I kept a gratitude journal for a few years. They were mostly for me, but I still like re-reading some from time to time.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

I walked by a father playing in a local pond today with his two young children in the rain. The kids were screaming and laughing. I didn’t hear a word from the father; you could tell he was in “the zone” tossing his kids and giving them a memorable afternoon.

I also watched a duck eat a frog. That was wild.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

As I was sorting through my mail, a girl and her dog walked near me to wait for the elevator. I pouted my lips and gave the dog a longing growl as I usually do to say hello. The owner noticed. I don’t think she’d seen anyone do that before, and it suddenly hit me how bananas my greeting habit is.

Monday, June 22, 2020

There’s this one section of my apartment that glows with reflected sunlight at about 6p–630p every evening. The rays pour in through the vertical blinds and fall softly across my bicycle frame. It’s so perfect that it almost looks color-corrected. I see it and am immediately transported to a vacation state-of-mind, even if just for a moment.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

On my jog today, there was a big puppy and a little puppy. The big puppy was a total goofball. It walked up to the little puppy normally, then just laid down on the tiny thing. The little one retaliated, which escalated the whole encounter so playfully and innocently. They were in their own little joyful world together.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Today, I was on a call with a group of people. There was one person who stole my attention for the way he managed people in the meeting.

He’s always calm and composed. When people bring up issues, he acknowledges them without making a big deal about it, and then he includes them in the problem-solving process. He helps that person become part of the solution, and everybody feels listened-to and accomplished by the end of it. I felt like I was learning from this person in real-time.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

I went out for a long jog today. The first few miles felt great. There was a stretch of colorful construction fencing that made me feel like I was running inside a maze. I waved at passing sightseers in tour buses, and they waved back at me. Then my leg pulled, and I had to stop.

The area I’d gotten stranded in was a nice one. Streets were clean, and people there seemed to be out for a relaxing Sunday of their own. I decided to explore a little bit.

I went down a nice-looking side street. One one side was a golf course with sprawling fairways and a feeling of openness about it. On the other was a steep, overgrown hill with tall trees shading the sidewalk. The hill had several private properties bounded by tall steel fences. Children’s jungle gyms were abandoned and overgrown with vines and leaves. Some lots had gazeebos, instead. I could tell these were still very nice properties though; they all had paths that lead up the hill to much higher, more private residences. I wondered what the neighborhood looked like in its heyday.

I arrived at a beautiful city park and took a seat one of its benches. I sat there for a long while, feeling the sun on my sweatshirt and sweatpants. People walked by in pairs, sometimes with partners, children, dogs, friends. I’m grateful found that spot. It was a nice place to spend part of my afternoon.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I love chasing bikes at the beach.

I don’t even think about it. When I’m sorta stuck behind a group of tourists and some local comes whizzing around us on the bike path, I sail in that person’s wake. I’ll basically be running well above my regular pace for a quarter mile behind the biker.

In my head, I’m in a completely different universe. I’m not a smiling, sweaty guy at the beach; I’m the main character in Skyrim in pursuit of a dragon. I’m a spaceship following an alien into a wormhole. I’m a racecar traveling at the speed of highway traffic. It’s exhilerating.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

It’s 64 degrees in my apartment right now. I’m bundled up. I’m burning carbs. I couldn’t be more physically in my element.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

I was shocked by a toilet today what opened itself for me. I never had a toilet do that for me before.

Monday, November 25, 2019

I just found this gem of a zumba instructor on Youtube. Deep down, I look up to this man. He’s being himself 100%. One day, I want to be coaching dance classes wearing tiny pants and a man-bun.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Today, I had a co-worker tell me I was “going to find a great husband one day”. She was referring to the pie I baked for our pie-baking competition, and the quality of my pie would doubtless find me a mate. Traditionally, a pie would be baked by a woman looking for a man. In my case, I’d still be left with a man.

Friday, November 8, 2019

I saw a grandmother pushing her (presumably) granddaughter around in a stroller today. The grandmother seemed as into their journey around the block as the granddaughter was, and together, they were exclaiming things and making a quick dash across the street as the walk-signal threatened to end. I guess all you need is a sidewalk and a stroller to have a good time.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Today, I saw a car sail through a red light five seconds late, watched another car almost hit a dog off its leash, and watched my friend almost walk into a moving moped. (I’m so glad nothing bad actually happened.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I saw a running man stop at a red light tonight and do a slow-motion robot dance for a full minute. A full minute, doing the robot at a red light. It’s like he was dancing in thick water, moving to smooth techno. Then the light turned green and he took off down the sidewalk.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

As I ran through the park, I encountered a group of young kids running and biking and chasing each other along the walking path. I slow down around kids; I can never predict their trajectories. As they neared, I felt surrounded and decided to come to complete halt. The kid on the bike at the end of the herd didn’t know how to follow his friends, either, and met my expectations by veering directly into a bush. I guess children just bike into bushes.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

