Apparently I don’t like consistency…but here I am again. This is more a reflective post than one to do with anything music related. But it includes my music family.
Over the previous years, there are few things I’ve appreciated more than getting to have normal life with people. I realize this is perhaps the most generic statement ever given, but it was profound when I first saw it. I remember the first time I ever witnessed two of my closest friends (who are married) get into a fight when I was with them. They weren’t throwing things or screaming, but it was intense, and they didn’t wait until I was gone. It was like family – you get to see the ugly parts and the pretty parts, and you often don’t get to choose which one you see on any given day. I remember sitting in the car on the way to Best Buy (I was in the front, the guy in the back seat & the wife driving) thinking, “I think I want to jump out of this window, but I’m also fascinated by the fact that they’re comfortable enough around me to do this.” Ten minutes later, it was all over. I asked what had happened to resolve it and she said, “You pick your battles. This wasn’t a battle that’s all that important so we just are moving on, no big deal.” I was holding their daughter and we were looking at projectors. It was normal, it was a funny situation, but very profound to me.
The last day or so at work has been like that moment for me…I’ve had conflict with my colleagues (that is always worked out within 10 minutes, but still…), intense decisions to be made, hours of research done to put into our 5, 10 and 20 year plans (my eyes crossing a million times in the midst of it), and moments of feeling less than proud of myself and responses to things under pressure. But I work with a team that gets through whatever situation with grace, resilience and hope. We choose our battles too, decide what to do to move forward, and go look at projectors (so to speak).
Yesterday, I got to help one of my colleagues’ kids with his math homework – we discussed writing out twenty-seven-thousandths (which I first explained incorrectly, but quickly made it right… it’s .027). One of my other colleagues, after a brief spat, asked me to give my thoughts on the very subject of our disagreement, inviting me into the creative portion of this project right after I was a jerk. One of our artist’s birthdays was yesterday and we went out to lunch with the families, ate good food, laughed a lot, and ran to our cars in the rain afterwards, going on with our days. Today while they’re recording upstairs, I was reprimanded because I screamed after one of our artists threw a foil ball at my office window and I thought it would hit me. On Friday, I’ll start taking guitar lessons from another person in our artist community which I’m outrageously excited about. All these things that seem normal are parts of every day. I get used to the normalcy, but I don’t appreciate it any less (at least I hope not).
Our office is a mess right now; we have loads of gear downstairs that we haven’t put back, my coffee mugs from the previous 3 days are still in my office (this is how my room is at home too), my papers are scattered and there are pieces of lent balled up on the carpet (sometimes cute decor is a pain to clean). It’s extremely normal as far as normal life goes. There’s this balance of pressure, mess, grace, normalcy, laughter and inspiration for more. As I’m looking at our plans moving forward, and all of those being written out and official, I wish I could capture the last few days and put them in there, too. It would read something like this, “Must have the normal shenanigans of every day life with people I love in order to operate healthily. Fighting necessary, practical jokes essential, and always provision of french press coffee for the insanity that ensues.”