Untethered Dog

A Commonplace By Tom Swift

Gratitude Journal

February 2018

28 Wednesday
– Thrusters. Yeah, really.
– Standing safely and comfortably inside your own skin.
– Your remote car starter.
– Getting over Hump Day.
– Free cake.
– Extra frosting.

27 Tuesday
Letting go of an emotional weight that turns out not to be all that heavy.

26 Monday
Listening to loud music during a long jaunt in the car.

25 Sunday
You can feel it: despite the snow blowing over the road as you drive with your wool hat on and the heat turned up, spring is coming.

24 Saturday
– Showing up. So much clarity comes from just showing up and speaking your truth.
– A great hockey game.
– Returning to a passion present before your first memory.

23 Friday
Fluffy snow outlining all the trees.

22 Thursday
– Sweet vibrations.
– Good conversations all day long.
– Cod.

21 Wednesday
– The moment you know you have outlasted illness.
– Early breaks.
– Clerks who let you get away with one.
– Longer light.
– Crisp apples.
– Getting home in record time.

20 Tuesday
Your first real workout after two weeks of crud.

19 Monday
The ability to talk.

18 Sunday
– Silence.
– Soft fur.
– Signs of progress.
– Despair.
– Paul Newman movies.
– YouTube fixes.
– Baked beans.

16 Friday
– Doctors.
– Science.
– Antibiotics.
– X-rays.
– X-ray technicians.
– Affordable health insurance.
– You hate going to the clinic multiples times in a week-plus but how lucky you are that you can!

15 Thursday
– The friend who drops you a note simply because you hadn’t crossed paths in a couple of weeks.
– The response when you tell your friend why: can I bring you some soup?
– Saying yes even though your place is a mess and you are an even a bigger mess after 10 days of icky.
– Being delivered more than a meal: multiple helpings of chili (with fixings) fruit (grapes never tasted so good), even two slice of chocolate cake for dessert.

14 Wednesday
Festive people.

13 Tuesday
– The ability to go to work.
– People who missed you.
– People who ask after you.
– The clarity of illness.
– Signs of recovery.
– The immune system.
– Soup.

12 Monday
Rewatching every Aaron Sorkin movie. When they set his napkin scribbles to film, you will watch that, too.

7 Wednesday
– Hot tea on a burning throat.
– Ricola honey lemon echinacea — the only cough drop that will do.
– Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. With “The Mother.”
– Cayenne pepper. Gotta do it.
– Nasal irrigation.
– A little buddy who gets excited to be close on the couch when you can’t really do anything else but be close on the couch.

6 Tuesday
Allowing yourself to be sick.

5 Monday
– The five-second rule.
– When someone smart calls you for help.
– Arriving early.
– Leaving on time.
– Cinnamon.

4 Sunday
– Sneezes.
– Fans.
– The wind.
– Thoughts that arise in the stillness of the morning.
– Making snow angels. While wearing shorts. When the real-time temp is below zero!
– Having so much fun in the morning, lifting weights and slapping butts and giving shit and having coffee with friends.

3 Saturday
– The air.
– My breath.
– Kind people who ask you sincere questions.
– Knowing your weakness so well.
– An inner voice that tells you that you are strong enough.
– Shame.
– Sadness.
– Tears.
– Reminders of why things are as they are.
– Knowing your work. Knowing the original sins. Life is still hard but it’s harder when you don’t know what you’re fighting against.
– When the radio talks to you.

2 Friday
Emptying your inbox at the end of the day. It was so full at the start of the week!

1 Thursday
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

January 2018

31 January
– Soft snow.
– Letting go.
– Grabbing the bar.
– Throwing the ball.
– Not grasping at what isn’t there.
– Au Revoir
, January!

30 January
– Frank conversation.
– People who are honest with you.
– What happens when you are honest with people.

29 Monday
Making all the stoplights!

28 Sunday
– Snowflakes.
– Warmth.
– Heart beats.
– Fingers.
– Servers that call you buddy.
– Blushing.
– A dog with closed eyes.
– Enough food.
– Chickens.

27 Saturday
– Being a safe harbor for another soul.
– Being true to my own.
– The healing power of the trees.

26 Friday
– Copland’s “Appalachian Spring Suite.”
– What you learn when you mentor someone else.
– A nearby exemplar of the power of gratitude.
– Jerry Seinfeld.

