On the theory that we have to do things off our beaten paths once in a while, I confess that my Beloved and I have seen the Wooten Brothers twice in fewer than five days. We saw them perform at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke on the 7th, and on the 10th, we saw them at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Regi, Roy (“Futureman”), Joseph, and Victor, you can get a taste of them here. The clip is from the Jefferson Center on Saturday.
Tuesday evening’s show turned into Wednesday morning’s show, and by the time we got back to P’ville, it was closing in on 2 a.m., and I have to be up and buzzing at six. I am too old for this, or at least out of practice.
The point is that on Wednesday, while my body bumbled through the day and battled a headache, l felt so much better spiritually. I realized later that it was because I made zero demands on anything or anyone, including me. I was just happy to be upright, and had to focus a certain amount of energy on making sure this continued to be the case. It’s amazing how much stuff you can let slide in the interest of 1.) not falling over, and 2.) not accidentally wearing your underwear on your head. Other stuff happened, and some things got done, but I didn’t have a huge, difficult agenda for the day.
At lunch last week, a friend confided that she had a crucial deadline looming, and her stress levels had soared since she didn’t have enough time for the perfect job her perfectionist nature demanded. I want to be this woman when I grow up, because she was able to add, “So I have to let go of those expectations and just do what I can do.”
I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that her “just doing what she can do” will be awesome. And no humans will be harmed in the creation of her projects, either. Today, when I am rested and refreshed, I’m tempted to ratchet my own expectations meter back up to “impossible.” When I do that, people I love will suffer, because I am not wise and gentle but really kind of harsh and prone to swear.
Listen, I haven’t got any fresh doses of cosmic significance, but today I will live as if I’m exhausted. I’m going to evaluate a small mountain of student work and be merciful, since I’ve been given a lot of mercy recently. I’m going to get my hair cut. I’m going to spend part of the evening with a friend I love like a sister, and we are going to laugh like maniacs. I may wear my underwear on my head on purpose.
It’s such a relief not to feel like I have to micromanage my world. Today’s true thing: I am a child of God among all the other children of God, not the associate director of the universe. All I have to do are the things I’m given, in any particular moment, and do those as well as I can, not as well as I can if I absolutely kill myself and make everyone else miserable while I’m doing them. When I start doing that, somebody please kidnap me and take me to see the Wootens or the Mantras or Pigeons Playing Ping-Pong, so I can stay up all night and feel better in the morning.