals in certain, common areas of life.
– Coconut, ginger chicken.

17 Friday

– Perfect evening when you can sit on a park bench and just let the breeze blow.
– Dreams that paint a tapestry.
– Stirrings of a waking dream.
– Ravenous hunger.
– Noodles.

16 Thursday
– Perfect evenings when you can sit on patio and eat your dinner.
– Banded reps at the gym. Morning and evening. Perfect for active recovery days.
– Having fun. Outside. While at work.
– The people who tend yummy, good-for-you smoothie bars.

14 Tuesday
– When you are the only one who shows for the early a.m. class.
– One-on-one yoga.
– An invitation.
– An engagement with a problem.
– Dogs.

13 Monday
– Addressing a situation head-on.
– Keeping your cool.
– Reading the winds of change. Even if you don’t know where they are taking you.
– The chance to learn nearly every free moment.
– Making better use of those chances.
– Warmth.

12 Sunday
– Friends who drag you out when you planned to stay in on a Saturday night.
– Having nearly the entire gym to yourself on a Sunday afternoon.
– Squat day. Getting all your reps. Heavy ones, too.
– Signs of progress: you are getting stronger. You are feeling stronger.
– Showing up at the last hours of a fair.
– Goats.

11 Saturday
– Steve Martin.
– Martin Short.
– Glorious summer nights.
– The gift of laughter.
– Having your expectations exceeded.
– A new way to listen to music.
– The voice inside.
– The wisdom of the body.
– Trashing reminders of things that make you sad.
– Cleaning up your place.
– The first scoop of dirty hash browns.

10 Friday
– The way the psyche doesn’t let you escape from that which you must face. Not even when you are sleeping.
– A healed shoulder. My gosh when was the last time it hurt?
– Working alone. In the dark. For hours. Before anyone else arrives.
– Thick peanut butter-chocolate power smoothies.

9 Thursday
– A tired, sun-soaked dog at the end of the day.
– Finding a new way to train on off-days. That sounds like an oxymoron. It’s not.
– Steak. Second time this week. Just because.
– Branflakes. Good going down. And out!

8 Wednesday
People who help lost dogs.

7 Tuesday
– Dreams you can sink your teeth into.
– Someone who can help with that.
– Having fun at work.
– Being outside in the middle of a perfectly comfortable afternoon.
– Peanut butter cookies dipped in chocolate.

6 Monday
This moment. This August night. The fan blows in the corner of the room. Fall is coming but it is not here yet. We’ve got some time, boy. The signs are there for us. We see them. We do not deny them. We do not fight them. But we do not allow them more power than they should have, yet. We’ve got this moment. And this. I want to hold onto it. Hold it and not let go. But I know the moment I grasp is the moment it will slip away. Quicksilver night, boy. We know those. A drying towel, slung over the closet door, flaps from the wind of the fan. The paper I use to write these words waves, too. The hum of the fan. I’m sorry for every instance I didn’t allow myself to enjoy time spent with you. And so grateful for the those moments I carry with me everywhere I go. The fan blows. Blows. Blows. Good night. Good night.

5 Sunday
– Lifting as long as you want. Extra pull-ups anyone?
– Food co-ops. Especially ones with fantastic hot bars.
– Chocolate milk on Sunday afternoons.
– The moment you have a solid draft of a written work you absolutely need to finish. Nothing like that feeling.
– Eight minutes of mobility. It really doesn’t take that much.
– Only getting lost (mentally) for an hour. Used to take you all day.
– Goats.
– The promise of a fun a night.
– Cheesy hash browns.

4 Saturday
– Going into the clinic at an odd hour and still finding your favorite receptionist at the ready. Some people smile at you in the very right way. What a gift.
– Writing at the coffee shop and in the rain.
– Thick squirrels running happy from tree to bush. Fall is coming.
– Chocolate shakes on Saturday afternoons.
– Small dogs that wag their tails at you from the other side of a window.
– Planning. You’re not good at it. But you like it.
– This moment.
– Second winds.
– Paying the bills. Really.

3 Friday
– The sense the universe just opened up and is about to let you slip into something good.
– Working fast and heavy.
– Storm clouds you can see from miles away.
– Finding a great new (to you) lunch spot.
– Honey yogurt from Trader Joe’s. Take the spoon away. Right. Now.

2 Thursday
Learning anew the unseen influence unleashed in the world by spoken truths. Used to be you thought you had to wait until you got it just right. But no. You’ll always be wrong. Let’s repeat that: You. Will. Always. Be. Wrong. And yet it is the attempt at honest truth that carries forward. Intention means so much in expression.

