December 2019

by Tom Swift

31 December

  • Spending exactly two cents under the full gift card amount.
  • Spending exactly 38 cents over the threshold for free shipping.
  • New shoes.
  • Adding color to your wardrobe.
  • Skipping the fast-food you had your eye on.
  • A tired little buddy.
  • Heavy squats.
  • Snow that is lighter today than it was yesterday.
  • Ribeye dinner.
  • 2019. For the events of this year made you more competent, more confident and more secure — and never more ready to resume the work you are here to do.

30 Monday

  • Sitting in your shit.
  • Taking a day off from your phone.
  • Compost days for the mind.
  • Writing that makes you cry.
  • Snow that pretties everything up.
  • Cabbage.

29 Sunday

  • Leftover pizza shared with a friend.
  • When you are moved to go somewhere at an illogical time … and then you go … and you find out why … and it makes you happy the rest of the day.

28 Saturday

  • Making it on a day when the roads are like ice rinks.
  • Great conversions.
  • Prunes.
  • Witnessing another’s vulnerability.
  • Personal break-throughs.
  • Ginger chicken and broccoli.
  • The faint whiff of a summer barbecue while driving during the middle of winter. No idea!

27 Friday

  • Yearly planners.
  • Eggs for dinner.
  • Bookstores.
  • Lessening the pile of mail and other miscellany.
  • The smell of ginger cooking in the oven.
  • Time to breath and think and do and be.
  • Winter afternoon sun.
  • Being keenly aware of what is important to you.

26 Thursday

  • When everything falls into place precisely when you thought you were going to be pressed for time.
  • Going to the bank when it’s nighttime.
  • Paying down debt.
  • Cereal for dinner.

25 Wednesday

  • The fact that once a year, whether you are naughty or nice, John McClane comes to town and saves the day.
  • The animals who provide us with our meals.
  • The anticipation of time off.
  • When you can talk politics over the holidays.
  • Generous gifts.
  • Homemade whipped cream over cocoa cake.
  • Surprising someone with sweetness.

24 Tuesday

  • Moments of peace.
  • Working on holidays.
  • Salmon.
  • Calm.
  • Mornings.
  • Power hours.
  • The anticipation of time off.
  • A gift that is a little bit goofy and a little bit sweet.
  • Your thoughtfulness.

23 Monday

  • The way a sporting event can suck you in.
  • Candlelight.
  • Letting things play out.
  • Being OK if they don’t work out.
  • Squats.
  • Half days.
  • Holidays.
  • Helping out.
  • Positive feedback.
  • Making someone feel comfortable through laughter.

22 Sunday

  • Deadlifts.
  • Working out with a new friend.
  • Glorious sun.
  • When the days get longer.
  • Starting the day in the very best way, with writing that moves you.
  • When a team member walks you to the right aisle rather than just pointing in that general direction.
  • Prunes.
  • When you find exactly the right Christmas card.

21 Saturday

  • Home.
  • Vagabon’s “Waters Me Down.
  • The healing power of a single meal.
  • Any moment of regret or sadness that makes you reaffirm what is most important to you.
  • The shortest day of the year.
  • Push-ups.

20 Friday

  • Love.
  • Meatloaf.
  • Mashed potatoes.
  • Green beans.
  • The idea of heart-red shades.
  • Southwestern colors.
  • Honesty.
  • Avocado flatbread.
  • Finding the glass-speckled bowl you didn’t know you were looking for.

19 Thursday

  • When the gas bill goes down in December.
  • When your dog likes your massage so much you can see the relief in his face.
  • Adam Schiff.
  • Alpha waves.
  • Nancy Pelosi.
  • Apples.
  • Not forcing it.
  • The chance to be creative at work.
  • Lactose-free milk.
  • This day and the opportunities it holds.

18 Wednesday

  • Morning clarity.
  • When you are driving down the street and the answer of what to get someone for Christmas just comes to you.
  • Pull-ups.
  • Broccoli slaw.
  • Your dog’s eyes.
  • When the day ahead looks like it will include a lot of good!

17 Tuesday

  • A clean home.
  • Fiber.
  • Irritability.
  • PepperJack Cheese.
  • Solid sleep.
  • Extra time in the morning.
  • Journalists committed to truth.
  • Dry chicken.

16 Monday

  • Sundays.
  • Writing partners.
  • Reconnecting to the most important story.
  • Complimentary coffee from Caribou.
  • Running into someone you want to run into at the grocery store.
  • Saying hello.
  • Early bedtime. A good book. A warm blanket.

15 Sunday

  • Dreams that take some figuring out.
  • The power of the unconscious.
  • Sleep.
  • Your hair stylist.
  • Having just enough food to get through the day, including a three-month-old box of Mac-n-Cheese.
  • Better late than never.