25 Thursday
– The ground beneath my feet.
– The light coming in from the window.
– The walls on either side of me.
– The car that takes me where I must go.
– The thing that keeps me down.
– The thing that raises me up.
– Love.
– The promise of love.
– The healing power of love.
– The struggle.
– The fight.
– The place from which comes all that is gentle and good within me.

22 Monday
Being snowed in.

21 Sunday
– Laughing really hard at the coffee shop.
– Unexpectedly good writing.
– Long walks.
– Pizza parties.

20 Saturday
– Long workouts with friends.
– Longer coffees with same.

19 Friday
– New shows.
– Purple skies.
– Warm greetings.
– Falling asleep a minute after closing your eyes.

18 Thursday
Dead-lifting 450 pounds. Three times. Consecutive.

17 Wednesday
– Taking risks.
– Accepting self-doubt.

16 Tuesday
– Small moments of human connection.
– Small moments of canine connection.
– Feeling big.

14 Sunday
All of it.

13 Saturday
– Time spent playing games with a pair of friends.
– Reading time.
– Hang time with the pooch.
– The right song at the right time (redux).

12 Friday
Getting so fried with work! Then realizing you done a little good. That moment you go home, exhausted and energized at the same time.

11 Thursday
– Laughing before 6 a.m.
– Looking around a room and noticing that you have been here before and yet you are different now. Growth isn’t always obvious. Seldom is it, in fact. But there are those moments! Those beautiful fleeting moments!
– A happy dog.
– Warmth.

10 Wednesday
– Your job.
– Feeling comfortable at your job. Challenged yet comfortable. You can do this.
– Laughing at work.
– The way work can shade other life matters in a positive light. Or maybe a less negative one.

9 Tuesday
Nasal irrigation.

8 Monday
The immune system.

7 Sunday
– A clean fridge.
– Clean sheets.
– The difference 35 degrees makes.
– The option of going for a walk.
– A car full of groceries.
– Sunday supper.

6 Saturday
– Time spent with buddies: hanging out, having a couple of cocktails, talking, laughing, listening, sharing.
– Keeping that commitment, despite freaky cold weather, despite a bout of unexpected grief, and despite the bug your body is fighting off that makes you want cuddle up on the couch with your four-legged friend.
– Fingers.
– Animal advocates.
– Journalists.
– A hand-written letter from a friend of 17 years, one of the best guys you have even known and worked with (you had hired him way back when!) who now lives eight states away.

5 Friday
– Owning your errors. So freeing!
– Love. Even when it hurts.

4 Thursday
– Not caring as much as you used to about things that don’t serve you.
– Your dog’s heartbeat.
– Leftover spaghetti.
– Working toilets.

3 Wednesday
The wisdom of the body.

2 Tuesday
– Supermoons. And pretty fucking cool moons you see on the way to work.
– Being so busy during the day you don’t have time to think of anything else.
– Yoga teachers. Especially the good ones.
– A person who smiles sincerely asks you how you are during the morning workout.
– A nephew who texts you in the afternoon just to say thank you.
– Butts. Enough said.
– Having your pajamas on before 6 p.m.

1 Monday
– Hot and sweaty yoga. Not necessarily touted among its many benefits, turns out on the first day of the year it’s a solid way to recover from the last day of the year.
– Bitterly cold days. For there is no excuse not to get a few things done inside. Or take a nap. Or watch a movie. What are we going to do — spend more than three minutes in a row outside?
– Warmth.

December 2017

31 Sunday
Standing in your friend’s kitchen, having him put his arm around you as he nods to the others who are gathered to celebrate, and hearing him say, “this is my family and you are part of it.”

30 Saturday
Growing pains. They are not fun. But worse would be to cease having them.

29 Friday
– Hang time with your buddy on a week day.
– Overhead squats.
– Great conversation.
– Fresh snow.
– Surprising finds at the consignment shop you didn’t even expect to stop at.
– Saying aloud your shame.
– The chance to be real.

28 Thursday
– Going back to finish the job right.
– Moments when you’re not angling, not trying to be noticed any more than you already are, times when you are just there and helping and you hear it, hear it in her voice, their voices, hear that you are good enough, that you helping, that you have even for a few seconds occupied the space that has opened for you and so that certain people will be able to get unstuck and go on being the good people they are in the world, no longer encumbered because they don’t need to be but they were and now are not.
– Sweet mother of mercy me what a wonder it is to experience flow.

