1. Breathe.
2. Say goodbye to any pets before you leave.
3. Notice the feel of the doorknob in your palm.
4. Hear the tumblers click in the lock when you turn the key.
5. Stop walking, stand still in your yard, look around.
6. If it’s before dawn, notice the streetlights, the halved moon, the silver stars.
7. If it’s after dawn, greet the cat who always leaves paw prints on your windshield.
8. If the sun is up, gaze at the clouds.  Notice shape, size, color, movement, relative poofiness.
9. Listen to the birdsong.
10. Think of something to be grateful for.
11. Pray.
12. If it’s cold, feel the chill or condensation on your arms.
13. If it’s hot, feel the sun on your cheeks.
14. Feel the grass squish and crunch beneath your shoes.
15. Reach out and finger a leaf on the tree by your car.  Notice the texture.
16. Catalogue the ambient noise (doors slamming, car alarms, airplanes, truck engines two streets over)
17. Take three breaths before turning over the engine.
18. If you’re me, pause in the desperate hope that the engine actually turns over.
19. Sing along with Eric Clapton’s “Layla” on the classic rock station.
19. Mind the McNally’s car that always extends past the driveway.
21. Breathe.   TZT