July 2018

by Tom Swift

31 Tuesday

30 Monday
The mixed bag that is life.

29 Sunday
– Your fingers.
– Your toes.
– Looking in a mirror and liking the guy looking back at you.
– The breath.
– Sweat.
– Moments when you’re aware of the important things.
– Frustration. Anger. The realization of where you are. And everything else that proceeds and produces such moments.

28 Saturday
At an old haunt, the little buddy jaunts down the hillside. Free. So happy. He is so happy to be back here. Back in this place of many easy walks, good sniffing, wide air, and long views, on gorgeous afternoons like this one in which a cloud-dotted cyan sky holds us and tall grasses wave us home.

26 Thursday
Half-hour walks that go by in a flash because you are with one of your people and time slips away when you are with one of your people and it just feels so dang good.

25 Wednesday
When you are outside the very moment the weather shifts. Warmth gives way to cool. The wind — suddenly there is wind. Dark clouds swirl on the horizon. Faint, faint raindrops dab your arms.

24 Tuesday
– Days that go by in a blur.
– Writing time. You could name this one every day. And hopefully you always will (in your mind at least).
– Laughing with a colleague. It just takes a minute to turn the day around.
– Clarity about a tough decision.
– Acceptance.
– Yoga mornings.
– Steak nights.

23 Monday
– Doing your best. And keeping on. Even when you’re not great at the task at hand.
– Moments of inspiration.
– Friendly smiles.
– Good news at the doctor’s office.
– Hunks of raw cheese.

22 Sunday
– Increased awareness.
– Gorgeous afternoons.
– A coffee shop with stellar dog treats.
– The realization that life blows a wind of immutable suffering. But you’re (usually) standing pretty fucking tall against it. And (usually) face-first.
– Weighted pull-ups.

21 Saturday
– Walking into a full diner and finding there’s one booth open in the back and, yes, yes, we’ll take it, that’s perfect, thank you.
– A long-overdue breakfast with a buddy.
– There are certain people that, when you talk to them, you instantly access the best version of yourself — you’re out there and vulnerable and goofy and thoughtful and funny. What a gift.
– Mushroom omelets.

20 Friday
The power of a few words between like minds. Like that: changes your day!

19 Thursday
– Taking time to see someone who helps you so much.
– The power of acceptance.
– The checkout girl you could talk to all day and never stop smiling.
– Steaks on sale.

18 Wednesday
– Bananas and peanut butter.
– Apples and peanut butter.
– Celery and peanut butter.
– Blueberries and … yogurt. (The PB should work — just doesn’t. It’s like PB&J without the bread.)

17 Tuesday
– Walking work break.
– Summer mornings made for walk: bright and clear and cool enough to feel comfortable every step.

15 Sunday
– A full fridge and the next day’s meals prepared.
– Meeting your good friend’s girlfriend.
– Seeing him so happy.
– Shoulder shrugs.

14 Saturday
– Creating a new food plan.
– Blue skies.
– Human Edward Hopper paintings.
– The lovely young woman in the lacy sheer sleeves sitting at a stoplight on Cedar Avenue this morning who kept looking over her shoulder to check on the boy strapped in the backseat carseat before she turned back to grab the wheel and weep, a small dream catcher hanging from her rear-view mirror, the tears sliding toward striking back hair.
– Talking for several minutes before realizing that, holy shit, you’re out there. You’re out there and loving every minute of it.
– Little Oscar’s.
– Baked potatoes.

13 Friday
– The miracle effect of resistance bands.
– Delivering to someone the life-changing news they hoped to hear.
– Following your gut. Even when it means swimming against the tide.

12 Thursday
– Making it to yoga for the third time in five days.
– Mini pizzas.
– Learning that your baby bunny died this morning.

11 Wednesday
– Clearing hurdles.
– Lifting heavy weights into the night.

10 Tuesday
– Yoga teachers who give provocative readings at the end of class.
– Rescuing a baby bunny from the curb on which you park.
– A woman who helps you with the little one even though she barely knows you and has never seen the creature in person.
– People who work at wildlife refuges.

9 Monday
– Taking care of yourself. All day long.
– Getting a little help along the way.
– Sweet potatoes.

8 Sunday
– Recovery day.
– Leftover fajita scrambled eggs. It’s a thing.
– Deep breath: there is always more to do, always more work, always a way of getting better. You can say more, you can say better, less, and so it is that this is your life and there is so much that is good but challenges are always right there, they spring up, before you in instant. You aren’t always ready. You can’t plan it all. You fight and you resist. But in your moments you accept and you see. This is life, not a journey, not some metaphor that sounds good between asanas, and certainly not while trying to apply an easy solution to a complex fucking befuddlement. It ain’t easy. No. But that’s why it’s good. That is why it’s good. That is why the best rewards are the ones that also sneak up on you. Whoa. Did I really do that? Say that? Be … that? Witness that? The paradox — hold it. Not one end or the other. Both. The end that sees how much you’ve grown and the end that sees another chance right here, right now, good God, oh yes, you innocent, you freak, you fantastic strong fucking man.

7 Saturday
– Deadlift jacks. What a back savor.
– Looking in the mirror and liking what you feel.
– Zipping home on a summer night. Home so soon?
– Good questions.
– The joy and angst that comes with new connections.

6 Friday
Writing from the first breaths and into the afternoon.

5 Thursday
– Lifting heavy in the morning. Yoga-ing hot in the evening.
– Finding new ways to express yourself.
– Shedding. Discarding. Even taking the garbage out … lighter, you are getting lighter.
– Feeding the brave beast inside.
– Dialogue about something that has been written and shared.
– Hard-boiled eggs.

4 Wednesday
– Thomas Paine.
– Thomas Jefferson.
– The Flag.
– Mid-day dreams.
– Fresh strawberries.

3 Tuesday
– Facing important things.
– Facing important things with one who takes you places you could never have gone on your own.
– When the stoplights all turn for you when you’re on a tight schedule and can’t be late.
– Chicken and potatoes.
– Choosing the right words to make a friend laugh so hard.

2 Monday
– New shoes.
– New remedies.
– New insights.
– Old books.

1 Sunday
– Canada
– Justin Trudeau.
– Maple syrup.
– Standing on guard for thee.
– Pressing weights to the ceiling before grabbing coffee with a buddy.
– Time to just be.
– Ice baths.