27 Wednesday
– New flannel pajamas. So cozy.
– Cinnamon rolls. Or at least one big one.

26 Tuesday
– A warm bed.
– Coffee.
– A remote car starter.
– A warm car on a below-zero morning.
– Reminders of mistakes made that wake you up and keep you humble.
– Massaging your dog all over as he creeps in close during veg-out time.
– Frozen blueberries: still good even when it’s a well-below-zero evening!

25 Monday
– People who in the last year have shown you how to see a little more light.
– The hard work you personally put in looking for that light.
– Getting up and needing to do it all over again. Shit! But yeah.

24 Sunday
– Holiday breakfast with a friend. On you!
– Hearing that friend, who does not come to emotions easily, express kindness and gratitude in your direction.
– A really bad old-fashioned. Sometimes it’s the flawed stuff that fuels the fun.
– Christmas candlelight service officiated by a big and generous soul in a space that touches yours.

23 Saturday
Spending two hours at Target and not ever freaking out, not even a little, not even inside so no one else could tell.

22 Friday
– Corporate holiday half-days.
– Being seen.
– Long walks in the late afternoon.
– Finding that unheralded holiday classic, Diehard. I mean it was right there on the shelf at the library two days before Christmas!

21 Thursday
– Sleeping hard.
– Waking late.
– Finding an extra bounce in your step anyway.

20 Wednesday
Hard days when the grief shows up and sticks around and acts as though it owns the place. You grow during these days. When you don’t fight it, that is.

19 Tuesday
– The freedom that comes when you roar.
– The sadness that comes later for having had to.

18 Monday
– The internal voice that tells you you’re not quite ready yet.
– Listening to that voice.
– Getting to work early.
– Catching up from a week away.
– Being missed.

17 Sunday
Dreams that make you smile when you wake up.

16 Saturday
The healing power of grounding.

15 Friday
– The rage that comes from being humiliated.
– The sadness that comes from not feeling love from whence you want to.

14 Thursday
– President John F. Kennedy.
– The perfect postcard for the buddy you always send postcards to.
– The biggest honkytonk in Texas.
– Perfect whisky sours.

13 Wednesday
-Grief (redux).
– Coach Armando at CrossFit D-Town.
– Having conversations with beautiful women who seemingly don’t know that they are.

12 Tuesday
Being at the airport with somewhere to go.

11 Monday
– Not putting up with it anymore.
– Having limits.
– Staying true.

10 Sunday
– Writing time.
– Watching football and drinking stout beer with a friend and a guy who might become another one.
– The way your dog looks at you while standing in the snow, single paw raised and held in, his eyes seemingly asking if you would please take all this white stuff away.
– The airplane that seemingly floats over the horizon, highlighted by the sun’s setting rays, against the cool silver blue. It’s as if an invisible and unreal rope, tethered from the plane to your heart, levitating your spirits, which not even an hour before had been so low.
– Grief.

9 Saturday
– Breakfast at a familiar spot.
– Connecting with a familiar friend.
– French toast!
– Dinner at a new place.
– Connecting with new friends.
– Spaghetti and meatballs!

8 Friday
– Taking on a project for a colleague who is out and delivering the goods right-quick.
– Working at the usual paces and learning something nearly every hour that keeps you humble.

7 Thursday
Titanic. Twenty years!

6 Wednesday
– Extra time for snuggling with your little buddy in the evening.
– Impromptu movie night.
– Impromptu connection. Sadness is not so far from beauty sometimes.

5 Tuesday
The Beginner’s Mind.

4 Monday
Playing the fool. For you have to be humble when you play the fool. Have to reconcile your poor choices. Have to face your failings. On the fool’s vanity there sits no false mirrors. When the fool is tpresent the illusion of strength fades away.

3 Sunday
– People who care for your dog when you can’t — and almost as well as you would if you could.
– The mature rabbit that sat still against the inside of a highway median, its fear palpable even as you pass it at 65 miles per hour.
– The desire to care for that creature.
– The realization there is nothing you can physically do.
– Doing something psychically.
– What happens when you take a break from food.
– A well-cooked steak.
– Watching a wholly unexpected success story unfold over the course of a football season.
– Witness to brilliance.
– Trying. But not too hard.

2 Saturday
– Friends who make you laugh.
– Showing up.
– The attempt at becoming a stronger man.
– A photograph of a beautiful woman.

1 Friday
– Feeling heard. Even when you are all over the place!
– It’s December and look at that: no hat or mitts required.

