30 Things I Love Right Now: c. Labor Day

(1) New writing. (2) Slightly older new writing. (3) Rumours, on vinyl. And how it’s an emotional time capsule. (4) Listening to #3 with S–. All the emotions embedded therein. (5) Ignoring the “fortune” cookie that told me, in so many words, that emotions block me from my true self. (6) Ignoring college football. (7) Incremental progress. (8) Narrowing my focus in any given moment. I’m still doing a lot of things, and that’s still stressful sometimes — that knowledge (“wow, I’ve got a lot going on”) — but it helps to really, genuinely commit to doing one thing at a time. (9) Saying no. (10) Gearing up to submit to lit mags again. (11) But doing so consciously, with a firewall between new (and slightly older new) writing + work that really, genuinely might be ready for publication. (12) J–‘s cornmeal porridge. (13) S– greeting the old man with a bum knee at mass with — perfectly on cue and very clearly, calmly, kindly — “Peace.” (14) Coffee with I–. (15) Three-day weekends, of course, which should be the norm. No more, no less. It’s just right. (16) Labor, of course. Noun + verb. (17) The consistent, understated realization that I’m happy. I love this life. (18) The first faint chill in the morning air. (19) My brown shoes. (20) Playpen time with S–. (21) His not-so-subtle requests for a piggyback ride. (22) The ensuing delight and giggles and breathlessness. From both of us. (23) My health and general fitness, in middle age. Enabling #20 – #22 above. (24) This tweet, as a note-to-self. (25) How being happy makes me want to write just as much as (or more than) not being happy did, but for different reasons and with different expectations. (26) How writing with different expectations contributes to my sustained happiness. (27) How J– contributes to all of that happiness, the mechanisms, the processes, but also just the consistent, understated realizations that arrive, seemingly unbidden. (28) Getting up early in the morning. Even on a day off. (29) Cutting S–‘s beloved “Toast!” with scissors, into strips. (30) Literary citizenship.