February 2020

by Tom Swift

29 Saturday

  • Leap Day.
  • Meeting someone new that you like and relate to with little or no effort.
  • Leftover coffee.
  • Getting two long walks in.
  • Five dollars off your pizza.
  • When you articulate yourself really well, with vulnerability and humility and insight, to a group of people who get it. Wow. Few things better than that.

28 Friday

  • Mobility time.
  • The moment after you get home from work and can change into “home” clothes.
  • Milkshakes
  • Dreams of closed doors, open doors.
  • Having no credit card debt.
  • Hustle.

27 Thursday

  • The moment you realize you are done for the day and that you soon will be home to relax and eat and be with your dog.
  • Trusting your gut about someone.
  • After all these years learning how to bench better.
  • Ken’s chunky blue cheese dressing.
  • Anniversaries.

26 Wednesday

  • Squatting heavy a second time this week already.
  • Small connections.
  • Bran flakes.
  • The deer you see grazing in the distance as you drive by on the highway in your way to work.
  • The incredible man powers of cauliflower.
  • Albino squirrels.

24 Monday

  • Days that go by in a flash.
  • New basement ballgames.
  • Jim McKay.
  • A more innocent time.
  • Going through the whole day and never getting tired.
  • U.S.A. 4, Finland 2.

23 Sunday

  • The first walk of the year when you think, “I don’t care how long this takes.”
  • Clarity of purpose. It cuts through so much of the crap.
  • A fridge full of meals.
  • A renewed plan in the gym.
  • Chest flys the right way.
  • Capsasin.
  • The taste of maple in your cereal.

22 Saturday

  • Walking without mittens.
  • Purpose.
  • Restarts.
  • Self-connection.
  • Doing one thing.
  • Herb Brooks.
  • Taking care of yourself.
  • Salmon dinner.
  • Being part of something good.

21 Friday

  • Being immersed.
  • Feeling alive.
  • Periods of stagnation.
  • Frustration.
  • Learning new things.
  • Eating in rather than ordering that pizza.
  • A break in the cold that allows the long walk you and your buddy need after a long week.

19 Wednesday

  • Mechanics with loaner cars.
  • The moment you get your car back after an oil change.
  • Texting funnies with your neighbor.
  • Mid-week meal prep.
  • Not taking shit.
  • Making it on time.

18 Tuesday

  • The Elizabeth Warren volunteers who knock on your door.
  • Active-recovery day.

17 Monday

  • Hot baths.
  • Magnesium.
  • Filing an article.
  • Momentum.

16 Sunday

  • Rock-solid sleep.
  • Cod and tarter sauce.
  • Meeting someone new.
  • Making someone you just met laugh so hard they draw tears.
  • Learning a better way to row.
  • A couple heavy squats quick.
  • Your little buddy’s fur.
  • Egg sandwiches.
  • Clean sheets.
  • Letting go of everything and relaxing into the night.

15 Saturday

  • Puddles in February.
  • Free Oreos.
  • Looking ahead.
  • Seeing how excited your little buddy still is, after all these years, when he hears the words “go for a ride.”
  • Pleasure in ordinary things.
  • The birth of my brother.

14 Friday

  • Chocolate and bananas.
  • Nilla wafers.
  • Sausage-egg-biscuit. So, yeah, cheat day.
  • Shoulder day.
  • Back stretches.
  • Thinking of someone and then, poof, they appear.
  • The faint sound of the crack when you snap back into place. So satisfying.
  • The easy way.
  • The window seat.
  • The ability to wash and dry clothes while making dinner and playing with your dog.

13 Thursday

  • That it’s not last February.
  • That you deal better with the cold now.
  • Light dinner.
  • Darkness.
  • The chance to speak.
  • Your job.
  • A warm house.
  • Ginger on your chicken.
  • Ginger in your water.

12 Wednesday

  • Time set aside for you to write.
  • Time set aside for the dog to play.
  • Catching up on sleep.
  • A tidy fridge. And freezer.
  • Hot chili and corn chips.
  • The health of your relationship with you.

11 Tuesday

  • Clean teeth.
  • The sensation of clean teeth on your tongue.
  • Extra time in the morning.
  • What you can do in a half hour when you hustle and the stars align.
  • Making people laugh at work.
  • Making meaning.
  • Making dinner.

10 Monday

  • Fast Mondays.
  • Meal prep.
  • Feeling pumped most of the day.
  • Just getting into the writing, even if for a few minutes.
  • Little Debbie jokes. Because does anyone even eat those things anymore?
  • The Heart Guard alarm.
  • Close quarters.
  • When your dog dreams and you know it.
  • Light dinners.
  • Reading time.
  • Holding tight to love because you know keenly that this life is not forever.

9 Sunday

  • Invitations to dinner.
  • Being around people who strive to better themselves.
  • Snow globe snow.
  • Mobility day.
  • Laughter.
  • Chicken and rice.
  • Driving in the car with your little buddy riding shotgun.
  • Not fighting it.
  • The way the body releases what it does not need.
  • Day dreams.
  • Pineapple.

8 Saturday

  • Two-dream naps.
  • Three-writing-session days.
  • The commitment to action.
  • A tidy closet.
  • The small bird that perched and chirping on your fence, greeting you upon your return home. For a moment there it feels like spring.
  • Donating and delivering a big bag full of clothes to a worthy charity you know can use the shirts and shoes and pants you are not.
  • Getting your sets in on short time at the gym.
  • New toys at said gym, including one designed to help build your pedestrian shoulders.
  • Steak sandwiches. With extra butter.


7 Friday

  • When the right thing is done.
  • Evening walks in air that makes you feel alive.
  • The last hour of the work week (even if it doesn’t turn out to be the last hour of the work week).
  • Think! bars. Brownie crunch is where it’s at.
  • The motion-activated light at your back door that clicks right as you are reaching for the keys with your right hand while holding a dog under your left arm.


6 Thursday

  • Getting away with one.
  • Being trusted.
  • How bright the light on the way in the door after work!
  • Steak: it’s not just for dinner anymore.
  • A high-energy dog.
  • Dogs who run up to the fence to greet you. Or at least sniff your butt.
  • Journalists who care about the truth and who work long hours to report that truth.


5 Wednesday

  • Sun past 5 p.m.
  • A good solid day.
  • That moment right after you proved to yourself that you didn’t mess up big-time after all and, in fact, got it right. Sigh!
  • Friendly neighbors.
  • Green tea in the afternoon.
  • A spoonful of honey dipped in peanut butter.
  • Smiles.


4 Tuesday

  • The chance to interview Sal Di Stefano.
  • The chance to learn about resistance training.
  • The chance to introduce a vulnerable population to the benefits of resistance training.
  • The boost you get from the morning workout.
  • The chance to be in this life with your little buddy.
  • The chance to be responsible for another creature.
  • Anxiety.
  • Distraction.
  • New days.
  • The wisdom of the body.
  • Losing your way so you can find it again.


2 Sunday

  • Forty degrees.
  • A tidy dresser.


1 Saturday

  • Inspiration.
  • Highland Park.
  • Bridges.
  • Honesty.
  • The son.
  • Humor.
  • Corn chips.
  • Your nature.
  • Canada.