I was waiting to turn right onto a main street. A red light stopped traffic on it, so I looked to my left to see if a driver would let me in. That’s when I saw him. A man in the passenger seat of a car had his window rolled all the way down and he was dancing. Dancing with just his head. In a circular pattern. Staring right at me. Obviously, I started doing the same, dancing with my head and staring right at him. Just picture two grown dudes glowing, dancing with their heads across an intersection together.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Several years ago, I began brushing my teeth with my off hand. I was terrible at it, but I never stopped doing it. Tonight, it occurred to me that I’m almost as proficient at brush my teeth with my off hand as I am with my main hand!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

I drove to work, forgot my laptop, drove back, got my laptop, and drove back to work again. The whole journey cost me about 20 minutes and I still made it to my first meeting on time. Not bad.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

On my way to dinner, I caught sight of this guy in his car in my rearview mirror. He was in his luxury SUV and sunglasses, and was he singing? No. He was yelling. He was yelling like a football coach yells at his players. When I thought he couldn’t yell any harder, he’d take a quick breath and yell even more. Just the image of this extremely intense, barely angry yelling man in my rearview mirror. Made my evening.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

I was walking across the street, and I saw this man wearing a slick white tuxedo sitting at a coffee shop. We made eye contact. I motioned to my invisible lapels and said “I like your suit.” He finished chewing, smiled, and said “I like your personality and I like your vibe.” I giggled gleefully on the inside and thanked him for the compliment.

Friday, August 16, 2019

I stepped in gum on the sidewalk today with my favorite shoes. I realized a few things: 1) I have favorite shoes. 2) I’m so clearly priviledged that I would care about stepping in gum with my favorite shoes.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

I accidently bought and cooked some dark chocolate pancakes this morning. I’m glad I tried them once and that I don’t have to try them again!

Friday, August 9, 2019

I smiled at a dog today. Then I looked up and smiled at the dog’s man, who smiled back at me. I think the man only smiled at me because I smiled at his dog. I wonder if the dog smiled at anyone.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Playing with a dog in a pool on a hot summer’s day was a real treat today. Especially when she waits for me to come up for air so she can jump on my head.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

There were a bunch of people waiting for the bathrooms at Venice Beach pier today. I walked up and asked some bystanders if they were waiting. A nice woman replied “yes”; I nodded and wandered behind her. Then she pointed with her finger, “that stall is actually open, but there’s poop all over the seat”. Immediately, I responded with “yeah, that’s fine”, and I went right in.

Nobody made moves to go into that stall after me.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

I got sprayed with a money gun today.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

A few of us went to the beach today, and we saw this guy doing hip exercises in the sand. It really just looked like he was humping the earth. It was all hushed giggles at our camp.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

I roller skated to work today. I decided to travel a mile in one direction on my brand new roller skates. I SUCKED, but I was a bit better by the time I finished than when I started. Falling doesn’t actually hurt that bad.

Monday, March 11, 2019

I saw a teenager doing pushups on the roof of a minivan parked on the side of the road in Utah today.

Monday, February 11, 2019

We sang “Happy Birthday” to Tim. Twice. And he loved it both times.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Hot tub was great this morning.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Two different people told me directly today that I make it easy for them to learn. Each time meant a lot to me. To have people feel that they want to tell me that and then feel safe to do so makes me feel really full. Even if I just validated hunches they already had, it means a lot to me that they would come to me when they need help.

Monday, February 4, 2019

I was surprised to share the same anticipation of a noisy fart during a silent moment in the middle of a crowded room. It was from someone I totally didn’t expect, and it made the anticipation so much more exciting and enjoyable.

Monday, January 28, 2019

I was surprised to find Pumpkin Spice Pretzels on my desk this morning! Tim bought them from the store just for me “to share with my friends”. What a nice thing to do. I really appreciate that Tim thinks of me when he goes shopping. I’m super lucky to have people like Tim that I get to see every day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Laser tag was awesome tonight. Had a great group of people and a really cool venue for it. I was doing a lot of yelling. Really enjoyed myself.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

When my co-worker saw his name and face written on the cake I made, he stopped what he was doing and got very quiet. A smile slowly curled up his face, like he was staring into a baby’s eyes. Couldn’t have asked for a better response.

Monday, January 21, 2019

I want to thank two of the three elliptical machines in my building. My foot is hurt, which keeps me from running. If the ellipticals didn’t exist, I’d be a chemically-imbalanced blob now. Thank you elliptical machine on the far left and the far right.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

I had ice cream for lunch today. And I felt good after. It doesn’t even make sense.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

I saw a father walking his toddler on a leash today in a crowded, outdoor shopping mall with other people around and other toddlers running without their leashes.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

I had a lot of babies smile at me today.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Today, I discovered just how much friendlier people in boats are compared to people in cars. They all wave. Some wave more than once!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I saw this really old woman at the grocery store. She was so old. Her natural standing pose was at a 90 degree angle, and her head seemed to dip down another 90 degrees. I’m so incredibly grateful that I can stand up straight.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

I noticed a young couple driving behind me in my rear view mirror. He was driving, and she was spoon-feeding him cereal at every red light, and he looked so delighted.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

I laughed at a zombie in a Universal Studio theme park attraction today. Then it snuck around and popped out at me. I’m thankful that my scream was a deep-pitched, manly scream. That could’ve been really embarrassing.