024 // A Bare Minimum Day

It was another snowy day, but this time I still had to go to work. The flakes didn’t begin falling until we had already started picking up students, or, right in the middle of rush hour traffic. The sudden storm caused traffic blockages all over the city and we ran late to every stop and every school.

After the morning run, I still had plenty of work to do. It was my busiest day in a long time, though worse is on the way my boss tells me. So, right back out into the cold I went but I’m proud of myself for doing it without complaint and even a measure of enthusiasm. I took a moment to stop and marvel at the winter wonderland being built around me as the powdery snow fell.

The moment passed quickly. The cold air, the bare trees, the grey clouds, and my stiff bones got the better of me. I soon fell back into my usual winter sullenness. The sun did return in the afternoon but the damage was already done. I had let the day slip by without making any progress. I shirked productivity. I scrolled social media. I got lost in Twitter replies and Youtube holes. I let the hours go by and I have nothing to show.

The evening was no better. I tried my best but time slipped away and the chance is gone. Oh well, I read a little, wrote a little, and even cleaned up a little around the house. I put one foot in front of the other and I made it all the way to the end. I did the bare minimum—but so what? Fuck it. Tomorrow is Friday and I refuse to feel bad.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

023 // The Reading Ritual

I’m so proud of myself for knocking 5 books off my 2019 reading challenge and I’m powering through the 6th as we speak. Of course, two were already half started, two were graphic novels, and one was the easiest read ever, but still, five books already! I’ve never read so much, so consistently, for so long before. All my other resolutions might be in the toilet but on this one, I have exceeded all my expectations, so far.


Whenever I start a new book, I go through this weird little ritual. I sharpen a new pencil (henceforth be known as my “book pencil”) to take notes in the margins, underline my favorite passages, and to circle names or other items to research later.

I choose a bookmark that “feels right” from my drawer of brightly colored postcards, stickers, scrap paper and tags I’ve saved for this purpose. I get a sticky note out and place it at the “endnotes” or wherever I can stop reading, which is often many, many pages before the last page. Then I do a bit of math.

I calculate how many total pages there in the main text to read (minus those endnotes, or the sample of the author’s next book, or whatever else is tacked on at the end) and divide that by how quickly I’d like to finish the book, usually between 7 and 10 days. The answer is how many pages I plan to read per day. I get another sticky note out to mark this page daily so I can read without thinking about it.

I mark the book as “currently reading” on Goodreads just before I start so that every night when I put the book down I can update the app with my progress. Then and only then can I begin reading and always with the introduction, the preface, the forward, or any notes from the author first before the main text. I do not consider those parts to be “skippable”.

It’s a lot, I know, and I know it’s weird, but sometimes a book is a conversation and like any other between two people you both have to be open and ready to interact, share ideas, and even disagree. This process allows me to establish a strong and immediate connection to every book I pick up. The ritual gives me permission to take every book I read very seriously and facilitates an easier immersion into the author’s world and mind.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

022 // Separate and Together

The only thing better than a delayed schedule is a snow day. My girlfriend and I spent it on opposite sides of the couch reading and binge-watching stupidity on Netflix. We both took naps at different times of the day and we each had our own bursts of productivity in wholly different ways, one in the morning and the other in the late afternoon.

One of the great perks of being in a relationship is being able to be separate and together at the same time.

It’ll be time to head to be soon, but I’m stalling. It’s going to be exponentially harder to return to work tomorrow than it would have been today, which was already going to be exponentially harder than returning yesterday. So, I’m dragging it out and risking sleep deprivation. This small control is all I have and worth every bit of what I will suffer in the morning.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren