As I mentioned, I’ve really been struggling with this transition from full-blown party vacation mode to my much more uneventful everyday existence. In retrospect, perhaps it was a bad idea to do all that laundry in one day. It just made things feel that much more mundane and tedious.
The past couple of days, when I’ve woken up in the morning, I’ve heard the sound of a lone saxophone coming from far away, like what you often hear in the French Quarter. Obviously, no one around here is playing a saxophone at 9 o’clock in the morning, and it’s not like we have any super close neighbors out here. Except for Neighbor Dave, and I’d be willing to bet the farm that he doesn’t play saxophone at all, let alone plays it that well! So I knew I was hearing it in my head. Lingering memories of wandering around the Quarter, hearing great music everywhere, even from street musicians. For this music lover, it’s pretty much heaven on earth.
I’ve been in a funk since we’ve been back, and I was unable to snap myself out of it just by having a stern talking-to with myself. I made the good decision last night of writing to Shane. He and Matt just got back from a great two-week vacation to California and the Southwest, and Shane is going through a very similar post-vacation blues. He totally got where I was coming from. He went from being in the desert, sitting around a campfire, and looking up at the stars to dealing with customers and the frustrations of his job. He said he’s been thinking of being back there and looking up at the stars. I read that this morning, and I sat here and cried, because he got it. It’s not about not loving what I have here. It’s about enjoying myself so much and feeling such incredible euphoria for an entire week, and then returning to a much more quiet existence. I knew I’d find my happy place again, and I told Shane we could help each other get through this, but I honestly wasn’t sure how long it would take for me to snap out of this.
While the thorn in Shane’s side was dealing with the endless flow of customers and their “issues,” for me, it is the current state of politics and the hyper-partisanship. I had a bit of an epiphany while in New Orleans when I was talking with Jason, but that is a story for another day. Let’s just say that something has gotta give, and I am going to stop the pettiness and demonization of people. It’s the right thing to do for me. It’s unsustainable. It achieves nothing. But anyway...more to come about that in another entry.
I really feel for anyone who is going through a genuine chemical depression, because I was just going through a little period of post-vacation blues, and I was feeling awful. Those of you who know me in person—or even if you’ve never met me and just know me through this blog—know how much that goes against my nature. My friend Dan mentioned in a comment on Facebook a while back that “Beth is one of the happiest people I know.” That made me feel good, because I’m glad it shows. To not feel that usual cheerfulness is just alien and upsetting to me. To top it all off, I had a horrible drowning nightmare this morning, where I fell into the ocean and was getting swept out to sea. I haven’t had one of those in ages, but it’s obvious to me that it’s a sign of anxiety. I remember thinking in the dream, “So I guess this is how I’m going to die, but there’s so much I still want to do!” Not a good way to wake up, and it made my mood even more black this morning.
I’m not gonna lie to you, girlfriend and boyfriend, I was a hot mess!
But I got my act together and headed out to the grocery store. First of all, it was great to be behind the wheel of my Mustang again, to hear its roar, to hit it and tear up the road with the leaves blowing behind me. Nothing like a muscle car to make you feel a little more empowered. At first, I had NPR on, but I thought, “Fuck that!” (sorry Diane Rehm...it’s not you, it’s me) and cued a Green Day CD. I cranked it up louder and louder, and sang at the top of my voice. I was blowing out the cobwebs, and it was working! I was feeling better by the time I got to the store, and I made sure to try to smile at as many people as I could, and just that simple act seemed to help bring me out of my self-absorption. On the way home, I listened to the same song and cranked it and sang again. As I was getting close to Nutwood, I thought about taking a little spin around the dirty back roads, but I knew I had too much to do, and that yogurt wasn’t gonna refrigerate itself, right? Besides, I was feeling pretty okay by that point.
After putting away the groceries, I went out to do my workout and I hit it hard. I’d taken a month off of weights because of a strained muscle in my neck, but I was ready to pick it up again and it felt great. Viva la endorphins! I spent some time in the afternoon catching up on my online courses, and History of Rock Part Two is going to be even better than Part One, in my opinion.
I find it fitting that what I’m probably missing the most about New Orleans is the music and getting to hear such great stuff starting in the early afternoon and going most of the night, and music is what pulled me out of my funk. It has been my solace for as long as I can remember, and it hasn’t failed me yet. Thanks, Green Day. I needed that!
Here is the song that blew out my cobwebs, “Dirty Rotten Bastards.” Really fun to sing along with, with lines like “Calling all demons, this is the season, next stop is therapy.” This IS my therapy, guys!