1 Wednesday

July 2018

31 Tuesday

30 Monday
The mixed bag that is life.

29 Sunday
– Your fingers.
– Your toes.
– Looking in a mirror and liking the guy looking back at you.
– The breath.
– Sweat.
– Moments when you’re aware of the important things.
– Frustration. Anger. The realization of where you are. And everything else that proceeds and produces such moments.

28 Saturday
At an old haunt, the little buddy jaunts down the hillside. Free. So happy. He is so happy to be back here. Back in this place of many easy walks, good sniffing, wide air, and long views, on gorgeous afternoons like this one in which a cloud-dotted cyan sky holds us and tall grasses wave us home.

26 Thursday
Half-hour walks that go by in a flash because you are with one of your people and time slips away when you are with one of your people and it just feels so dang good.

25 Wednesday
When you are outside the very moment the weather shifts. Warmth gives way to cool. The wind — suddenly there is wind. Dark clouds swirl on the horizon. Faint, faint raindrops dab your arms.

24 Tuesday
– Days that go by in a blur.
– Writing time. You could name this one every day. And hopefully you always will (in your mind at least).
– Laughing with a colleague. It just takes a minute to turn the day around.
– Clarity about a tough decision.
– Acceptance.
– Yoga mornings.
– Steak nights.

23 Monday
– Doing your best. And keeping on. Even when you’re not great at the task at hand.
– Moments of inspiration.
– Friendly smiles.
– Good news at the doctor’s office.
– Hunks of raw cheese.

22 Sunday
– Increased awareness.
– Gorgeous afternoons.
– A coffee shop with stellar dog treats.
– The realization that life blows a wind of immutable suffering. But you’re (usually) standing pretty fucking tall against it. And (usually) face-first.
– Weighted pull-ups.

21 Saturday
– Walking into a full diner and finding there’s one booth open in the back and, yes, yes, we’ll take it, that’s perfect, thank you.
– A long-overdue breakfast with a buddy.
– There are certain people that, when you talk to them, you instantly access the best version of yourself — you’re out there and vulnerable and goofy and thoughtful and funny. What a gift.
– Mushroom omelets.

20 Friday
The power of a few words between like minds. Like that: changes your day!

19 Thursday
– Taking time to see someone who helps you so much.
– The power of acceptance.
– The checkout girl you could talk to all day and never stop smiling.
– Steaks on sale.

18 Wednesday
– Bananas and peanut butter.
– Apples and peanut butter.
– Celery and peanut butter.
– Blueberries and … yogurt. (The PB should work — just doesn’t. It’s like PB&J without the bread.)

17 Tuesday
– Walking work break.
– Summer mornings made for walk: bright and clear and cool enough to feel comfortable every step.

15 Sunday
– A full fridge and the next day’s meals prepared.
– Meeting your good friend’s girlfriend.
– Seeing him so happy.
– Shoulder shrugs.

14 Saturday
– Creating a new food plan.
– Blue skies.
– Human Edward Hopper paintings.
– The lovely young woman in the lacy sheer sleeves sitting at a stoplight on Cedar Avenue this morning who kept looking over her shoulder to check on the boy strapped in the backseat carseat before she turned back to grab the wheel and weep, a small dream catcher hanging from her rear-view mirror, the tears sliding toward striking back hair.
– Talking for several minutes before realizing that, holy shit, you’re out there. You’re out there and loving every minute of it.
– Little Oscar’s.
– Baked potatoes.

13 Friday
– The miracle effect of resistance bands.
– Delivering to someone the life-changing news they hoped to hear.
– Following your gut. Even when it means swimming against the tide.

12 Thursday
– Making it to yoga for the third time in five days.
– Mini pizzas.
– Learning that your baby bunny died this morning.

11 Wednesday
– Clearing hurdles.
– Lifting heavy weights into the night.

10 Tuesday
– Yoga teachers who give provocative readings at the end of class.
– Rescuing a baby bunny from the curb on which you park.
– A woman who helps you with the little one even though she barely knows you and has never seen the creature in person.
– People who work at wildlife refuges.

