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When You Gonna Make Up Your Mind

“He says, when you gonna make up your mind?
When you gonna love you as much as I do?
When you gonna make up your mind?
‘Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that I’ll always want you near
You say that things change, my dear”

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

It’s a strange place to be – during Spring Break.

I get envious of all of the families traveling, as whole families, to all of the places that are surely overcrowded and maybe overheated and NOT AT ALL WHAT I WANT. So why/what exactly am I envious about? I like to travel on the off-seasons. To Scotland in February, with snow squalls over Iceland and Greenland, and empty rows of airplane seats. To Disney World, sure, but never ever during any kind of mandated school break time. I have actively fought my whole adult life to never live a 9-5 life, to never have a boss, and to never travel to crowded places during crowded times. And yet, I do get a little envious. Of the two parent/two kid families (so reasonable, and maybe ONE dog) who somehow make it work to take in regular breaks of fresh air; spaces in-between.

My whole life can be a breath of fresh air, if I’d just let it.

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

Maybe what I’m really envious of is what doesn’t weigh them down, and what isn’t too heavy or oversized to load onto a plane or into a trunk. How maybe their anxiety doesn’t make them dizzy or nauseous, sometimes, or maybe they’re medicated for it. Maybe they don’t get afraid to book hotels in advance because of that one time, or two times, two of their kids threw up in the car. What if they didn’t have help the next time it happens? Maybe they load their reasonable and neat luggage (that has never gotten lost in Iceland) in the overhead bins, and in SUV trunks, and can sit back and be thankful for what they’ve accomplished and also earned. A chance to see somewhere new; be someone else. Whether in the forests of Costa Rica; or in the virus-laden waters of Great Wolf Lodge. We should be proud to have taken our families somewhere else.

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

We all fight against something and have our weird quirks and fears. Do we feel supported? Respected? Seen? Loved? Is it about money or time or wanting different things? I hate everything about the ordinary life, fiercely, so much so that I’ve only ever dipped my toes in the shallow ends of it. I’m certain it’s because I’m worried that I’m ordinary, and not extraordinary, but it’s also ok to know that we’re all extraordinary, and no one really in a level above anyone else. And if life can be truly extraordinary, even for gasping seconds at a time, I can surely learn to be at peace with that.

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

Our spring break has taken on its own disappointing and sometimes surprising turns. The thing is, I had big hopes and dreams of road trips every day and even an overnight, or three. I thought that was reasonable. And I think it was, two kids and three dogs ago. Now we’re in the big trenches, though, of trying to form a partnership against truly trying times. I feel like a failure every morning, and yet, by every afternoon, I realize that I didn’t fail. The kids have been seeing friends, shopping with me, going on mini adventures, playing in a truly gorgeous (although dog-urine-laden) house, and being oblivious that there’s anywhere else we should be. My kids don’t have social media, and I don’t think my toddlers even know what day it is, or that other kids their ages may be in Tahiti right now. Our deck on a sunny day can feel like Tahiti, except with our tall tall trees, and a perfect breeze. The comforts of a stocked pantry, a new bed, and someone tucking you in every nap and every night. Rider wants me to say “Bye” when I put him to bed. And I do, every time.

“Wait!” He called to me the other night. “We didn’t say I love you, and I love you.”

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

In this week of sun and gloom; joy and doom. We have tried. We have done the best we could with what we have, and with major mess-ups, but those are things we can fix. With apologies and steam cleaning carpet services that come the very next day. In this week without school or daycare, or dog training or dog daycare (while they heal from being spayed), and while I have work and Cassidy has work. My work is here, and his work is there, and it’s a tag team from hell, at times, and sometimes we find heaven too. This spring break has taken on some disappointing and sometimes surprising turns so far. And it’s not like it’s over yet. Time for some magic still.

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

This is the spring break in which I laughed until I cried, as Scarlet and Des pretended that I had farted and snored my entire way through a Gilmore Girls episode (I really didn’t, but it does sound on-brand). It’s Rider putting his hand in mind, and the way Sawyer looks at me. It’s the possibility for something more, something extraordinary, in our days and in our ways, and in ourselves too.

Every single day, and every single one of us.

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

He says, when you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do? When you gonna make up your mind?

“Hair is grey and the fires are burning
So many dreams on the shelf
You say I wanted you to be proud
I always wanted that myself

When you gonna make up your mind?
When you gonna love you as much as I do?
When you gonna make up your mind?
‘Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses have gone ahead
I tell you that I’ll always want you near
You say that things change, my dear

Never change”

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2 Comments

  1. I love your closing line Tamara, all the family and fashion pics, and the ear to ear smiles and grins on your face and Cassidy’s birthday face! I hope he had a wonderful birthday weekend. I used to look forward to spring breaks during my school years which always came at Easter time. During Junior and Senior years I kept myself busy working more hours at my part time jobs and practicing my guitar and piano and singing more. My singing lessons were the most challenging lessons. Many of Tori’s songs in her vast catalog are rather vocally demanding. She’s also a classically trained musician who won a full scholarship at The Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University when she was only five years old!

  2. Isn’t it crazy how looking at what others have and are doing can change us from being content and even happy to feeling envious and somehow “less than?”

    I’ve decided there are times when it is better not to look. I’m not truly unhappy, it’s just that feeling like somehow I should be doing what someone else is doing and then I would be happier. Which isn’t even true, right?

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