March 2019

by Tom Swift

17 Sunday
Finishing a good book.
– Trying a new kind of coffee in your old French press.
– Seeing almost all of the snow, just days ago piled so high, nearly vanished from the roof of your garage.
– Looking up and seeing your dog walk on the snow. What’s the big deal? It seems like it’s been so long since that snow wasn’t his Kilimanjaro.
– Consignment shops.
– Finding a new pair of jeans.
– Long walks through puddled sidewalks.
– The good that happens when you follow the energy.

16 Saturday
– Going to a new coffee shop.
– Connecting with fellow writers.
– Being able to go for a walk with your dog and pick up his poop without freezing your hands.
– The man at the library who has the morning newspaper in-hand as you walk in but immediately offers you sections.
– The calm of the library.
– The reward of a fixed toilet.

15 Friday
– Being funny with someone you don’t know.
– Getting something wrong for a good reason.
– The raccoon you could have easily run over had you not pumped the breaks when you saw the 6 a.m. shadows. Poor thing sliding around on the ice: he looked up at you after you stopped as if wondering where his skates were.
– Seeing the same raccoon saunter up the walkway of the house before you with a gate that said: “I’ve had enough of this. I’m going back inside.”

14 Thursday
Being able to negotiate your car down a Minneapolis alley. For two-plus days, that seemingly simple thing … not possible given the height of the ice and the depth of moats of water running as wide as your tires.

13 Wednesday
– A safe, dry home.
– Inner strength.
– Dreams that challenge you.
– Challenges to your dreams.
– More clarity than you’ve ever had as an adult.
– Daily challenges to staying on that path.
– Journalists. The real ones. The ones that go after the truth, chasing a story for weeks, months, sometimes years. It’s possible they have never been more important.

12 Tuesday
– Laughing before 5:30 in the morning.
– Making up the lost hour of sleep from Daylight Savings.
– The moment you pour hot water into the French press and the coffee soaks and steams.
– The mental health effects reading good books.

11 Monday
– ACE hardware. Because you know you can walk in there with your mistake in hand and that they will help you fix it.
– Taking Monday off.
– Full body workouts.
– Finding a new way to track your food.
– Extra sun in the living room.
– The smell of ginger chicken in the crockpot.
– Chocolate milk. What a treat. Been so long.

10 Sunday
– Heavy sleep.
– Heavy snow on light tree branches.
– Digging out from a snow storm first thing in the morning.
– The philosophical work of Elizabeth Anderson.

9 Saturday
– Library meeting rooms.
– Being able to check out fifty things from a library at one time. Fifty!
– Perspective: yeah, this winter has been hard. But life circumstances for people experiencing winter across history … not even close.
– Extended writing time with others. Shared experience, shared purpose.
– The amount of good you can get done in a span of five minutes.
– Fried fish sandwiches.

8 Friday
– Morning naps.
– Reading in bed.
– Free time with plenty to do.

7 Thursday
– People who make you laugh.
– Getting things in order before you take a break.
– Showing up.
– Showing up early.
– Finding a new comedy club.
– Chocolate stout beer.

6 Wednesday
– Carbs. It’s not a dirty word. It’s not an illicit action to eat them. There’s a reason to eat them, even beyond the need to occasionally find comfort. You don’t believe all the hype. There is almost never only one way.
– Feeling ready to speak your mind to the world.
– Preparing to see a friend.

5 Tuesday
– Doing what you need to even when the world puts up road blocks.
– Not trying to rely on those who aren’t reliable.
– Knowing you made a wave and being OK with that.
– Signs that a seasonal corner has been turned: temps are heading in the right direction, the sun is out longer, melting will soon occur.
– Kind front-line vet staffers. There is a special place in heaven.

4 Monday
Starting a new workout program. And it’s all on you.

3 Sunday
Finding new ways to self-start, self-motivate.

2 Saturday
– Helping out a sick colleague.
– Helping out kind, elderly women.
– Being mostly alone for a few hours at work.
– Scratching all the items off your to-do list (redux).

1 Friday
When the official piece of paper arrives in the mail, saying you earned the prize.