|All right, I call a re-do on this year. Let's just all start over. Whine whine, ok I'm over it.|
I tend to shy away from personal blog posts. I know I know, it seems like I detail every truck stop and gig booking in excess, but that still leaves out a lot of what makes me tick, believe it or not. So I figure it's time to spill a little bit about 2010 so we can all move on and get moving on a real year.
Some of you know, some of you don't, but my Dad passed away on January 1st. It wasn't unexpected but it wasn't expected either, the timing and the occurrence. He had been sick for a while, his quality of life was not what he deserved. For this I am grateful that he is in a way better place. His family here is not mourning what happened, we are just missing him a whole lot. I feel like I'm too young to lose my Dad, but everyone's had different things happen to them in their lives and no one is too young or old for anything.
Because of this, every day this year is the first one of this new reality in my life. Not only the big deals like Dad's birthday or Father's Day, but the first February 19th without my dad. The first February 20th. My friends have been patient and understanding. I work and hang out with good people.
So there's that. And then this past weekend another big part of my life was shaken up pretty hard.
I was in Austin to see Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines play at the Cactus Cafe. It was an awesome show. I had a great time. I walked to my car. I noticed I had a voicemail from a minute prior. It was Susan the Boss - she had gone to La Grange (about an hour from Austin) to sing at her friend Elizabeth's gig at the Bugle Boy. I called her back, she had just wrecked the van in La Grange. She thought her arm was broken. I told her to call 911.
I drove like a responsible driver who just had to be somewhere an hour away ASAP and met her at the ER. And there were x-rays, and when your boss who plays guitar for a living ends up with x-rays like this, you start to question what is going to happen to a lot of things.
Fast forward to today, just so I don't leave you in suspense, but Susan's got 2 plates and 11 pins in her arm and wrist. She's expected to fully recover but it's going to be a few months. She's on the mend and already feeling tons better since her bones aren't moving around anymore. A lot of self-employed musicians don't have health insurance, this case included, so I got real good at fundraising really fast. People are generous and kind. They love what Susan brings to the world and so many people have stepped up, it's been incredible. I fully believe she will come out of this experience better than she could ever expect. And more metallic.
I've been overwhelmed at the kindness people have shown me, too -- they know I'm reliant on a touring Susan. That's my job, is to facilitate her touring on both the front end and the back end. When it became obvious that might halt or slow down considerably, many people offered help and support to me, too. We both have a huge community around us, and if we ever took it for granted, now I don't think we ever will.
I learned that with both of these big life events. You find out who your friends are, which is usually a bigger and more devoted circle than you think. You find out what you think you should be doing is not always really what you should be doing. I have decided that this is not the year for me to climb any ladders. I'm not up for it. I'm trying to focus on the things that matter to me. Family, friends, music, art. Words. None of that with any pressure or obligation. Just the enjoyment of their presence in my life, because it has been shown to me in stunning detail twice in the last two months that even the most important people and things in your life can go away very quickly. In the case of my Dad, it's a blessing for him and a mourning process for us. In the case of Susan, it's an intense feeling of gratefulness that she is still here.
Both are events that I know will make me embrace my own time here with more enthusiasm, less worry, more joy. So I guess 2010 hasn't been so bad after all, if that's what it teaches me.