November 2017

30 Thursday
– Resisting the urge to defend yourself.
– Embracing the urge to express yourself.
– Looking back at your place of employment at the end of the day, seeing lights scattered on around the T-shaped 14-story building, and, even though you are tired and you want to beam home to be with your dog and eat a little food, maybe more than a little, you smile inside because the tank is filling already for the morning when you will return to this same place and in that moment you know you will dig in again, that the energy for the work will be there again, will be there when you need it to be, because that’s what happens when you find a right place and a right undertaking that you do among right people.
– Closing your eyes and falling to sleep in seconds. I mean, had you set a timer, you were out in under a minute.

29 Wednesday
Learning how to get under more weight with less effort.

28 Tuesday
Curb Your Enthusiasm. Especially the “Palestinian Chicken” episode. Oh. My. Gosh. Funny!

26 Sunday
– SquatsGiving. You had to be there.
– What you can learn from a newspaper.
– Beautiful late fall days when you and your dog can and do walk as long and as far as you both want to.
– Making moves; not going stale.

25 Saturday
The Edina Cinema.

24 Friday
– Leaving work early on a Friday.
– Knowing there is almost nothing that will stop you from climbing the next rung on the latter so long as you keep learning, stay humble, and remain working hard, not perfect but hard, every day.
– Wanting to get to where you are going.

23 Thursday
– The sentient beings sacrificed for our feasts.
– The power of a punch.
– The love in a stare.
– The awareness in what is not there.

21 Tuesday
Thanksgiving week.

20 Monday
– Finding out there is such a thing as a free lunch and it’s from Fat Lorenzo’s!
– Homemade chocolate chip cookies just like mom used to make.

19 Sunday
– Mistakes.
– Acceptance.
– The way your dog lies on his side on the floor, his legs straight out, all four of them, and his eyes calmy closed, beneath your feet as you write.
– Sadness: anger turned inward.
– The good feelings that come about when you sit down and finally fucking write.

18 Saturday
– Working overtime voluntarily and being so immersed the hours fly by.
– Just saying it.
– Looking up in time, swerving just soon enough, to avoid the back end of the car suddenlyrightinfrontofyou.

17 Friday
What happens when you pause — instead of immediately react, as your instincts tell you to; fix it now, right now! — when someone makes you aware of a mistake.

16 Thursday
The long view. Remember the long view!

14 Tuesday
– Squirrels who dance across the road.
– Deer who jaunt along the side of the highway.
– Dogs.
– Worms.
– Spiders.
– Rabbits.
– Grass.
– Bees.
– Turkeys.
– Cows.
– Pigs. Last but certainly not least!

13 Monday
Fitting in time for the important things, even in small bits, throughout the day.

12 Sunday
– Birthday dinners.
– Feeling love.
– Tasting chocolate.
– Big steaks.
– Dressing nice.
– Free time.
– Being alone.
– Moving forward.
– Clarity that comes while in the shower.

11 Saturday
– The sun.
– The son.
– Brothers.
– The limitations of grief.
– The limitless possibilities of existence.

10 Friday
– Recovery day.
– Bruce Hornsby’s piano.
– The humble musician.
– A beautiful, unexpected presence.
– A strong, unexpected trumpet.
– Cold, snowy nights on the road inside a warm car.

9 Thursday
– Old, well-traveled bridges lit up against the darkness of night.
– Fatigue.

8 Wednesday
– The Empire State Building.
– The energy of the country’s largest city.
– Madison Avenue.
– Pizza in New York.
– Great wine.
– Laughing with strangers in a convenience store long after you should be in bed.

7 Tuesday
– Sleeping heavy.
– The Met.
– Brooklyn.
– The Brooklyn Bridge.
– Riding in the subway at night.
– Watching the greatest hockey player in the world, Connor McDavid, play in person.
– Seeing your own face — and that of another you know and love to look at — on the scoreboard!

6 Monday
– Seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.
– Garbage collectors. Especially those who work after midnight.
– Lady Liberty.
– Grand Central Station.
– Small victories over the emotional self.

5 Sunday
– The Moment.
– Quiet conversation.
– Encounters with sharp minds.
– The moment in the morning when you know a run of shitty days has come to an end.
– Standing in Times Square for the first time.

4 Saturday
– Realizing how much you get from taking care of your dog.
– Kind people who help you take care of your dog.
– Love.

