Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Fall Of Summer; Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Always Give a Crap

Summer has always been my savior. Since I could walk, I have thrived on the warmth of the sun, the extra light of evenings and the general idea that summer means fun. Music sounds better in summer and nothing sounds quite as perfect as the summertime ocean. But this year, with just two days left in August, I feel like I have been cheated, gaslighted. My summer has been a series of mishaps and disasters, disloyalty and neglect, bad news, worse news, sickness and death. Summer was always my savior, but Summer 2018, has been one apathetic piece of shit.

I've always admired people who could get through adversity as if picking lint off a pair of slacks. I, on the other, have been told I wear my heart on both sleeves. I react, and more often than not, overreact. I realize, that at times, I can be a handful. But I realize it and I try to work through it, talk through it. This summer, I found out the hard way, most people don't like talking through it. If you've got something good to say, people are all ears. But if a problem arises, suddenly the phone goes dead.

One way I overreact is my inability to move forward. I literally become temporarily catatonic. I watch others carry on with their lives because they need to, while I lay crippled on my couch, unable to lift my arms, eyelids feeling like two ton weights, as I try desperately to find an answer to the questions--

"How could he say that?"
"How could she think that?
"Why did he do that?"
"Why did I write that?"
"How could we fix this?"

Get the picture? While I am sunken into my couch lamenting what went wrong between me and Joe, Joe is out listening to a band and drinking margaritas. Joe's not wrong and neither am I, at least in my head. I am just bothered by extremes. Caring too much versus not caring at all? Thinking too much versus not thinking at all? Loving too much versus not loving at all? I am desperate for the middle.

At the suggestion of a number of friends I love and respect, I started meditating in June. If you know me at all, you probably find the prospect of me sitting still for any amount of time I am awake, highly improbable. But you'd be surprised. Since June, I have clocked over 1,000 minutes of meditation. I have taken away two very important ideas during this time. The first is, it's okay to start over. You can start over as many times as you'd like. This is very helpful in believing that all will work out. Think of it as never making a mistake.

The other thing meditation has given me, though I am not completely there, is clarity. It is not easy to take the blame when things go wrong, but it is also quite comforting to know that I am not always wrong, even if I don't get confirmation from the other party. That little exercise is all up to me. If I can't change your mind, at least I can change mine. Pride and ego can take a seat and wait until their numbers are called, or that's what I am hoping to achieve.

Ultimately, I want to accept when things go wrong and hope whoever is involved will not be wandering around the tri-state area, thinking I am some melodramatic nutjob who just likes to wind people up. I'm trying not to care so much about what people think of me when I gush over music. I can only hope they can one day find that same joy and be as passionate. People love passion, until they don't. I will never stop giving a crap, even if others find it to be "too much."

As for the endless supply of garbage being dumped my way this summer, well, I am already feeling better about it and if things continue to go in this direction, it will be summer until November.


Ccjctwo said...

Nicely put. I am confident that you have only scratched the surface with this meditation deal. That was my experience.
Nothing lasts. Everything changes. That’s another perspective on ‘starting over’ - for me, there is no over to start at. Love you bro!

cmealha said...


Alan said...

Hi Sal. I love this post. For me, the only way out of despair is community. People I like and respect who find a way to do something together. A regular watering hole, a reading series/open mike, concerts in clubs that feel like a gathering of the flock. And I am always inspired by people's passion, legacy, and big heartedness. (PS: That includes you!) And remember, there are some things you can't love too much, because they deserve every drop of it. I try to find as many of those things as I can.

Anonymous said...

Though not always successful, my mantra for the past few years has been, 'Only Worry About Things You Can Control'


vanwoert said...

Tom Robbins once wrote, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood". That's my mantra if it helps.

Christine said...

Very nicely said, and the comments are pretty cool, as well. You have many people who think you're really amazing. It was a shitty summer for many of us. However, thanks to whatever we want to blame it on--global warming, getting old, not having to go back to school--I believe September is the new August. So, enjoy what's left of the summer! We have an entire month left! Let's all make it count.

Tumblingdice70 said...

Great post Sal, that took a whole lot of being vulnerable to put out there. We've
all been there, keep up the good fight!

Your summer sounds like Rocks Off brought to life....

Heading for the overload
Splattered on the dirty road
Kick me like you've kicked before
I can't even feel the pain no more

Congratulations on the meditation, I need to do it also.


Unknown said...

Great read, Sal. I struggle with anxiety as well. I appreciate that there are people, like you, who put themselves out there. This post has me doing some soul searching.

Michael Giltz said...

The Giltz family crest contains the motto: "I WAS RIGHT AND YOU WERE WRONG!!" so it's meaningful when I say, "You are not always wrong!" I've even said to myself, "You are not always right!" and someday soon I'll even believe me :)

Yours in music,


A walk in the woods said...

This is some deep stuff, and thanks a lot for sharing. I'm running out the door now, but reminding myself to comment more later. But in a word - bravo!!!

steve simels said...

Hang in there, pal.

buzzbabyjesus said...

It's better to feel to much than not at all. Your passion is part of what makes you you. Meditation is a method for channelling it.
Elusive clarity comes with practice, and it's more about the journey than destinations.

A walk in the woods said...

One more thought. I agree with BBJ above - it's all a way of channeling stuff that can feel not good into something that is good. Good luck in your journey - I think it's awesome.

Chris Collins said...

I love this outlook. Seriously.

Every day is a new day. Every minute is a new minute. I love that