December 2017

by Tom Swift

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.