3 Friday
– A good conversation with a female friend.
– Hard truths.
– Having someone in your life who steers you toward those hard truths.

2 Thursday
– The music of Michael McDonald.
– The very moment a vacation begins.

1 Wednesday
Bringing donuts on your birthday.

October 2017

31 Tuesday
Halloween. The coolest holiday.

29 Sunday
– Waking up and immediately figuring out a gift for someone’s birthday.
– Lifting weights with a friend on a Sunday morning.
– Getting to know that friend a little better.
– Napping with your dog on a Sunday afternoon.
– Every every other part of Sundays: the big breakfast, the movie time, the Sunday newspaper, the knowing that you have no place you need to be.

27 Friday
– Writing time in the middle of a Friday.
– Nap time in the middle of a Friday.

26 Thursday
– Unexpected good news in the middle of the work day.
– The birth of my companion, my personal terrorist-alarm system, my snuggle buddy, my beast, my boy, my little buddy, my dog.

22 Sunday
– The smell of fall.
– The warmth of a muggy fall morning.
– Sitting around and talking with no particular place to be.

21 Saturday
– Being one of the day’s first customers at the grocery store.
– Having a good pal to hang with on a lazy day.
– Going to the library.
– Impromptu walks at night.

19 Thursday
Running slow and long on a cool morning, limping along on a healing knee, looking up, noticing the previous night’s stars still hanging around.

18 Wednesday
– Unexpected pain in your knee over the course of your day demands more and more of your attention.
– A boss who reacts even more kindly than you could expect to such news.
– Well-run clinics.
– Smart sports doctors.
– Medications that work.

17 Tuesday
– Sardines.
– Little laughs.
– A face that glows.

16 Monday
– Lifting weight so heavy you see stars after you set it down.
– Messing up and knowing not only is it not a big deal you feel better for having messed up because you learn anew how much you are supported.
– Connection at four-forty-four in the morning.

15 Sunday
Sitting and talking. Then going somewhere else and doing the same thing.

14 Saturday
– Messing up and knowing it’s not a big deal.
– Skin.

13 Friday
– Being comfortable with opposing energies that flow through you almost simultaneously.
– Other scary things.

12 Thursday
– Gorgeous fall days.
– Gorgeous fall days spent reading and watching a Woody Allen movie.
– Gorgeous fall days spent reading and watching a Woody Allen movie with your trusted 12-pound companion at your side, lying along your legs, resting his snout on your foot.

11 Wednesday
Learning something new that you already know you will be good at.

10 Tuesday
Two words: free pizza.

8 Sunday
– The moon.
– Geese.
– Reflections in water.
– Leaves all around.
– Happy thoughts sent your way.

7 Saturday
A single session at the gym covering all the combos while you get into your body for the day: first, one-on-one time with a friend before class; next, working hard and laughing easy with the larger group, slapping butts and giving each other shit; then solo time after everyone else has left, just you and the pull-up bar, some dumbbells, and the sweat that runs down your body and onto the floor.

6 Friday
– Those moments at work when you feel like you’ve arrived.
– Receiving additional training; you are valued to be further trusted!

3 Tuesday
– Good news.
– Seeing the path ahead.
– Self-trust.
– Self-doubt.
– Private pull-up party.

2 Monday
– Rainy nights.
– Reading in bed.
– The upcoming hockey season.
The Onion.
– Shared movie tastes with a friend.
– The birth of a brother.

1 Sunday
Everything about Sunday is great, especially when you start your Sunday lifting weights. Having an honest conversation with someone close to you over mid-morning coffee doesn’t hurt, either.

September 2017

26 Tuesday
Rain.

24 Sunday
Movies.

23 Saturday
Facing it. That is, right after you finish the cheeseburger and fries. Oh, yeah, and a shake, too. Chocolate. Mmm-hmm.

22 Friday
– Perfect fall days.
– What happens when you are honest about your own vulnerabilities.
– Reading about genius.

21 Thursday
By the time your saw the deer you and your dog had startled them. The pair couldn’t have been more than fifteen yards ahead as they dashed across the path — long strides, mature bodies, gone like that, into the dark woods.

20 Wednesday
Venus in the morning.

19 Tuesday
– When the words come easy.
– Expanded consciousness.
– The snake in the toilet bowl.
– Being firm yet not hard.

