Not “surprise,” though; epiphany. I’ll explain: In lieu of a list of thirty things I love right now, I have decided to report that I have made another list in which I prioritized the many and disparate (desperate!) things I have to do between now and the end of
time the month (trick or treat, indeed). As you do. This list has proven very helpful, as such lists sometimes (not always) do. The thing I “love” right now is crossing the next thing off the list, regardless of what it is. It’s not mindless — but it’s not mindful. My wife and son? Not on the list. Writing? Not on the list. Reading? On the list (sort of) but it’s under the umbrella of “reading as an editor,” which is (I have come to realize) how I mostly earn my keep. There are worse fates. But it’s not love. This month it’s been stealing time for love. A fleeting nod to our wedding anniversary, a sick day to care for our sick son. An essay that came along the Twitter transom. A line of an essay here or there, pecked out in the Notes app on my phone. (The listing impulse, clearly, asserts itself: “a morning soak… my new gray pullover…”) That is to say, the real epiphany is this: a list of thirty things you (I) love right now is more about the act (i.e., taking the time) than it is the list. It’s, in itself, a stolen string of moments. One where I can document all the recent times I’ve cultivated joy, seen it, tasted it, lived it. And the real point is not the list, or even (it turns out) the act of making it. The point is to live the list. I think I didn’t know that until just right this very second. The list is (only) evidence of a life lived and fully loved. Amen.