Untethered Dog

An Online Notebook by Tom Swift


Has Anybody Seen My Words?

They have to around here somewhere. I just had them! Where did you last see them? They were right … over … there! … right where I always leave them. You could retrace your steps. [Head scratch] Did I? No: I couldn’t have left them at the office. The gym. In the garage. I have […]

Big Days

The heat hums. Then fades. It is early morning. Our breaths, yours and your little buddy’s, inhale, exhale. Air in, air out. You are in your morning spot. On days that you suspect might be bigger than other days the tendency is toward control. You tighten your grip on the smallest silver of this life […]

Thanks, Giving

The word of the weekend is Gratitude. I realize Thanksgiving is not quite yet upon us. Call this a primer. Anyway, this is not about one day. It’s about 365. We all know that grateful people are happier people, don’t we? We have all experienced this for ourselves, too, seen what it does for us […]

Reset Button

Sometimes a week goes off the rails. I have not written much this week — a sign of stress and also an absence that exacerbates stress. I have lifted little weight this week, too. Same. I usually choose to stand much of the day at work. Yesterday, I sat more than usual. At one point, […]

Everybody’s Got Talent

I don’t do many things well, especially domestically, but one thing I have come to count on about myself is the ability to get out of jam. A specific sort of jam, I mean. What I am saying is that I can unplug me a toilet. ‘Twas not always so. I don’t mind admitting that […]

Anxiety Incarnate

Like a window shutting in front of your face. That is what it is like. A window you didn’t know was there. That you did not shut. Not wittingly anyway. You just could tell the view was being … skid, skid, skid … reframed. Thump. After this window closes you see as you did before […]

Ready … Set …

A writing teacher of mine used to say that if you take three days off you are starting over. It is the great paradox of life that we do not get to start again, not really, and yet in every moment lies an opportunity for renewal. I am happiest when I have a beginner’s mind. […]

Face the Facts

Sometimes you have to ask yourself the questions that are staring you right in the face in the morning. Such as: Is it possible I went to sleep with my glasses on last night? What I know: – I had them on in bed to read before turning out the lights. For sure. – I […]

You Gotta Have Those Goals

I love goals. I love talking about goals. I love setting goals. Goals are crucial to success — however you define that term. For you cannot hit a target if you are not aiming at one. Cue the Zig Ziglar. I can even do the accent, if you would like. Yet what do you do […]

Houston, Do You Copy?

There are times when I cannot make a decision. Not a large decision. Not a small decision. My mind in these moments is like television sets in the old days when they did not work. The antenna was broken or something and all you saw on the screen was what we referred to as “snow.” […]

In the Normal Range

I waited longer than I had to in order to find out how my thyroid is doing sans the levothyroxine. The longer the wait, the more accurate the snapshot. The test results are now in: my thyroid still can produce thyroid hormone. I am in the so-called “normal” range. Two reactions to this news. First: […]

Pants With a Hole in the Butt

I’ve got a pair of pants — actually PJs — with a hole in the butt. One morning, this was not too many weeks ago, I was doing some air squats. I went down and up, down and up, down and …. rrrrrrpt! I have since washed the PJ pants. More than once, if you […]

Status Update

It has been nearly a month since I stopped taking levothyroxine. There’s no question now that, among other symptoms, my energy is lower. I take longer to get going in the morning and I lose my breath more quickly during the day when, say, climbing stairs or running with my dog. I have not posted […]

Back to the Back

Sorry to keep you hanging. An update on my back: After a couple of crabby days off, I was able to loosen it up enough to return to my lifting program yesterday. (Strangely, my shoulder lifts caused more concern and required a greater drop-down in weight than those of the back.) This is good for […]

Muscle Down

I pulled a muscle in my back. I don’t recommend it. It’s a good thing a person doesn’t really use their back for much, other than, of course, walking, sitting, bathing, reaching, bending, looking up, looking down, turning right, turning left, or, in other words, during pretty much every human act. How did I pull […]

Status Update

Seven days in. One full week of not taking levothyroxine. By now, the synthetic thyroid hormone should no longer be in my system. Game on. No doubt, I experience what I would not go so far as to call symptoms but rather effects: lower energy and mood among them. Also a slight loss in strength […]

Body Heal Thyself

Did you know that you can get your daily dose of selenium in just two Brazil nuts? You don’t get that kind of information in every blog. Here’s the thing: I want to get off levothyroxine. Levothyroxine is a drug prescribed for persons with hypothyroidism. I have taken levothyroxine for fifteen years. Hypothyroidism is a […]

Still Working It Out

We were walking about the art gallery when a woman friend familiar with some of my unvarnished writings remarked: “it sounds like you are working some things out.” “Always,” I replied. There is a tension between the desire to work things out in public, in published form, and the desire to do so in private, […]