9 Monday
– Taking care of yourself. All day long.
– Getting a little help along the way.
– Sweet potatoes.

8 Sunday
– Recovery day.
– Leftover fajita scrambled eggs. It’s a thing.
– Deep breath: there is always more to do, always more work, always a way of getting better. You can say more, you can say better, less, and so it is that this is your life and there is so much that is good but challenges are always right there, they spring up, before you in instant. You aren’t always ready. You can’t plan it all. You fight and you resist. But in your moments you accept and you see. This is life, not a journey, not some metaphor that sounds good between asanas, and certainly not while trying to apply an easy solution to a complex fucking befuddlement. It ain’t easy. No. But that’s why it’s good. That is why it’s good. That is why the best rewards are the ones that also sneak up on you. Whoa. Did I really do that? Say that? Be … that? Witness that? The paradox — hold it. Not one end or the other. Both. The end that sees how much you’ve grown and the end that sees another chance right here, right now, good God, oh yes, you innocent, you freak, you fantastic strong fucking man.

7 Saturday
– Deadlift jacks. What a back savor.
– Looking in the mirror and liking what you feel.
– Zipping home on a summer night. Home so soon?
– Good questions.
– The joy and angst that comes with new connections.

6 Friday
Writing from the first breaths and into the afternoon.

5 Thursday
– Lifting heavy in the morning. Yoga-ing hot in the evening.
– Finding new ways to express yourself.
– Shedding. Discarding. Even taking the garbage out … lighter, you are getting lighter.
– Feeding the brave beast inside.
– Dialogue about something that has been written and shared.
– Hard-boiled eggs.

4 Wednesday
– Thomas Paine.
– Thomas Jefferson.
– The Flag.
– Mid-day dreams.
– Fresh strawberries.

3 Tuesday
– Facing important things.
– Facing important things with one who takes you places you could never have gone on your own.
– When the stoplights all turn for you when you’re on a tight schedule and can’t be late.
– Chicken and potatoes.
– Choosing the right words to make a friend laugh so hard.

2 Monday
– New shoes.
– New remedies.
– New insights.
– Old books.

1 Sunday
– Canada
– Justin Trudeau.
– Maple syrup.
– Standing on guard for thee.
– Pressing weights to the ceiling before grabbing coffee with a buddy.
– Time to just be.
– Ice baths.

June 2018

30 Saturday
– Showing up for appetizers and staying for a long dinner.
– Chicken that falls off the bone.
– Being served the garlic mashed potatoes by mistake.
– Cheating with a few bites of garlic mashed potatoes. Oh gosh they were good.
– Walking out into a warm night.
– Being surprised by people. And, thankfully, this time in a good way.
– Distant, small-city radio stations you pick up during night-time drives with the windows rolled down.

29 Friday
– Losing two pounds — your goal — nothing more, nothing less.
– Laughing so hard at work you nearly spit out your shake.
– Showing for the party of familiar faces and finding a few new ones to talk to.

28 Thursday
Muddling through. Some days, that’s all you can do.

27 Wednesday

– Cows.
– Camels.
– Feeling comfortable.
– Good news you will soon deliver to someone else.

26 Tuesday
– An unexpected afternoon off.
– A story you’re so excited to tell that you nearly jump out of your skin right before you do.
– Writing your own permission slips.
– Authority.
– Room to breathe.
– Stocking up on good meat.
– A baby gopher on the side of the highway.

25 Monday
– Dreams that wake you up so they are noticed.
– Starting the week with heavy box-squats.
– Stumbling onto a new path.
– A new (to you) sport.
– Fresh goals, new possibilities.
– The bits you learn when you write your story.

24 Sunday
– Doing your own thing.
– Bringing all of you to the (coffee) table.
– Shocking someone.
– Feeling your physical body from the inside out.
– Realizing you have more work to do. But you got this.
– Anticipation.
– Taking forward steps. And being rather quick about it.
– Albino squirrels.
– Rabbits running.
– Cod.
Of Mice and Men.

23 Saturday
– Birthday parties.
– Finding a new place for care.
– Gin and fantastic tonic water. Really.
– Sharing good news. And being heard.
– Little girls who smear cake in their eyebrows.

22 Friday
– Greeting the day before a blazing orange sunrise.
– Really caring about what you do.
– A great Friday. A great last day of the week.
– Finding new sources of motivation. They flow like water from a fountain. You open your mouth and let the spray coat your tongue.
– Sitting on a park bench  as the sun sets over your shoulder.

21 Thursday
– Being the first one to work in the morning.
Rosalita: On the edge of out of control. Bold. Yet you can dance to it.
– Leaving work early at the end of the day.

20 Wednesday
– Driving fast with the windows in your hair, your buddy at your side, and Bruce turned up on the stereo.
– Finally connecting with a certain someone.
– Letting go at lunch and laughing all the way.

