I’m jumping the gun slightly — I’m writing this post first thing in the morning on January 31st, so it’s possible that today might turn out to be the best day of the month. But, you know, somehow I don’t think so. I woke up this morning after a night that didn’t include nearly enough sleep on a stomach that hadn’t had nearly enough food and it’s just not the kind of start to the day that makes you think your day will prove inspiring. Plus, today’s plans include returning a rental car to Enterprise and retrieving Serenity from the dealer where she spent the night because they couldn’t finish everything that needed to be done in one day, so… yeah. Not looking like the best day of the month.

Also not the best day of the month: my dentist visit on Wednesday. I was pleased to be told how great my gums looked, much less pleased to find out that one of my old fillings appears to be developing a cavity underneath it.

Also not the best day of the month: the dermatologist visit back at the beginning of the month, which resulted in far more literal pain than I would ever have anticipated from a dermatologist visit. My face is finally starting to look better, but it still hurts. Fortunately, they haven’t called so I’m assuming my biopsy results are normal. I never really like waiting for biopsy results, though. It’s just annoying to have medical uncertainty looming.

Many other days were also not the best day of the month. I’m ruling out all of the days where I had to force Zelda to take antibiotics on general principles, because she hates them, doesn’t understand why I’m forcing things down her throat, and it’s a moment or two or ten of torture for both of us.

And all of this makes it sound like it was a bad month. It really wasn’t. It included two driveways, plenty of games, plenty of good food, time with many of my favorite relatives and friends, and lots of learning and appreciating, even if not enough creating. I appreciated sunshine and dog snuggles, the best gluten-free pizza I have ever tasted and really good sushi, lots of new music and some excellent walks with R and Z.

My learning included at least half a dozen worthwhile books, including The Four Disciplines of Execution; Well Designed Life: 10 Lessons in Brain Science & Design Thinking for a Mindful, Healthy, & Purposeful Life; The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World’s Rarest Type; Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere); Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future; and The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). (Also, I should really start adding dates to my book list because it was remarkably difficult to figure out what I’d read when. My favorite of these books, though, is definitely Well-Designed Life, which I’m actually still reading.)

Yesterday morning I decided that it was time to set some business goals: all this learning is well and good, but the whole point is to use it to build my business, so I can stop worrying about needing to find a job. Then I realized that my business goals have to support my life goals — they come first. And my life goal is to have a life where I get to have breakfast and conversation with my dad on a regular basis; go out to lunch with my son now and then; play games with my friends; take great walks with my dog… my life goal is, in fact, to have the life I’m living. Even when it includes unpleasant vet, dermatologist, dentist and van service results.

Back to the best of the month: the day that stands out was Tuesday, when R & I visited Gainesville. I suspect that’s partly just because it’s so close in time, but that’s okay, it was a really good day, and I’m glad I got to have it.