I do Weight Watchers (now WW, now MyWW…) with my wife, families from church, and fellow cravings enthusiasts. My mother & her best friend are also doing it back in Chicago along with my mother-in-law’s best friend out there.

Every Monday night (it used to be Tuesday, and it might to back to Tuesday) we go to the Shilo Inn in Tillamook, meet at the Wilson River Room, weigh in, and talk about the week’s goal.

It’s been a good experience.

Having Katie occasionally push, prod, and stand in my face to make me go has reminded me how much of a carb addict I am, and after ballooning to 256 lbs. this time last year as a result of poorly handling the sheltering impact of the Oregon Coast winter rains, I currently hover between 239 & 241 lbs., with the 2019 holidays nearly in the rear-view and a cleared schedule to go back to the weight room at the Tillamook YMCA.

Believe it or not, I’ve been medically prescribed weightlifting. Now, that’s some medicine right there.

For the final week of the year, our trainer Frank, who himself has lost a small child worth of weight, told us not to do a New Years Resolution this year. He told us not to even think about it. He stated that New Year’s Resolutions on statistical average are broken by February 13th, a simple six weeks later. There are some stats to back that claim:

With that in mind, the week’s MyWW lesson would be to pick one word to describe 2020.

One word that we are to repeat to ourselves once a day for 68 days. The last two days in 2019 and the next 66 days in 2020. While I couldn’t find a stat for “68 days,” I did find one for 66 days. The theory behind it appears to come from Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit,” according to this 2014 EliteDaily.com article I found.

(Guys, I found the link!)

He asked us to share our word, if we felt so comfortable.

A few shared their words. Towards the end, I eventually shared the word, “calm.”

Now, in fairness:

Katie would point out that I originally wrote down for the weekly recap was the word, “calmly.” She’s right.

In my defense, what Frank technically asked is to pick a word that we wanted to “walk into 2020 with.” The first world a fellow member shared was, “walk.” I guess we could have confirmed whether the member was either clarifying Frank’s request or sharing their word but given the fact the meeting was already well-well into extra time, it felt simpler to subject all adverbs to modification.

It got me to thinking, because I wasn’t thinkin’ when I jotted down the word in my recap notes.

Why “calm” (“calmly”)?

Katie & I got to talking and, damn, it was a sprint of a year.

We were on baby backup duty for most of the first half of the year, when we weren’t taking days to be with her grandmother in her remaining months (rest in peace).

Then there was the time Katie tried to walk my mother-in-law’s mower over a piece of driftwood because she was afraid of brown recluse (or hobo) spiders potentially living up top of the fence gate, and the weeks of quiet healing thereafter.

Then there was the venture into public service as the town was scurrying into fury, and the scramble to catch up.

Then Katie changed jobs mid-year, the flurry that came before and the peace that followed.

Then there was the inherent chaos from helping a short-run client set a project into the sunset with grace & dignity, going out on top, head held high.

Then there was our neighbors’ Bistro, and the beautiful old bayfront building they bought, and the 8-months-longer-than-anyone-but-town-eldest-elders-thought-it-would-take-to-rennovate-and-pass-county-health-codes.

PS: No, our family does not own the Bistro. We’re neighbors. Lending a hand is what neighbors do out here.

That said, the head chef & I do look a lot alike, but I’m sexier.

And other stories for another day.

All on top of owning our first home, which wasn’t new & isn’t turnkey.

All on top of a Fall 2018 of volunteering on Katie’s cousin’s house from Habitat for Humanity, as well as a county political campaign race.

All on top of the family shit still festering back Midwest.

All on top of integrating our rescue dog into a tribe.

All on top of learning about this new, old rustic place that seemed familiar before we moved here but has since become evermore strange & mysterious as our days fly by.

All on top of trying to expand the number of humans in our immediate family, which in addition to handing it over to God, is now getting advice from medical professionals – and now my previous weightlifting’s making even more sense.

Did I ever tell you about them Books of Blues…

And, breathe, Finn.


It reads like there were reasons why my body & mind jumped together at the chance to scream the word.

Calm the mind.

Calm the body.

Calm the schedule.

Calm the responsibilities.

Calm the commitments.

Calm the screaming terrors awakening the senses mid-sleep.
Calm the complexities.

Calm the expectations.

Immediate and centered, proper calm.

Something incredible happened just now.

I asked Katie for pictures for this post. I asked that they were (1) from this year and (2) looked calming. She picked, among other things from seemingly every year by 2019, the night of my birthday a few years back, in Bay Area where we shot baskets at the local park till the sun went down. Well, I shot baskets. She shot photos.

Katie being Katie, in no words and beautiful action she reminded me of all the simple, beautiful things that center around our family creed: God – in a sundown, Family – as the dogs were with us, Health – those peaceful nights, and & Business –  in basketball, as it is the lifeblood of back home.

Speaking of Katie, she started playing this song as she read this. “Bottom of the Barallel” by Amos Lee.

It was the calming song that spoke to us, and gave us clarity when we first considred a move to Bay Area.

This is a roots-ed out live version. Check it out.

And, breathe, Finn.

None of the above will be resolved by scampering without breathes, moments for reflection, and pockets of joy.

Now that I’m calm, we must scurry out of here.

We’re late, we’re late…

We all spent so much time gut-to-stud rennovating that incredible old The Troller building that habitats the Bistro, you’re damned straight we’re going to enjoy it on nights like tonight. Family, friends, & neighbors this new year, all mixed with ice and soda into one beautiful, time-stopping word…


Happy New Years, y’all.

And Tillamook Weight Watchers members, we’ll see y’all next Monday!

Chicago…we hope to see y’all next Spring during the…no jinxing.

And, sprint…

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