January 2019

by Tom Swift

31 Thursday
– When it’s a thousand degrees below zero and you pull up to your gym at 5:04 a.m. and not only is the place open, the same faces are there.
– Au revoir, January.

30 Wednesday
– Positive feedback.
– Negative feedback.
– Feedback from a person you trust.
– Feedback you give yourself in the day after the usual kind.

29 Tuesday
– A warm place for your little buddy to be during an otherworldly cold day.
– The experience of once-in-a-generation cold temperatures.
– Knowing that cold is going away soon.

28 Monday
– Koalas.
– People who care about koalas.
– People trying to save the planet.

27 Sunday
– A few bites of blueberry and almond French toast.
– A day to just be. A day to read and write and think and sleep and eat and honor that way you best connect with the world.

26 Saturday
– Driving by people in the ditch thankful it is not you.
– Long drives on behalf of your little buddy.
– The clarity that comes when you do not eat food.
– Heat that isn’t yet in the room but soon will be.

25 Friday
– The perfect sized pizza for you.
– Finding a new pizza place that you actually like. Strange but true that in recent years this has not been easy to do.
– Early evening naps, late evening productivity.
– Paying bills. It really does feel good — not just to check off an item on the to-do list but to meet your obligations. Better, really, than not even having those obligations.
– Reading time.
– Writing sarcastic comments to a book’s author in the page margins.

24 Thursday
– Baked potatoes for breakfast.
– Baked potatoes with extra sea salt.
– Baked potatoes dipped in steak juice.

23 Wednesday
Knowing your dog really likes someone in particular that he gets to spend time with today.

22 Tuesday
When the fog of stress is lifted and you are interested in almost everything all at once.

21 Monday
– The energy that follows self-expression.
– Evening naps. It’s a thing.
– Speeches that move you decades after they were delivered.

20 Sunday
– A rare day in which you scrap your plans and just get a whole lot of rest.
– Woodward.
– Bernstein.
– Cold days.
– The body repelling something it doesn’t need.
– The mind resisting something that doesn’t serve.
– Sebastian Maniscalco clips on YouTube. Instant laughs when you needed them.
– Baked lemon-pepper chicken.

19 Saturday
– The black dog.
– A clean dog.
– Writing practice.

18 Friday
– Homemade hamburger buns. Such an under-rated item.
– Nice eyes. Eyes you can talk to.

17 Thursday
Having a rich imagination. It can sometimes get you in trouble, no doubt. But oh the places you can go!

16 Wednesday
– A place you can trust.
– The freedom to go.
– Speaking out loud.
– Not trying too hard.
– Not thinking so much.
– Learning a new way to make a baked potato.

15 Tuesday
– Reading the New York Times — a print copy, that is.
– Getting through a stressful day and ending it with laughter.
– It’s so warm.

14 Monday
– Comfortable evening strolls in the middle of January.
– Finding a reason to make a friend laugh.
– Waking up and feeling lighter than you were when you went to fell asleep.
– The compound effect of daily reps.
– Sweet potatoes cooked so long they melt in your mouth.

13 Sunday
– Returns. They are always happy. Except when you have the wrong receipt. But in the end, it is almost always good to have less of whatever came from a store.
– The Riverview Theater.
– Turkey meatballs.

12 Saturday
– A whole day of articulating yourself with written words.
– Working with someone to solve a problem when the person could easily be upset or impatient but is neither and then, finally, after days of trying, you reach resolution for this person and you convey that resolution with complete confidence and from that small place in you in that is complete kindness. It’s one of those exceedingly rare moments in this life when it truly is all good.
– Alpha waves.

11 Friday
– Small moments of human connection. Oh gosh, it’s so big for you.
– Realizing that without vulnerability those small moments don’t happen.

10 Thursday
– Working the legs hard. Seeing it payoff. Feeling it. In your thighs, in your butt. The legs feed the wolf, as the great Herb Brooks used to say. Indeed.
– An impromptu date night with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. You bring the fish-and-chips and Bailey’s (just a small sip for you). She brings the funny. Perfect.

9 Wednesday
– Active recovery day.
– The great good that can come just by using some resistance bands for fifteen minutes.
– Great big salads with cabbage crunch and yummy, not-awful-for-you dressing. At least once a day, for sure.
– Tired dog, tired you, home and warm in the evening and snuggled close. Exhale.

8 Tuesday
The regularity of a predictable schedule.

7 Monday
Being excited to run into someone.

6 Sunday
– What happens when you focus on the most important things at the start of the day.
– Red squirrels.
– Live sports.
– Meal prep.
– Your sigh after you return home after being gone for a few hours.
– A few small bites of French toast with maple syrup glazed on. Just a few.

5 Saturday
– Being in a room full of writers.
– New connections over coffee.
– The energy unleashed when you don’t eat for 18 hours.
– A clean home.
– Sidewalks you can walk on again. Though ice should not be melting in Minnesota in January.
– Forty degrees never felt so good.
– Crock-pot chicken.

4 Friday
– The way one small conversation can brighten your day.
– Car rides with your little buddy. He’s still always so excited to go.
– Don’t tell anyone but 494 is not as crazy-busy in the mornings as it used to be.

3 Thursday
– That your mother was born.
– Reaching the end of this day. So busy at work. Been a long week. Truly a hump day. Pass the carbs.
– Black squirrels.

2 Wednesday
– Spending most of your day manipulating words.
– Seeing pictures on your break during work that make you happy.
– Crashing on the couch after dinner.
– Bran flakes mixed in honey yogurt. It’s a thing — you didn’t you know?

1 Tuesday
– Holiday pay.
– Gyms that are open on new year’s day.
– Having extra time in the morning.
– An easy start to the year.
– Waking up without a hangover.
– Being ready for what is to come.