19 Tuesday
Good yoga teachers.

18 Monday
– Ten years of love.
– Trust during a storm.
– A smiling face that asks how you are and waits for the real answer.
– Rest when you need it most.
– Sit-ups.

16 Saturday
– Sweet people.
– Solid progress on a hard project.

15 Friday
– Finding out you are on a team that supports you and helps you.
– Facing fears. So hard! So much good comes!
– Sitting on the stoop with some buddies on a warm night, eating barbecue, drinking gin, shooting the shit.
– After all this time finally finding the language you need to calmly steer clear of situations that used suck you right in.
– Ribblets.

14 Thursday
– Warm showers.
– Sunny lunches.
– The opportunity mistakes provide.
– The clarity mistakes provide.
– The chance to slow down.
– The gift of fear.
– Hours of humility.
– Moments when you are forced to look at where you are and where you are going.

13 Wednesday
– Energy for change.
– What happens when you accept, accept, accept.
– Old dogs walked with their older masters on the side of the road as you pull into home to greet yours as one of those.

12 Tuesday
– Warm weather.
– Warm memories arising from unexpected encounters.
– Dreams that show you what is.
– The time you tried to save a squirrel.
– Chicken and brown rice.

11 Monday
– The compound interest that comes from daily reading.
– Getting caught up. If only for half of a day.
– Feeling strong.
– Resting easy.
– Letting the angst do what it’s going to do.
– Eggs.

10 Sunday
Realizing what you need and giving it to yourself.

9 Saturday
– Easy conversation.
– Steak salads.
– One painting that sticks.
– A ballgame that sucks you in.
– A friend to share it with.
– Belly dancers.

8 Friday
– Going out of your way for your dog. Knowing he is happy. Tired and happy.
– Friends who have impromptu gatherings — and invite you to them.

7 Thursday
Staying late so to get to that place where you have nothing else that really needs to be done.

6 Wednesday
– Lifting weights in the morning and then again in the evening.
– Steak dinner. Earned it.

5 Tuesday
– Black squirrels.
– Purple flowers.
– Making a funny in the staff meeting.

2 Saturday
– Doing your own thing at the gym and being part of the group at the same time.
– Every hour you work on a Saturday is worth two.
– Those people that just put you in a good and free mood — laughter just flows.
– Stepping on the scale and being pleasantly surprised.

1 Friday
Moments when you feel like you’re getting the hang of something that is hard for you.

May 2018

31 Thursday
– Long days
– Short hours.

30 Wednesday
– Green grass.
– Baby squirrels who run into the road and then go right back to the green grass.

29 Tuesday
– Dodging bullets.
– Dark clouds on the horizon.
– Thunderstorms.
– Rain.
– A big bowl of cabbage.
– A slim, new bracelet.
– Stealing extra cuddle time with your buddy early in the morning.
– What accumulates when you put your head down and do one thing at a time.
– Just saying it! It was funny after all!

28 Monday
– Nashville.
– Pedestrian bridges.
– Studio B.
– Vitamin C.
– The letter E.
– Your initial, T.
– Jammin’ hard.

27 Sunday
Being so happy you spontaneously laugh with no one else in the room.

26 Saturday
– Meeting an old friend for the first time.
– Frogger.
– Asteroids.
– BurgerTime.
– Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey.
– 24-hour art.
– Moments when Providence moves, too.

25 Friday
– A girl named Mae.
– A student named Brianne.
– A woman named Olivia.
– A man with one leg who makes spare ribs.
– Two gals, two dogs, and a great night for a walk to the store.
– Pigs.
– Pizza. An hour after barbecue. Just because.
– Being remembered by a restauranteur who still doesn’t know your name.
– The Gulch.
– A guitar-playing singer from Australia who is as personable as she is pretty.
– Hugs.

24 Thursday
– Hearing from a familiar friend.
– Making new friends. And suddenly easily.
– Art teachers.
– Tootsie’s.
– Graham crackers. The drink, not the yummy wafers.
– Warm nights under the lights.
– Fish and chips.
– Sight-seeing.
– A woman with peach flip-flops who pushed her walker around a park lake talking to someone you couldn’t see.
– People who care about people who are incarcerated.
– Johnny Cash.

23 Wednesday
– Opportunities.
– Hurricanes. Note: The drink, not the destructive tropical storm.
– Luxardo cherries.
– Pilots.
– Warm air.
– Total chill.
– Daubers of gray clouds in the otherwise blinding and beautiful sunshine of morning.
– Long-distance connections with old friends on account of disparate reseasons and odd resemblances.