14 Saturday

  • A home-cooked meal prepared especially for you.
  • Great wine. Just enough.
  • Energy that comes from being with another.
  • Cheese and crackers.
  • The best laughter: shared laughter — the jokes only two people know.

13 Friday

  • When there is nothing especially scary about your day.
  • Taking time for adult you.
  • Perfume.
  • Bowls.
  • Moist sugar cookies that are somehow, amazingly, just sweet enough.

12 Thursday

  • Vaccines.
  • Water.
  • Smiles.
  • Laughter.
  • Clocks.
  • Art.
  • Anticipation.
  • Yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt.

11 Wednesday

  • Chocolate.
  • The chance to teach.
  • The chance to write something that could help someone.
  • Honesty.
  • Risk.
  • Adam Schiff.

10 Tuesday

  • Whoever cleared my sidewalk on a cold night.
  • Heat. My god, the heat!
  • Being your own coach.
  • Taking it one day at a time.
  • Mobility practice.
  • Sun lamp light.
  • Memories of a funny night.
  • Brioche.

9 Monday

  • Car rides with my dog.
  • Pet store coupons.
  • Finding out you were wrong about someone.
  • Eye drops.
  • Brussel sprouts.
  • Insecurities. They ain’t all bad.
  • Feeling more secure in what you do and who you do it with at work.
  • Pillows.
  • Vulnerabilities. Where all the good stuff is.
  • Turkey without the stuffing.
  • Connection. Even if across states and time and ages.

8 Sunday

  • Days off.
  • Long mornings.
  • Extra rest.
  • More time with the little buddy.
  • When sleep gets in your eyes.
  • Water.
  • The washing machine.
  • Honesty.
  • The capacity to be honest when being honest might cost you something.
  • Nancy Pelosi.

7 Saturday

  • Free pizza.
  • Extra dough. Cash, that is.
  • A workout that energizes you.
  • Steak for breakfast.

6 Friday

  • Loss.
  • Facing fears.
  • Not holding on.
  • Not chasing.
  • Letting go.
  • Relief.
  • Learning from your actions. Not even learning from your mistakes, really, because sometimes the learning opportunities aren’t wrong actions per se — just instances in which you identify that it might be helpful to take a different tact at a future time.
  • The value of having and building equity in multiple areas. When you get disappointed by something in one area you can lift yourself up on the foundation of another area.
  • Coffee.
  • Momentum.
  • Being in a highly energized environment. It’s draining and intoxicating at the same time.
  • Sadness.
  • A cheeseburger after a stressful day.


5 Thursday

  • Dreaming of your little buddy finally catching the squirrel.
  • Late-night texts.
  • Morning naps.
  • Reading a mediocre memoir.
  • Writing during the work day.
  • Memories of past jobs.
  • Always having access to a piece of chicken.
  • Going weeks without spending money in the cafeteria at work.
  • Seeing progress as a saver.
  • Seeing progress in the form of a faster metabolism.
  • Seeing progress toward paying down a debt.
  • Darkness. Especially in the morning.
  • Motion sensor lights.


4 Wednesday

  • Three words: free chocolate milk.
  • Extra time to teach.
  • The chance to teach with writing.
  • Realizing you can handle another’s disappointment so well now. (Used to be a particular challenge for you.)
  • Steak and spinach salad.
  • Squirrels that still run around like it’s not winter.
  • Warm evenings for winter walks.
  • Your dog’s breath. Still on a great pace.
  • The chance to make a little extra cash before the holidays.


3 Tuesday

  • Busy days.
  • New opportunities.
  • Security.
  • Smiles.
  • Your breath.
  • Being enough.
  • Feeling pumped.
  • Baked beans.


2 Monday

  • Compost Days: days when you rest extra, yet remain gently active, writing and reading and letting life energy replenish.
  • Waking up alive.
  • Not giving in to fear.
  • Not reacting from the original wound.
  • Chicken drumsticks.
  • Clarity of purpose.
  • Spinach.
  • Choosing greater self-trust.
  • Looking out the window in the morning the day after it snowed almost all day and seeing the path you shoveled is still clear.


1 Sunday

  • Real conversation.
  • Sweet lips.
  • Calm canines.
  • Colby Jack cheddar.
  • Living the dream.
  • Dreaming the life.
  • Extra groceries.
  • Getting the groceries a day early so you don’t have to go anywhere on the usual day to get groceries, Sunday.
  • A day to rest. After the shoveling is done, of course.
  • Finishing a notebook.
  • Starting a new month.
  • Not being in a hurry.
  • Asking the right question at the right time.