Yesterday was a good day.

I studied my Spanish.

I found the problem in my new Sudoku-solving program.  I’ve given it four Sudoku puzzles: it solves three of them in less than one second and the other one in just over one second.

I fixed the door to the garage.  It had been stuck open. The motor was working, but when you pressed the button for it to close, it made a sound, stopped, and then flashed lights for a while.  I googled the problem, and fixed it: The safety sensors were out of alignment.

I helped my wife regrout the shower floor. Again.  This is the third time, but we are getting good at it.

Then I spent the afternoon putting together a robot arm.  I’d bought it as a kit a few months back, but I hadn’t had time to put it together.  I hadn’t even had time to open the box. When I did, I discovered that there were no directions to put it together. I unboxed it; sorted out the parts as best I could; then I started to put it together.  I actually had one piece together before I had an idea. Remembering my garage door, I googled how to put this together, and there was a video on YouTube.  

The parts were laid out on one end of the house and my computer was on the other, so I spent the afternoon going back and forth between the two.  I looked at the video and made notes, and then went back to the robot arm and put it together while binging House on Netflix.

While I still have some wiring to do, the arm was screwed together before supper.

Then, in the evening, my better half and I watched the last three episodes of the second season of Lost in Space.

For those of you who wonder why I don’t rest while I am on Christmas break, let me say that was rest.  I didn’t speak to a single human being that I am not related to; I didn’t have to explain anyone’s behavior; I didn’t have to solve anyone else’s problems.  So, yes, it was rest.

I am not complaining.  Well, I guess I am, but I shouldn’t.  I’ve never done anything in my life that my dad would’ve called work, but then I’ve done some things that he wouldn’t’ve done for any amount of money period.  Most of that involved portraying different emotions on the outside than what I was feeling on the inside. Those of you who have done that--and I know a lot of you have--know that it can be exhausting.

You get used to it after a while...up to a point.  When you grow up among people who equate openness with honesty, it is hard.  You have to rewire yourself a little bit at a time, and after a while, you wonder if you’ve rewired yourself so much that you are a different person than you were before.

But you keep a small part of yourself that is you. Something that no one can touch.  Something that is yours. And when you can, you retreat back into that and say: This is who I really am.

Today has started off as a good day too.  I’ve studied my Spanish and have sent off Tuesday’s column to my sister columnist Stephanie Potter.  Now I am writing this. When I am done here, I will brush my teeth and run to the pharmacy to get my thyroid pills.  Then I plan to come home and wire up my robot arm.

It is the beginning of another good day.

— Bobby Winters, a native of Harden City, Oklahoma, blogs at and He invites you to “like” the National Association of Lawn Mowers on Facebook.