18 Monday
Knowing you are good at helping people — and realizing you get as much from it as they do.

15 Friday
– Squirrels.
– Not having to be right.
– Not having to be good.
– Moving forward, flaws and all.

14 Thursday
Playing games at work.

12 Tuesday
– Rabbits on the path ahead.
– Your dog’s eyes.
– The pigeon who appears next to you on your morning walk, right there in the parking lot, reminding you of another pigeon at another time and place that had appeared next to you during one of those moments for which there are no words.

11 Monday
– Sunshine at lunchtime.
– Unexpected ice cream.
– Sadness.
– Strength.
– A blemish on your arm that reminds you this is your skin.

10 Sunday
That a certain friend was born.

9 Saturday
– The feeling of throwing a solid punch.
– The right song at the right time (redux).
– Doing more than you need to — but not more than is useful.
– The ding on your windshield as you drive down the highway. It leaves a mark but that mark is minute. The hurled item doesn’t penetrate. And it doesn’t slow you down in any noticeable way.

6 Wednesday
– Crisp air.
– Holding both: the part of you that is strong, capable, kind, caring with the part that is weak, erratic, angry, fucked up. They are you, both.

5 Tuesday
– Work. Demanding-commanding-immersing-distracting work.
– Feeling valued.
– Listening to weakness, honoring it, accepting it, allowing it to be.

3 Sunday
– A free ticket.
– Neighbors who don’t mind if you poop a little on their lawn (dog involved).

2 Saturday
– Helping out. Spur of the moment. And, hey, look, free doughnut!
– Getting some needed OT in.
– Texting. Really. You love it and hate it. Love it with friends who light you up.

1 Friday
Working at a place that recognizes your skills and then values them enough to put them to direct and meaningful use.

August 2017

30 Wednesday
– Waking up early and feeling as though you slept late.
– Weakness. Oh what emotions it stirs!

29 Tuesday
– Sadness. For then you know how much you care.
– Despair. For then you know what you have lost.
– Weakness. For then you know you are not hiding.

28 Monday
– Cool air as you make puddles of sweat.
– A day without the phone.
– Finally completing a task that had been in the back of your mind for longer than you can remember.
– What happens when you keep going despite discomfort.

27 Sunday
– Standing in the dewy grass, your dog contentedly sniffing the ground and chewing on some grass, butter coffee on hand and writing coming without effort.
– Sunday workouts: they turn the day into something it never used to be.
– Friends who make you laugh and take you in even if you suspect they think you’re a little weird.

26 Saturday
– In the office all alone — save for a couple of helmet-wearing maintenance men — getting ahead, finishing a project.
– Afternoon naps.
– Listening to your soul.

25 Friday
“The Wire.”

24 Thursday
Free lunch.

22 Tuesday
Looking down at your dog during morning walk and feeling your heart fill. He has been with you all these years, through the toughest challenges of your life and some of your highest moments, too, and he will be with you on these morning walks, sniffing trees and watering mailboxes, for at least a handful more. Though the vet says his heart is getting bigger, you’re struck by how he’s shown you how yours has grown some, too.

21 Monday
Having a best day after waking up in a worst kind of mood.
– The instant attitude adjustment that comes after squatting 380 pounds.

20 Sunday
– Realizing it takes more to knock you down now.
– An air of change.

19 Saturday
– When you suddenly figure out something you’ve been sitting with for weeks, then, whoosh, it’s decided in a five-second flash.
– Learning about Judav Payeng, a man who on his own created a forest.
– Moments of stillness.
– What happens when you show up without a script.

18 Friday
Sleeping through the morning workout. Sometimes it’s hard to do. Really. Not today!

17 Thursday
When the to-do list actually gets … a little bit … smaller.

16 Wednesday
Sending your friend something in the mail you just know he’s going to laugh hard at.

15 Tuesday
– Going to the hardware store. A real one. Not one where people where smocks and the ceilings are 48 feet high.
– Getting all kinds of smiles at the hardware store because you brought your little buddy with.

14 Monday
Learning a new language.

13 Sunday
Receiving a thoughtful, unexpected message.

9 Wednesday
– The day off.
– Clean carpets.
– Being proactive about the little buddy’s health care.

8 Tuesday
– The day off!
– Yoga. Again. It’s becoming a thing.
– Lights that look like the moon.

7 Monday
– The day off!
– Being around people who make you want to root for them.
– Opening boxes of memories.

6 Sunday
– Evening yoga.
– Sweat.
– Disclosure’s “You Help Me Lose My Mind”
– A clean home.
– The car wash.
– Finding yourself at the car wash as it’s about to rain.
– Getting soaked.

