1. Morning walks. They weren’t all that exciting this week, short and sweet. Ringo strained his elbow on an early morning and very cold run on Saturday, got his limp back, so we’ve been taking it easy with him, only going around our neighborhood. He’s on the mend and we are taking it slow. Even if it wasn’t over the water, the river or the ponds, we can still see the sun rise in the sky over our house.

 2. Trying new recipes. In particular this past week I was looking for baked oatmeal recipes to try. This strawberry baked oatmeal with fresh strawberries on top was super yummy. I also have a bunch of salad recipes saved on Instagram I want to try. I always follow the recipe the first time, to know how the author intended it to taste, and then, if I like it enough to make it again, I make tweaks according to my preferences. I love how cooking can be both creative and restorative.

3. Swimming laps. I have a goal to be able to swim a mile, which is 63 laps in the pool at my gym. I can currently do 13 before I get too tired, which for some reason when I swim translates as dizzy. I swim with a snorkel because with my anxiety about drowning and the claustrophobia of putting my face in the water, I’ve never really learned to both swim and breathe on my own, so the snorkel makes that part easier. I don’t have to worry about it, I just swim. Recently, since I recommitted to swimming laps, something shifted. I don’t really know how or why, but now putting my face in the water, having my ears under as well, feels really soothing where it used to trigger panic. I still use the snorkel because it continues to make things easier, but now the whole process feels a bit more like joy.

4. Ringo. Oh boy, can he be a real jerk, but he’s also hilarious and sweet. This week he found another friend while he was out on his walk. It’s so cute how happy it makes him, and he almost seems proud of himself. When he was a baby, he had a special love for water bottles. He once carried a baby doll for almost two miles. I think he believes he’s captain of the neighborhood lost & found or head of recycling.

5. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. The world can seem so big, so broken, but this safe haven, this big love, this soft place to land gives me reasons every single day to not give up.

Bonus joy: making art with Calyx, Hendrix’s first birthday, strawberries and raspberries, drive through pharmacies, tacos with Carrie, texting with Chloe’ and Mom and Chris, the 300+ people who showed up for my uncle’s funeral, kittens, other people’s dogs, hot coffee with hot cocoa and tiny marshmallows, aqua aerobics, vaccines and masks, good TV (Somebody Somewhere on HBO is so good), listening to podcasts, that corner of the couch, cuddling with Ringo and hugging Eric, sitting together on the couch doing nothing, sitting in the sauna, the hydromassage chair, my nutritionist, my therapist, my primary care physician, access to the support I need, watching Guy’s Grocery Games with Eric and making each other laugh, gummy supplements, down and wool, hot clean water, watercolors, house plants, naps, small group training with Shelby, meditating before the sun comes up in the morning, writing, Wild Writing with Laurie and my writing sangha, stickers, my HappyLight, clothes that are soft and loose, stretching, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

I'd love to hear what you think, kind and gentle reader.

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