10 for 21

By Darren Buford
[Editor's Note]

I love a good list. In my house on the fridge and at the office on my desk, you’ll find restaurant lists, movie lists, album lists, reading lists, hiking lists, and work to-do lists. Let’s be clear: I have a list problem.

Why do I love lists so much? I love them because they remind me of the great/interesting/cool things I’ve done in the past and exciting future plans to be. So, why spoil a good opportunity to make a Top 10 for ’21? This isn’t a New Year’s resolution list (they have a horrible success rate); rather, these are my to-dos for this year. They will get done (fail to plan, plan to fail).


1. Take joy in the simple things: slow down, be present, notice.


2. Be more inclusive in my personal and professional life. Support Black-owned businesses and find and collaborate with people of color in the massage profession.


3. Support massage therapists and bodyworkers by receiving at least monthly therapeutic hands-on touch.


4. Support our professional organizations (like the Massage Therapy Foundation and Healwell) who are doing great work, by making donations and/or offering assistance.


5. Support my local businesses—restaurants, stores, and, yes, massage therapists—within a mile of my home.


6. Be a connector; be a promoter of others’ good work. Recognize the moment when I can improve someone’s life through exposure and connections. 


7. Eat more vegetarian meals, at least ¼ to ½ of my weekly dinners; introduce more fresh produce into my diet.


Get outside daily. Fresh air, check. Exercise, check. I may live in Colorado and go for a big hike once a week (5+ miles), but I want to take more shorter walks near my home.


9. Less screen time. Avoid the rabbit hole. This goes without saying, and something we all should do in order to take #1 seriously.


10. Listen attentively. To others. To life.


I encourage you to make your own 2021 to-dos . . . and stick with them! We hope you enjoy this first issue of the new year. Inside, you’ll find a slightly new look (it was time for a facelift) and some relevant topics if you’re missing massage (“Reflections on Touch in a Distanced World” by David M. Lobenstine, page 68, “My Body Said Stop,” by Amanda Long, page 76), or if you’re back up and practicing, well, literally the rest of the book.


With gratitude, flexibility, and presence.


Darren Buford