Somewhere in the WordPress interface, there exists (existed?) a little calendar that shows you the days of the week on which you’ve posted. I can’t find it anymore, but I think I’ve been posting mainly on Mondays and Thursday for about five years. In 2020, I’m switching to Tuesdays. So radical!

Also a little ridiculous. There is no real distinction in my life between Sundays and Mondays — it’s not like I’m racing to get out of the house for my long commute to an office where I’ll punch a time clock. But Mondays still feel like Mondays and I want to focus my Monday writing energy on fiction. I’m imagining myself being so productive, so inspired.

And maybe I will be. I’m sure I could find a podcast that would enthusiastically tell me that anything I imagine hard enough will come true. Affirmations! Visualizations! Create the world you want! Yeah, I’m listening to (and reading) far too much self-help right now. I really do want to get into a steady meditation practice, because I know from past experience that meditation brings a stability and joy into my life that I very much appreciate. But I really am bad at it. So far I haven’t found THE meditation podcast that’s going to change my life, but the nice thing about meditation is that just showing up is half the battle.

This is maybe true for appreciation, too. For my 2020 reboot, I changed five of my six tasks in the Streaks app. The new ones are Meditate, Appreciate, Exercise, Learn, and Create. My sixth task stayed the same: Floss. It’s not quite so aspirational, but I really do a better job of flossing when my phone reminds me that I haven’t checked it off. Anyway, it’s easy to know whether I’ve successfully flossed — I suppose I could judge my level of flossing, but mostly it’s a yes/no question — but it’s not so easy to decide whether I have successfully appreciated. Is a two-second gratitude prayer sufficient? Do I need to prove to myself that I have felt appreciative? I’ve been tagging the occasional picture on Instagram with #appreciate2020 as a reminder, but mostly it’s just a mental moment.

Today’s appreciation, however, is the Giz, aka Gizmo, aka my current house guest. Van guest? I’m dog-sitting for my dad for a few days, so we have company in the van. Long-time readers might remember Giz, but he’s a golden peke-a-poo, a mix of poodle and Pekingese, sweet and charming, with a very fluffy tail. Hmm, I wonder if my experience with Giz is what makes me find fluffy tails so charming? Perhaps, because he wags his tail all the time and it is quite, quite adorable.

Giz does not quite understand the van life, however. He is mystified by why we are not in a house. He’s relaxing a little, but I swear he spent all yesterday waiting for us to go somewhere. “We are in the vehicle, why are we not moving?” he seemed to be saying. When I take him into the house, mostly intending it as a pass through to the fenced backyard, he promptly finds himself a corner near the couch and flops down to relax. And he has absolutely no interest in the backyard. He hovers by the concrete patio and avoids the grass. But he is sweet and snuggly and I’m enjoying his company.

Picture of the face of a golden peke-a-poo
The Giz

My brother was here last week for his annual visit and Florida did its best to shine for him. Perfect weather — in the 70s, sunny but not overwhelming. This week the temps are all in the 80s and it’s more overcast. This morning, I walked the dogs, wearing shorts, in a quickly burning off fog. The trees are all draped with Spanish moss here, and the light was beautiful, the dogs were energetic, and the air felt like summer. It was a lovely morning, easy to appreciate on many levels.