22 Tuesday
– Free day! Making it constructive with diversions whenever moved to take them.
– Anticipation.

21 Monday
– Having someone in your life who tells you truth. Even the part of the truth you’d rather not hear. Especially that.
– Having friends in your life who make you feel so good just to be around them.

20 Sunday
The canvas that is one whole day. What will you paint?

19 Saturday
– The rising sun.
– The calm of morning.
– The way your dog’s head bows and bends, the way his body sags in pleasure, as you massages his shoulders.
– The way you can bend at yoga: progress!
– Filling a bucket with sweat.
– Being in the presence of truth revealed.
– Doing extra at work. Just to keep up.

18 Friday
– Being honest.
– Not saying too much.
– Not letting your shame take over.
– Pushing through.
– Being immersed in the day. Yet in the midst arises a conscious thought: in a few hours you will be home, you walk slowly in this warm and wonderful weather with your dog, you will be watching hockey, you will be eating a steak, you will take a chore or two, you will do it as you want to, you will be free.

17 Thursday
Asking for what you want and need, even when you know it’s unlikely to be given.

16 Wednesday
You didn’t realize how big a goal this was until you did it. You look at the video your buddy took of you lifting 500 pounds and how happy you were when, after reaching the top of the lift, you threw down the weight with a mixture of glee and anger. What can’t be seen in the video is how you walked around the gym clapping your hands and talking fast the way you do when you are giddy. After class, you take your dog to the river you go to many mornings before work. As he sniffed about, you watch a mallard float slowly alone down and around a bend beneath trees. Whatever is inside your body laughs.

15 Tuesday
Muggy mornings. Birds singing. The darkness of night not yet lifted. For a moment you can feel a jungle on the other side of the world.

14 Monday
– Lifting more weight than you did before. Even after a lousy night of sleep.
– Connecting with a longtime acquaintance in a way that starts to feel more like you are in facts friends.
– Mistakes. What they teach.
– Your dog’s eyes.
– The way your dog wants to play ball all over again, forty minutes after your last game.
– Love.
– Self reviews at work. Hate ’em. Love ’em.
– Facebook: you hate Facebook. But it was a nice surprise after work to see 69 likes of your mid-day post.
– Not joining in conversations that put others down. Even if they might have offered a reason.
– A steak dinner with sauteed onions and mushrooms.

13 Sunday
Sleeping in until the sun beams through the shades.
– “Two Cathedrals”: poetry disguised as an episode of television (The West Wing, Season 2, 2001).
– Art that makes you cry.

12 Saturday
– People who gently remind you when you have taken a joke a wee bit too far.
– Long walks in the sun with the birds chirping and your buddy sniffing.
– Personal retreat time.
– Friends who contact you out of the blue.
– Rain.
– Mom.

11 Friday
– Feeling good. After gaining a little weight over some stressful weeks you have things back on track and you feel it as you walk down the hall at work.
– Getting your haircut — really, really short.
– The very right song at the start of yoga.
– Finding a good deal on a flight to a place you want to go but didn’t think you could when you will.

10 Thursday
Speaking from your heart.

9 Wednesday
Listening to your heart.

8 Tuesday
– Morning yoga.
– Leaning back into the correct seated position.

7 Monday
– The moment after work when you get those clothes off now.
– The chance to wear shorts.

6 Sunday
– The Festival of Nations.
– Hawaiian dancing.
– Warm sun.
– Being surprised by someone you know.
– Surprising someone you know.
– Bindis.
– Funny hats.
– Sadness.
– Egypt.

5 Saturday
– Perfect mornings.
– Making a friend laugh so hard.
– Cold coffee. With cream.
– A good sweat.
– Bananas. Lots of bananas.
– Restarts.
– Writing projects.
– Clearing the decks.
– Snuggle time.
– Steven Stamkos’s ability to shoot a puck.

4 Friday
– Making yourself vulnerable in front of new colleagues.
– A nice moment with a deer. Yep, he really did say that.
– Digging in and seeing where you get.
– Fast preparation.
– Not having too much time to think about it.
– Leaning in.
– Taking off (when you need to).

2 Wednesday
– Being in the company of someone you connect with. Amazing, truly amazing, what can happen in even a few moments of interaction.
– Practical advise.
– Making the time to do your work.
– Getting to the end of the day and both you and your little buddy are just totally ready to zonk out.

1 Tuesday
Saying goodbye to April.