Please Do Not Sit on the Rails

Setting

IMG_3228Living room. Orange chair. Giant dog chewing his toenails on his orthopedic giant bed. Ceiling fans are circulating the warm air and music is playing in the background. Feeling very adult, I open a bottle of Apothic Red (with a real cork and everything), pour a glass for myself and swirl it around in my glass. I feel like red wine is a very adult wine to drink, much more so then my preferred white wine.  So as I sit here sipping my red wine and making a weird pucker face each time I sip it, I realize either my view of wines needs to change or I need to accept that I am not quite an adult because I still really don’t like red wine. End scene. (Wait..was that a scene or a setting? I knew I shouldn’t have dropped that screenwriting class.)

In my everyday life, I feel like I have been acting the part of an adult. Although if it was really a part I could play, it would be so much easier because my lines would already be written for me.  The times I do feel adult-ish, it’s like I’m watching myself on the movie screen,  thinking, “Wow, this lady sounds kind of smart right now, and she is wearing accessories. She must be an adult”.

And then a conversation like this happens:

Me: What’s the weather like right now?

Friend: I am drinking humidity.

Me: That’s better than drinking your own sweat.

Friend: Is it?

Me: I guess technically humidity is made up of everybody’s sweat.

Friend: And evaporated urine.

Me: So when it’s humid we are actually drinking other people’s sweat and urine?

Friend: Pretty much.

Hmm…still an adult in the making. So I am left to wonder if someday I’ll wake up one morning feeling like I have transformed into an adult, just as a caterpillar turns magically into a butterfly (for the record, that made me giggle and I sort of wanted to wave my arms like I was flying as I typed it).

The truth is being an adult is no fun anymore. The world has gotten to be such a serious place. (Note: It probably always was, but I only recently started paying attention.) All the things that we have to worry about. What if my kids get hit by a car? What if I am a bad mom and these kids are going to need therapy in 20 years? What if I am terrible at my job? What if the advice I give leads people in the worst direction possible? What if I don’t tell people I love them enough. And if that isn’t enough, then on a grander scale, what if all the icebergs melt and the polar bears have nowhere to go, what if our new president sells us to Russia, what if California ends up in the ocean, what if the bad in the world finally outweighs the good?

And on. And on. And on.

Whilst in the middle of this conundrum, as crazy as it sounds, I think the universe might have sent me a message. I had been searching for songs that have Thursday in the song title, because while a lot of songs exist about the weekend and Mondays, it’s more difficult to find songs that have the other days of the week in them. Through my extensive, super important research, I came across a song with the title “It’s Thursday, January 12th, and This is the Last Time I’ll Talk About Drowning” by Flatsound. How could I not listen to that song? (see following three reasons listed below)

  1. It met the Thursday requirement.
  2. My birthday is actually January 12th.
  3. I was born on a THURSDAY!!!

I listened to the song and I instantly fell in love with it. It has this amazing line in it that clung to me.

“I get so lost in the thought of life, that I forget to start living mine.”

Wow. Getting lost in the thought of life.

AllIMG_3292 that worry, all those things I can’t control, if I am focused on those things, what am I missing? I have lived most of my life waiting for the other shoe to drop, trying not to get too attached to people because they are going to leave and I am going to get hurt.  Caught up in all the “what could go wrongs” and forgetting to truly live life. I’m so good at it, that I have spent 15 years working in risk mitigation (now that sounded way too adult).

With all the noise going on around us, it is so easy to get lost in the thought of life. We are not immortal, so there is a part of us that is always going to have that fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of loss, but we can’t let that fear envelope us to the point that we are missing out on the laughter and love we find in connecting with other people.

Turn off the news every once in a while. Accept that the other shoe is going to drop and stop wasting time preparing for it. Push yourself everyday to stop comparing yourself to the people next to you that seem like they have it all handled and their life must be easier than yours, because they may be looking at you the same way. I know I am not the first person to say any of this, but we all need a constant reminder. Stop waiting for the tragedy to happen for you to truly appreciate life. Stop talking yourself out of things because you are scared and just go for it. Don’t forget to start living.

IMG_3332

I googled the phrase “waiting for the other shoe to drop” and found out it was from the late 19th and early 20th centuries when apartment-style living was popular. A person would hear a shoe drop from the apartment above and would then wait for the loud bang of the other shoe to drop.

 

 

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