5 Saturday
Anniversaries.

3 Thursday
The fact that the psyche affords limitless — inexhaustible — opportunities to grow.

July 2017

23 Sunday
Angst.
– Snuggling up with your little buddy at the end of the day.
– Nose fur.

22 Saturday
– Youth baseball.
– Fond memories of sun-soaked Saturday double-headers.
– Striking a ball perfectly.
– Knowing that the other team knew about you.
– Caring intensely; being on a team of other kids who did, too.

21 Friday
Potluck Friday!

18 Tuesday
Squatting in the early morning.

17 Monday
– Taking another step toward figuring out the next move.
– Immediate knowingness.
– Looking things up for no other reason but to know.
– Time spent contemplating your values.

16 Sunday
– Paddle boarding for the first time.
– Falling off a paddle board for the first time.
– Sun-drenched fatigue.

14 Friday
New digs. With a window view.

13 Thursday
The energy a good friend brings. Offers. Creates. Donates. Whatever it is it makes you happy just to be around them.

11 Tuesday
– Trees.
– The warmth of your dog, lying against your leg, contentedly chewing his favorite bone, while you’re watching a show at the end of a long day.
– The wisdom of the body.

10 Monday
Kind words, totally unexpected, from your boss.

9 Sunday
– Being in a new space, an old place, with people you’ve never met who shake your hands like they are familiar friends, and a new friend know is happy to see you by the light that goes off in her eyes the moment those eyes land on you, by surprise, and then she greets you right there, in front of everyone, the whole congregation, even though she’s leading the proceedings and has more important things to do.
– Prescient remarks.
– Country roads on summer days.
– Deciding at the last minute.
– A moment of unexpected peace that sneaks up on you.

7 Friday
– Living proof that you are stronger than ever.
– Good friends that come back.
– Being the fastest. And so winning a small prize.
– The healing power of art.

6 Thursday
Working at a place where they ask you to take time to do a Gratitude Journal (of sorts).

5 Wednesday
The strength, not just the calmness but also the strength, that comes from a deep breath.

4 Tuesday
– Wine with a wine chaser.
– Being up in the middle of the night. Outside. At the desk. In the kitchen. Wherever! It’s summer.
– America. Even during trying times.

3 Monday
– Working knowing you won’t be tomorrow.
– Partner workouts … while carrying more than your share of the load … yet being pushed all the same.

2 Sunday
– Running into a friend at the coffeeshop.
– Slowly sipping coffee.
– Cooled-off coffee. Yes, really.
– The calming effect of books.

1 Saturday
– Canada.
– Coffee.
– Saucy Saturday workouts.
– Running errands with the little buddy in tow.
– Summer days.
– Summer nights.

June 2017

30 Friday
– Fresh rain splashes on large, wide windows.
– Fresh puddles of sweat on the workout floor. Yours.
– When you bend over and the west just falls off your face.
– Reading at the end of the day.

29 Thursday
Kicking ass. Especially when at something you haven’t been doing for very long.

28 Wednesday
When someone you’re trying to help goes out of their way to make you feel good.

27 Tuesday
– Air.
– Clouds.
– A lone white bird drifting high above.

26 Monday
Squatting heavier than you thought you could — five sets worth.

22 Thursday
– Sweat.
– Observing a man sitting alone under a tree doing seemingly nothing else but taking in the early morning.
– Completing the 3-miles running workout faster than you started it.

21 Wednesday
Days when the little buddy gets to play outside while you work. He’s happy — which makes you happy.

20 Tuesday
Warmth in the morning.

19 Monday
Being missed.

18 Sunday
Making another happy.

15 Thursday
– Sleeping in. Almost till 6!
– Anger that you realize, finally, is directed inward, telling you what you have to do.

14 Wednesday
– Waking up to a completely dark world — the power out everywhere you look.
– A happy surprise: an orange float delivered to your desk.
– Saying something nice to a friend.

13 Tuesday
– Learning to run better.
– Feeling close to someone.

12 Monday
– Learning to walk lighter.
– Feeling close to someone.

11 Sunday
– Nighttime thunder showers that don’t stop until well into the morning.
– Sundays are the best days for movies.
– The best biscuits and gravy you’ve ever had.

