1. Slay the hunger of the dogs, who wake you up three hours before your usual rising time with fierce and uncaring scratching, whining, and barking.
2. Slay the nine heads of morning before they have time to speak the curses that will keep you from the rest of the day’s labors.
3. Capture a photograph of the little wrens on your back porch, quick and determined with their upturned tails.
(not my photo, alas)
4. Capture the love people offer so astonishingly and cling onto it like a beach ball that will buoy you through the day.
5. Clean your house—dishes in the kitchen, papers in the office, boxes and dog hair in the living room, clothes and sheets in the bedroom—in a single day.
(also not my photo–my house is messier, and the papers spill even into the kitchen)
6. Slay the vultures of doubt and worry, the ones that drop bills and rejections like feces.
7. Capture the slow-leaking back right tire, tie it down in the back of the car, deliver it to the fixers of tires.
8. Steal the energy and optimism of your students—or borrow it, really—so that you can give it back to them when they need it.
9. Obtain the face cream that only one drugstore chain carries, and not the other, and you can never remember which.
10. Obtain the apples, cheese, eggs, half-and-half, sugar-snap peas, ground turkey, chocolate, and tonic of the monstrous grocery store.
11. Don’t steal the gin—Bombay Sapphire or Hendricks—from the liquor store next door, but pay for it with your debit card.
12. Capture and bring back the words you need from the depths of your subconscious, the words that might make some sense of it all—and if that fails, sit on your couch with a dog on either side of you and watch Poirot.