Cheese and Whine

All I seem to do in this blog is complain. Or maybe it’s that I only turn to it when I’m feeling down or frustrated. So I’m going to try an exercise. I’m going to write down good things that have happened recently, without adding my negative editorials to it. Big or small. Good things only.

  1. Last weekend, we got to stay in the most beautiful B&B I’ve ever seen. For free. Out of the goodness of the hearts of a few folks in a small town that’s slowly disappearing, simply because we offered to play music for them. (Technically I guess we paid 3 dozen eggs, but that’s another story…) It was a quiet, two and-a-half story Victorian home built in 1900, with much of the original interior and exterior intact and unchanged. The grounds were serene, bordered by an incredible park and a cemetery with graves dating back to the Civil War and the C.S.A. The weather was hot, but enjoyable. (Feeling the impending ruthlessness of a Texas summer was actually amusing, and refreshing in a way. We made it around again.) And everyone we met was accommodating, friendly and appreciative.
  2. A few people in the office are making an effort to rally up some social activities. I hadn’t really realized how much I missed that until the plans started forming. It’s been a long time. I miss feeling camaraderie up there. I hope this helps change things.
  3. I left work early today and had no traffic coming home. I think it took 20 minutes to get from the parking garage to my driveway.
  4. This morning the scale said 121.6. I think that’s the lowest it’s been since before we went on tour last summer.
  5. Today I had the first I-just-felt-like-talking-about-nothing-in-particular phone call I’ve had in I don’t know how long. Josh called from Anchorage just to talk. Nothing specific. I realized how much I avoid the phone these days. How quickly I try to fill the silence and end a call just to make sure it ends before it gets awkward. I can’t remember the last time I was able to just relax on the phone, and just see where the conversation went, without it being about anything in particular.
  6. I have a really beautiful flower bed in front of my house. We’ve made that. And I love seeing it every morning when I leave, and every afternoon when I get home.
  7. I found a new appreciation for Mary Gauthier’s album, Mercy Now, that I didn’t have when I bought it (probably about 6 years ago). I’m really glad that my taste in music has grown, and my openness to songs I don’t know has expanded greatly. I bought the album for one song in particular, puttered through the rest and didn’t really give it a second thought. I put it in the car Monday morning because I needed some creative fuel, and she’s one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard. I’ve been hoping that immersing myself in her music will help shake some things loose and help me write. Regardless, it’s been nice to dust that one off and find a new appreciation for it.

I’m taking an active step in clearing out the negative noise in my head. Right here, with this exercise. The negativity I feel has reached levels that I’m convinced are toxic. I’ve just about completely isolated myself from people, I avoid interactions, I dread going to my job, I don’t work efficiently, I meet most interactions with a default irritation and frustration, my physical state is not ideal, my libido has disappeared, all I want to do is sleep, and, most disturbingly, I’m not writing. I’m not creating.

But today, we received something that helped me adjust my perspective a little. And I’m going to try really hard to quiet this negative noise, until I can silence it for good, or at least tame it in a cage, so I can at least walk away from it whenever I choose.

After hearing us play in Calvert, TX this weekend, a total stranger sent us this email:

I just wanted to send a message to let yall know how much we enjoyed your music. We were out riding the Harley and stopped there because this is one of my favorite towns. Your music stopped us in our tracks, we came in pulled up a chair and enjoyed great music. My boyfriend is in the military, it is rare that we get time together, so again we really enjoyed yall. The song you two wrote, that you introduced as writing it for friends that had lost jobs, how life changes, i cried throughout the entire song. It reminded of my mother. I lost her to suicide in 11/2010, everyday is difficult but that song was beautiful. Congrats on your upcoming wedding and blessings for continued success. We hope to have the opportunity to see you again. It was so sweet watching the two of you interact,the love yall have for one another radiated. Couples like that are rare. Thanks again for coming all the way here to play. Best wishes! Jennifer and Andrue

I remember that life is bigger than the day-to-day would have us believe. There is more, and it is beautiful.

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