Do you ever feel like you’re just sitting in a stagnant bowl of bland soup? Like life’s everyday responsibilities are just wearing you down and you need a break? I do. Except when I’m in my “get crap done” mode, which can last for days or weeks or longer. When I’m in that mode, I thrive off of boring, routine tasks and checking them off my list. It’s usually easy, even preferable, for me to pass up the fun and focus on the work. Except when it’s not. Except the times where I feel like I’m drowning in the soup while it’s bubbling over and I’m scorching the bottom of the pot.
So I’ve been trying to say “yes” to fun more. Like that movie “Yes Man,” except with no romantic plot line and less Red Bull.. but I definitely should have more Red Bull in my life.
So when the opportunity came to go to a concert where two of my favorite bands were playing, I bought tickets before I could talk myself out of it. I didn’t think about how hard it would be to find a babysitter, or how my kids were going to handle being away from me, or how I would make up for the studying I would miss. I said “yes” and that was that. Then the day came around and I wanted nothing more but to back out. Part of me was hoping there would be some sort of accident or natural disaster. Not huge, not enough where anyone was seriously hurt. Just enough to shut down all the roads or take out the electricity at the venue or something like that. Just enough to warrant me staying home, having dinner on the table between 5 and 5:30, baths at 6, bedtime at 7, hopefully shenanigans over and kids asleep by 8, and then just me and my laptop and grad school until I burst a blood vessel in my eye. Ahh, perfect.
But alas, no disasters. So I sort of slowly and methodically made my way to the car on time, because if I’m going to go I’m going to give myself enough time to find decent parking. I didn’t even get “ready”, I wore my mom jeans and chucks. My hair probably had baby snot in it. And it was actually sort of freeing to not care, not even a little bit. I’m so glad I went. It was actually awesome and just what I needed to get me out of the funk that I didn’t realize I was in.
Music has a way of just making you feel all the feels. I was preparing myself for when the band played mine and Gregg’s wedding song, which I knew they would. When we got married, we didn’t choose a song to dance to, nor did we do a whole “everyone watch awkwardly while these two newlyweds dance” dance. We just decided beforehand that whatever song was playing when we stole a moment away to be alone and dance that that would be “our song”. And so it was.
So there I am, getting ready to have an emotional breakdown surrounded by 2,000+ people. I had my sunglasses on (which, luckily, was natural, because at 8:30 in Utah the sun is still out, which also made it hotter than the surface of the sun) and was just going to nonchalantly wipes tears away like I was wiping the sweat off my face (seriously, the actual surface). And then they played it, and.. nothing. Well, not nothing, but not what I expected. I’m not exactly sure what I expected, really… ugly crying? Full on body heaving sobs? The apocalypse? But yeah, none of those happened. I just sort of felt sad and then numb. It was actually during a completely different song that I almost lost it, a song that Gregg and I never even listened to. And it was a song by the other band who were trying super hard to be “hard”, not the sensitive, emo band that should make me want to think about my sad, sad life. So yeah, I was the girl in mom jeans and back sweat that had the persistent itch on her cheek at the most inappropriate time. All the feels, in a weird way.
A few weeks after that, I also said yes to my 10 year high school reunion, which, as far as reunions go, was pretty fantastic. But a million reasons why I wanted to talk myself out of it. Even right before, I got suuupeeer wound up about things that were actually inconsequential, but served as a great scapegoat for my out control emotions. I was really feeling out of control because here I was, going to an event that Gregg and I had actually talked about going to quite a few times over the years. We were from the same graduating class at our high school, and I feel like we were sort of the couple that no one saw coming. When we would talk about where we would be an what we would be doing when our ten year reunion came around, Gregg usually said he’d be in Hollywood by then. Sometimes he’d say that he’d be pew pewing terrorists and saving the world and wouldn’t be able to go to it. Other times he’d say, “screw that, I’m not going,” regardless of where he thought he’d be. So for me to be going without him was… crushing. But once I was there, I got comfortable with one of my BFF’s and some old friends and had a good time.
Since Gregg died, I’ve tried to honor his memory by doing things that scare me. I need to be taken out of my comfort zone, for my own sake and for those around me. That’s part of what Gregg helped me with. He was constantly trying to get me to just live a little. Just spend the money on the shoes. Just apply for that job if you want it. Just leave the dishes in the sink. I realize these are really mundane, stupid things, but sometimes I’m a full-blown crazy person and have to be pulled out of my world where all the spinning plates must be spun or certain doom will befall. So I’m trying to get better at pulling myself out and living in the real world, where I can see things clearly and recognize what is really important. Because routines and checklists are great, but just breathing and connecting and living are just as important.