Shinybass journal entry 12/14/17

Your eyes are open, but what do you see?

 

Such a deep, deep opening for (what was originally intended to be) a light journal entry, methinks. I am currently many miles above the earth (realistically about 6 miles, which is, coincidentally, longer than I care to run), and I am reflecting on an awful lot. This is the product of a)lack of sleep b)lack of sleep, and c) my airport people interaction/watching. I rode in a shuttle on the way to the airport and engaged with a couple who apparently are not very happy, yet somehow know it all. I didn’t shave today (OK, this week), and have a baseball hat on, and there was a lot of ‘cover-judging’ going on. The thing is, I will talk to anyone: rich, poor, young, old; and give everyone the same, level playing field. The best people to talk with – anyone over 80. Try it sometime.

But I digress. I know when I am on a flight to NYC by all the carryon bags. You city-dwellers are efficient by design. I have a weeks’ worth of clothes in my bag for an overnight. Ä overnight. I surprised even myself by bringing only 2 pair of shoes. I understand I am a bit of a diva when I travel, and generally bring way too much stuff ‘just in case’. But this isn’t about me. It’s about you.

So all these early-flight fliers get on board and go to sleep. I get it – it’s early. I watched a man fall asleep clutching his oversized Starbucks cup with the protective instinct of a mother bear holding her cub. He then perked up at the 10000 feet small device annoucement and cracked open a laptop and an iPad, and promptly got to work. I looked around afger take off an no one in my immediate vicinity watched the incredible sunrise. Joe Starbucks is more in tune with his microchips than he is with the macro world. How many sunrises and sunsets do we really see in our lifetime? Shouldn’t we take them all in when we can?

And believe me – I get tired. My wife and I are perpetually tired. Two babies will do that to you. Somehow she maintains a house while I am out, so her level of tired far outweighs mine, and I am generally beat. I have learned how to be ridiculously productive on a few hours’ sleep, and I look ahead to the day when the sleep eases back into our routine.

But I see so many people just losing their lives by not paying attention. Walking around a museum a couple weeks ago and seeing people buried in cell phones is disappointing. Missing the chance at a sunrise? Shameful. And who is the hypocrite here? Me. Oh yeah.

We got home from our latest run at 6:30 AM on Monday, after a 4-hour bus ride. A 4-hour ride means no sleep. Then I get home to a sick baby who needs a visit to the doctor. I kept Henry from school as well, so around 4PM, I was spent. We were watching something colorful and animated, so I did a quick social media check. I looked up and Henry was looking at me, and I think he was just sort of like ‘What’s on that thing that’s more important than me?’ Well, nothing, buddy, I promise.

And I felt bad. I did. It sounds a bit excessive, but it’s a moment I won’t get back. Granted I need ‘me’ time as well, but I didn’t need it at that moment. And you know where I am now? About 1000 miles away, wishing I had that moment back.

I like to think I generally know my audience with this blog, so your kids are probably more independent than mine. I get it. There are also so many moments I already miss, as I am sure you do as well as your kids get older and have kids of their own. These moments – this is our life. This is it. Those babies are the most important things we have. Second to that – opening our eyes to everything else.

Some people are less than romantic and could give two shavings about a sunrise. Or a perfect bowl of gumbo. Or the wildflowers in Montana. Or the resilient beauty of a 100-year old barn. Or the dead silence of a new snowfall. Or breathing in the salt air of a pacific coast. And you know what? Again, shameful. Most of these thing are free, yet we feel we need to spend money and look in the ‘wrong’ places to find beauty. Like our phones.

So how do we change this? There is this little thing going on in a few weeks called New Year’s Day. That resolution can happen. I know it’s one of mine. Leave the phone on the damn counter when at home. Leave it in my bunk on the bus. And spend more time having coffee and meals with friends. More talking, less texting. Those are my simple resolutions. If you are willing to help me with that, then let’s do it.

 

You want road updates? FINE. Here we go.

 

We’ve been on the Kellie Pickler/Phil Vassar Christmas tour for a few weeks now, and it has gelled rather nicely. The Pickler camp is full of pros, which makes life really easy. The shows have been a nice change from our usual routine. We dress up a little more and play songs we wouldn’t normally do (I mean, no one does Christmas in July anymore…), and the day is especially easy for me since I am not really required to do sound check. This means the day is mine.

El Dorado (pronounced like Tornado), Arkansas is an old oil town with a great historic downtown. I know the locals thought I was crazy as I zigzagged all over with no real destination or purpose. If I may make one suggestion: someone open a good breakfast spot downtown. It’s needed.

We were in Jonesboro, Arkansas the next day, and sadly, I never left campus. The performing arts theater was very nice, and although I didn’t leave, I didn’t feel bad. The last time I was on the campus at A State I didn’t leave either. That was when I played there with Luke Bryan on the Jason Aldean tour a few years ago. Funny how life sneaks back around on you.

So I am going to sign off since we are in our descent, and I have to get primed for some NYC sightseeing today before (and after) the show.

So I ask you this: What are some of your resolutions? What are we going to change in the coming year? Let me know!

 

I’ll see you on the road!