December 2016

by Tom Swift

31 Saturday
– Eating cereal. Are you kidding me? Yep, milk in a bowl with flakes and everything. First time in … who knows? Yum!
– Leftover pizza, too, because why not?
– Sharing with a friend.
– Cheering others on.
– Hearing another root for me. I mean, he really seemed to care.
– Pushing yourself to exhaustion. Then givenr’ again.
– Rare trust bestowed upon you.
– Hearing from a friend with whom you speak the same language.

30 Friday
Tough days. Really? Really. They show you what’s missing.

29 Thursday
– The day before a long weekend.
– Joking around with friends before most people in your time zone are awake.
– Looking into a friend’s eyes and sensing the friend noticing a difference in you that is real and that you like.
– Catnaps!

28 Wednesday
– Working through the mental muck, churning, churching, not stopping until … finally … clarity.
– Running errands and discovering a happy place, thanks to a bit of unforced honesty and a couple conversations with strangers.
– Alcohol tolerance. Caffeine tolerance. Angst tolerance. At least the last one shows signs of increasing!

27 Tuesday
– Waking up early and smiling under the covers … because you got enough sleep.
– Finding out that you are stronger than you thought you were.
– Picking up more weight than you ever have in your life — twenty-five pounds more!
– Watching movies more than once. Sometimes in the same week.

26 Monday
– Giving it all. Then getting up and giving it all again.
– Finding out you have more to give than you thought you did.
– Brownies for breakfast.
– Naps after breakfast.
– Guys who help you out of a jam and don’t take payment — even when you’re offering beer.

25 Sunday
– The story you expect to hear.
– Being challenged by the story’s teller in ways you did not expect to hear.
– The word mercy.
– Candlelight. And young Corey’s earnest help.
– Not leaving right away.
– The family of four assembles in a rush in front of the glowing tree. You know them only barely and yet in this moment you feel like you can see them at every age. Someday, the older son will razz the younger one for how in this moment he cocked his head and smiled like he had a harmonica in his mouth. Maybe the husband, the father, will remember how his wife, the mother, beaming at the camera while simultaneously gathering her twitchy family around, told him at the last minute, the picture-taker ready to do the duty, to take off his stick-on name tag, which he does, just in time, hiding it by wrapping it around his back and sticking it on his own butt. Stop there. The moment right there. Before the camera flash there is the other kind. You see it. Maybe more you feel it. The way this life is. Forty years in an instant.
– “Appalachian Spring” in the winter. Under the covers. Warmth all around.

24 Saturday
– The wisdom of the internal voice.
– Not talking over the internal voice.
– Writing early.
– Lifting heavy.

23 Friday
– When I can jump up and down and not get tired.
– Not chasing – even when it takes everything I got to hold me back.

21 Wednesday
– Evidence of increased resiliency.
– Opportunities for deep growth.
– Easy conversation. At the very right time. Twice.

19 Monday
– The Sun.
– Answers that find you rather than the other way around.

18 Sunday
– A new favorite place.
– Lifting the equivalent of a piano, over and over and over and over and over.
– What is revealed by the eyes.

17 Saturday
Naps. Plural!

16 Friday
– Sushi. Yep — again with the sushi.
– The Hickory Huskers.

15 Thursday
Beating Shute.

12 Monday
Laughing in the morning. Laughing to start the day!

11 Sunday
Two words: “Seinfeld” binge.

10 Saturday
– Me time.
– The first conversation with a new friend.

9 Friday
– Learning about the mystery of sleep.
– Choosing to go big.

8 Thursday
– Working at a place that cares about its employees.
– Having many people at work that you like to talk to (and laugh with).
– Being in a crowd and realizing — whoa! — no pressure.

7 Wednesday
– Finishing work that took you 15 weeks. Sweet release!
– Being nervous. And talking in front of a group anyway.
– Laughing with a friend during an otherwise underwhelming car ride.

6 Tuesday
After three years, finally hearing the words, “you’re good at that.”

5 Monday
– Waking early.
– Smiling easy.
– Working fast.
– Walking slow.

4 Sunday
– Working while in the sweet spot.
– Daydreams.
– Nap time.

3 Saturday
– Witnessing a woman struggle to pull herself up in front of a crowd, over and over.
– Observing a boy, cleaning his hands, apologize to his father for getting sick.
– Eating a new favorite: sushi!

2 Friday
– Being so happy you laugh for no reason.
– Making a friend laugh for a good reason.

1 Thursday
– An insightful person you interrupt your morning to see.
– A friendly face who makes a point to interrupt your afternoon.