Roller Coaster Maintenance


Monday June 16th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

Life’s roller coaster ride continues, but I’m not sure if I want to be on a roller coaster. It would be nice to get off for a while and get a hot dog or something, and maybe take a leak. The ups and downs are starting to take their toll as I get older. How about a ride on something less violent?

I just experienced a super ‘up’ by patching things up with my siblings this year. It was a major victory to get them to all come out for one meal, but that was just the first step. Everything can’t be ‘fixed’ in one sitting, and just like in any long term human relationship work has to be done.

Getting together with my sister Tammy for our barbecue last Friday was nothing short of a life changing experience in a wonderful way. I’d wanted to air those issues out since childhood, and I finally got my chance. We didn’t leave any unfinished business, and it feels like I’m a new man.

Yesterday I called my brother Larry on the phone, and we had a great conversation as well. We never fought as kids, but we have been apart for too long and it felt fantastic to get back in touch and catch up. He’s going through some problems of his own, and I was glad to be able to listen.

Our other brother Bruce is in Florida, and I wrote him a long email updating him on how it all went at Tammy’s, and went down a list of things that I was truly sorry for. It’s hard to admit one is wrong, but I also feel it’s necessary when it’s true. He wrote back a very short response saying we’re all good and that there’s no need to dig up the past. All he wants is for us to look forward.

That’s three for three extremely positive outcomes with three individuals that could not be any more different. We managed to agree that we all came from a horrible place, but none of us want to stay there. We are all on our own individual roller coaster rides, but we still share blood ties.

It mystifies me how life tends to play itself out. When my career has been at its best, my family situation has been in absolute shambles. Now that my family situation is the best it has ever been my career is in the toilet. I find that part funny and part frustrating beyond belief. But there it is.

I am finding myself really in need of a major vocational change of direction. Being constantly on the road used to be what kept me going and I couldn’t get enough of it. Now, the thought of being more than 100 miles from home makes my poop shoot wink with disgust. I’m SO over it.

I’m also over trying to outshout drunks and deal with lowlife booking agents. I want to do this on my terms, and I think I’ve earned that right. The drunks and the bookers don’t think so, but it isn’t up to them. Neither party will miss me, nor will any of them ever care if I’m happy or not.

The choice is entirely up to me, and I’m choosing happiness – or at least the pursuit of it. I have never been an ass kisser, and that seems to be a requirement in the entertainment game. If I were to decide to acquiesce and kiss an ass, it sure wouldn’t be any of the ones I’ve been dealing with. I’d do it for someone that had real power in the business – not some mediocre gigs in Michigan.

In some ways, I’m sitting in the best position I’ve ever been in. The inner peace I have chased for a lifetime has been caught – just in time to have to find a new way to generate steady income. It’s like I can’t even enjoy what I have waited so long to experience, but right now I can’t. I have to get myself stable financially, and then I need to find a therapist and get myself stable mentally as well. I have put some hard miles on my body and brain, it’s time for a maintenance overhaul.

Life is a roller coaster ride, but after a while we can all use a break from the whiplash.

Life is a roller coaster ride, but after a while we can all use a break from the whiplash.

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