10 Saturday
– Going with it.
– Breaking through with finesse instead of force.

8 Thursday
– The body. The way it reacts on your behalf, giving you feedback that cuts through the mind’s static.
– Angst. The way it shows you what is missing.
– Lifting more with your upper body than you ever have. And feeling less pain than you have in a long time.

7 Wednesday
– Looking good. And not apologizing.
– The sudden sound of an old friend’s voice.
– The man you are named after.

6 Tuesday
Caring. But not too much.

5 Monday
– Hair.
– Hockey in June.
– Rising in the morning, having time for coffee, and time for writing.
– Squatting heavy.
– Laughing easy.
– The moment before bed.

4 Sunday
– The sound of the fan running on a warm summer night. Or the air conditioning. Or the dishwasher.
– The moment after the day turns into night, yet there remains light and warmth.
– Looking at art. Outside. On a beautiful afternoon.
– Being so tired you fall asleep as soon as you close your eyes.
– Realizing a challenge has snuck up on you.

3 Saturday
– Stretching first thing in the morning.
– The moment when you release the pressure, such as while rolling a lacrosse ball or pressing a kettle bell firmly against the sore body parts.
– Laughing so hard your body moves more than a little.

2 Friday
– Breaking up the bad mood with a funny phone call.
– Realizing you have enough to do this.
– Your little buddy’s soft coat: still after all these years.

1 Thursday
– Running on a perfect morning: early spring sun, a hint of cool, and still.
– Slapping your friend’s hand on the last leg of the row-run combo you’re all doing together at the gym and soon after feeling that rush over your shoulders — that moment when you are completely empty and you start filling back up.
– When that feeling carries you into the day.

May 2017

30 Tuesday
– The last hour of work when you feel like you could say anything to anyone at any time.
– Laughing to yourself.
– Realizing that people find in you a source of comfort.

29 Monday
– Watching hockey.
– Lazy holiday.
– Reading whatever you want.

28 Sunday
– Going to the movies.
– The best whiskey sours.
– Unexpected fingers on your back.

27 Saturday
Completing the single hardest workout of your life. As friends do the same — High Fives and smiles all around.

26 Friday
– Mornings with music and the little buddy.
– Hearing the voice!

25 Thursday
– Searing sun.
– Not being in a hurry.
– Surrendering in spots where you used to fight.

24 Wednesday
Not leaving anything behind.

23 Tuesday
A family of birds, babies mostly, running down the middle of the highway during the morning commute, in the same direction as the cars now stopped in their path, hair on end, eyes small saucers, darting this way, then back to the near side, then, finally, to safety.

21 Sunday
– Taking chances.
– Fresh perspectives.
– Authentic smiles.

20 Saturday
New friends.

19 Friday
– Train rides.
– Montreal.
– French.
– Finally getting there.
– Kismet.

18 Thursday
Being remembered.

17 Wednesday
The energy that arises when a crowd stands and cheers.

14 Sunday
– Birth.
– Growing pains.
– One good insight from one smart woman. Doesn’t take much, does it, to reframe your world?

13 Saturday
– The warmth of the sun.
– The softness of the bed during an early-afternoon nap.
– Dirty hands.

12 Friday
– Trying. Sometimes it’s hard. But good things happen when you give it a shot.
– Knowing when it’s time to stop trying.
– A sincere hug, initiated by another.

11 Thursday
A cool supervisor.

10 Wednesday
– Failure. Failings. Missteps. Slip-ups. And, most of all, icky feelings. For they have so much to teach!
– What happens when you open your heart.

8 Monday
Dancing to Stevie Wonder. Outside. In the cool of the morning. Sun rising. Hands clapping. Feet light. Let this moment last. No, we don’t need to hold on. It’s hear. Be here. Let it be. Love. Light. The force. Whatever. No names. Just is. Oh, yes. Oh, yeah!

7 Sunday
– Running into someone you’ve seen only once before, some months ago, and wished you would see again. And at exactly the right time.
– Sidewalk conversation with two people you barely know, yet you immediately feel like they are among your people.
– Realizing what’s missing.
– Sadness.

6 Saturday
Beer and pizza and hockey.

4 Thursday
– A supervisor who cares.
– Gorgeous evenings.
– Music. Especially the songs that seem written for the moment.

3 Wednesday
– The ability to run.
– A friend who lifts you up.
– Gorgeous mornings.
– Canadian geese.

2 Tuesday
Starting the day amongst friends. Especially when you need some of that.

1 Monday
May flowers.