Get Out The Map, Jack.

Last night I spent the evening with my two closest girlfriends, drinking wine and eating a copious amount of carbohydrates. Before I launch into my word scramble, I just need to remind you: Spending time with good friends is underrated. These two know me better than anyone – probably even better than I know myself – so I urge you today to call up a good friend and go catch up.

But that’s not really my topic today, even though the activity does feed into the theme a little.

I’ll admit, I’m still reeling a bit over the loss of my good friend, Bill. If you want to read more about him, take a look at this post. But for now, let’s just say that I’ve recently been thinking a lot about how short life is and how much of my life I’ve wasted trying to make others happy.

I don’t have a lot of BIG ideas for you today, but I have a few takeaways from the evening that popped into my head while driving home last night. I’m not one to take a situation for nothing less than a thought-provoking ‘lesson’. For me, the INTJ, I can take a perfectly good night of laughter, sugar, alcohol, and foul language and turn it into blog-fodder. Truthfully, it’s something I immensely dislike about myself – the ever-present analysis of every single encounter, not being able to turn off my thoughts. My inner voice whispers to me constantly: “Just have fun, dumbass.”

But whatever. Here we are. So, grab a drink and settle in. My brain is on fire this morning, and I want to share my drive home with you.

Lessons from the southside of town include the following:

1) Find financial balance. I’ve shared before with you, dear Reader, that this last half-decade of my life has been a lesson in frugality and overcoming fear. I still have so much PTSD when it comes to money that when I do come across a pay increase or some extra cash, I briefly panic – like the Universe made a mistake or something. My friend, Machell, reminded me that there’s an art to saving/spending, and while I talk a lot about ‘balance’ in life…when it comes to money, I’m not good at putting ‘balance’ into practice. I was celebrating a victory with them last night, but, in reality, in the back of my mind, I am still in shock, thinking the Universe might have made a mistake by giving me this incredible opportunity. BUT…for the record…I took a breath, told myself I had earned this opportunity, and…I ordered the coveted perfume today with that extra found money. Yes. I’m a classist bitch at times. I own that.

2) Outsource if you can. Businesses do it, why can’t you?. Hell, the place I work is dumping millions and lining the pockets of consultants every day. (Remember…I was once a consultant. I know how much they get paid). But, life is fleeting and if possible, time is better spent with the people you love than it is doing shit you hate, eating up your most precious commodity: Time. There’s something to be said about humility and pushing through challenging situations. I get it (really, I do). It builds character and makes us stronger. But that’s different than torturing yourself when you don’t have to. I was teasing both of my friends because they have someone come clean their houses occasionally. Neither works full time, and their children are grown…but if I dig deep inside myself…if I had the money…I would, too. (Jealous, much? Hmm….) I hate to mow my lawn and clean my house. (I like to ORGANIZE my home, but I wouldn’t say I enjoy cleaning it). I want SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT. And…(here comes the justification) I’m not a lazy person. Fuck, I worked for three days last week a 100* + fever. Lazy isn’t a word used to describe me. But time is running out, and life is too short to weed-eat on the weekends and clean up cat hair all the fucking time. (Next stupid purchase: A Rumba).

3) Get out the map. As a consultant, I traveled for work a lot. So much so that I knew exactly what day my son was conceived in 2011 because I was only home two days that month and was too exhausted to have sex on one of them. I could tell you which bar in DFW would pour ‘over the 5 oz. line’ and where each Starbucks was in Terminal H and G in ORD. Because of all the business travel, I rarely ventured out for pleasure. As morbid as it seems, I told my friends last night where to scatter my ashes when I kicked the bucket. (I’m a bit obsessed with dying and go over my after-death plan a lot. Another blog. Another time.) “Just forget the expense of a funeral, have a party at Copper Run, tell the funeral home to divide me into four generic zip lock bags and dump me off in Perdido Key FL, Monterey Bay CA, Northampton MA, and Newport RI.” To this, my friend replied, “Well, I think we should at least travel to these places together while you are still alive so you can share with us what you love about them so much.” Good point. Not so practical, but yeah. Roadtrip!

4) Laugh more. I mean, LAUGH…not a little chuckle…the snort-and-wine-comes-out-your-nose kind. The type where you have to cover your face because you look so ridiculous. Do that. Do it often. Make fun of yourself and your silly antics. It takes a lot of self-reflection and a genuine fuck-it attitude to laugh about times that were really awful at the moment but are now just a humorous part of your story. I’m talking about looking back and laughing hard about the time a 45-year-old soccer mom got ruffied in a biker bar in west Springfield and almost puked in the Uber. Or the time you perched on the floor with a grieving friend in her freezing-ass kitchen while she sat there without a shirt (because she vomited on it) in her most awful bra, swollen-from-crying-face. I told her she looked super sexy, but that her breath was terrible (and truthfully…I didn’t look much better, just coming off the flu and having not brushed my teeth for three…maybe four?…days). And, of course, let’s not forget to laugh about the birthday party when I consumed a ‘homemade gummy’ that left me feeling like I needed to call 911. I can handle my alcohol, but that gummy? No. Way. Never. Not Again.

My point today: You ain’t gettin’ any younger. I Fakebook stalked my current boss and learned that I had graduated from high school twenty years before he did. In other words, I’m old enough to be his mother. And NOT the ‘Oops, I had too much to drink at a high-school river party in Webster County and wound up in the back of a truck’ kind of age difference. A legitimate, Baptist-approved sort of age difference. And He. Is. My. Boss.

So…get your suitcase, wash your face, buy a new bra (Yup, I’m talking to you!) and start living your life. Spend time with the people who fill your soul and love you for all the dumbass things you’ve done. Life is passing us by moment by moment. Get out your map, fill the cooler, and call out sick…on a FRIDAY. The reality is: 2022 will be here before we know it, and I bet you’re asking yourself, “What the fuck happened to 2021?

Nothing. Nothing happened. That’s the point.

So here’s your song. It does fit with today’s theme (gasp), and who doesn’t love Rob Thomas?

2 thoughts on “Get Out The Map, Jack.

  1. What a great post–thank you. You are always a breath of fresh air (or perhaps more accurately a gale-force gust of pragmatic turbulence).

  2. Love it! From this moment forward I shall call myself “a gale-force gust of pragmatic turbulence” (so much better than ‘a bunch of hot air’ 😛

Comments are closed.