Restless & Still – A Song For My Mood

Did you ever flip through the radio and hear the exact song that fits the thoughts in your head?

Traveling Rucksack.

MMK circa 1995 in a London hotel. Notice the rucksack – a staple during my traveling days.

Recently, I was driving home after doing the weekly food shopping. The road I took was nearly empty, but my head was filled. It was then that I heard the song, Learn to be Still, by the Eagles.

I am a restless sort by nature.

Two days after my 22nd birthday and four days after I completed a summer course for my undergraduate degree, I was on a plane.  It would be the first of four summers that I spent far far from home. Other shorter trips would follow over the years.

Rather than quieting my restlessness, my travels instead breathed greater life into it. You see before those journeys, I thought Born to Run was a great song and not potential mantra for life.

Yes, my 20’s were all about travel. And growth. And change.

Since then, I have been the opposite of a rambling man.

I am the picture of permanency. If I were to give myself a title for my life from my early 30’s and into my 40’s, it would be Mr. Stability.

I’ve been married for over 12 years. I’ve been in the same job for nearly 11 years. My family and I’ve been in our home for close to seven years.

Responsible adult MMK.

Responsible, adult, parent MMK.

Can you get more stable than that?

And there in the issue may lie.

I’m going batty.

Lately, I wake up and I feel like I am living the Bill Murray movie of Groundhog Day. I just haven’t learned how to speak French, driven my car in front of a train, or eaten fattening desserts without gaining weight.

But the sameness is there.

And the boredom that comes along with it.

Maybe, this can be attributed to the brutal winter we went through. One day you’ll find tomorrow will come and I’ll follow the sun.

Maybe, it’s that time of year on the school calendar. I’m feeling worn down and the thought of June is revitalizing. Show me summer.

Or maybe this is what adulthood is.

Being an adult means being responsible. Responsibility is not always fun. I don’t want to clean the toilet, I don’t want to get up early, I don’t want to make the bed.

But I have to.

I have to learn to be still.

Yet, I feel a need to break out, go crazy, and blow off some of this restlessness. I want to grow, experience, and imagine.  What would life be like without such things?

So am I Born to Run?

Well, maybe not that either. After all, I got two kids and a wife, a job, and a mortgage.

I’m an adult with responsibilities.

Yet growth and adventure can and must still occur. However, these days, such developments are more subtle.

I am not sure any song title sums up where I am. Maybe, it’s something about being in the middle, about balancing, about recognizing ones obligations and desires and still moving on.

Know any songs like that?

25 thoughts on “Restless & Still – A Song For My Mood

  1. Sounds great. I understand the boredom, though. Maybe a change in the little things will make up for the stability and sameness of the big ones?
    To me, though, what you’re describing sounds terrific. I hate changes.

    • I guess to each his own.
      Believe me, I am grateful and recognize the blessings I have. However, I would enjoy a little change.

  2. Was just talking to a friend at work about our friends who never had children and are always off traveling somewhere. Those of us with children don’t have the money and are too busy doing laundry, driving to b-day parties etc. At least you had those years of fun and excitement. I was too chicken to just pick up and go somewhere. By the way, love the 1995 picture. That’s how I’ll always picture you since I haven’t seen you since!

    • Yes, I definitely appreciate those times and these days as well even if I am little blah at the moment.
      Bummer you didn’t get up and go then – you should have come along!!
      Like you, when I think of people I have not seen in a while I still imagine them from that time period I knew them. Yet of course, they have aged, grown, and changed too.

  3. Most recently the song title that I most identify with is “Running on Empty” — because that’s how I feel.

    As much as I love “The Eagles” — and that would be A LOT — I’ve never quite “Learned to Be Still”. I probably never will. The way I look at it is that, in the immortal words of Warren Zevon, “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”. (Sadly, he now is :()

    If it’s any consolation many, many people are feeling depressed from this horrible, dark, snowy winter. Cross our fingers, it should be over by Thursday! Then, maybe, we’ll all be able to “follow the sun”.

    • I am with you on that weather – it can only help.
      I like Warren Zevon and have some of his stuff but I don’t know that song.
      I need to Learn to Be Still and practice it at times.

  4. I don’t know that Eagle’s song, but I’m sure it’s mellow! And I’m sure that I could use the advice, learn to be still – but I have discovered that when I’m too still, I get stuck in a rut, and I don’t like being in a rut. I like mixing it up! Of course, you know me, the responsibilities must be taken care of, and then it’s time for fun – making a life instead of just living it! And, I’ve read about you and your adventures. You guys go hiking frequently, right? That’s a good way to mix it up!

    Jackie above mentioned it (and I had no clue it was attributed to Warren Zevon – isn’t he the werewolf guy? I love that song!) but even Mr. T has looked at our calender and stated “We can sleep when we are dead.” 🙂

    But, I have learned that it’s important to have my own life. I can’t only have a life that is revolving around Mr. T. Yes, we do so much together, but I also have my own friends that I hang out with, that we go and do kid-free activities with and that we all get together with out kids with – but Mr. T knows, I do have my own life, too – and he is accepting of that as I’ve explained it makes me a better mom!

    • You do seem to be good at mixing things up. You keep your priorities in order and do the other stuff too. Anyway, I do know how to separate from the kids – generally but it’s more than that. I think.
      By the way, yes, Zevon did write the Werewolf? I love that song too. Wacky!!
      Sounds like T. is a chip off the old block.

  5. Sounds to me like you need to start planning and dreaming about a fun family vacation this summer. It’s not too far away! That may be just what the doctor ordered. And hopefully you’ll stay some place where you don’t have to scrub the toilet! 🙂

    • A trip sounds nice.
      For now, I think my wife and I are going to go out on Saturday night. Would you mind babysitting?

  6. I think you may have to turn to the country music channel in order to find a song about family and growth. Sawyer Brown released a great song back in the day that I really loved and may express a bit of what you’re talking about. It’s called The Walk. Here’s a link for the video. I hope you can tolerate the country sound long enough to enjoy the story.

  7. Ugh now you have me thinking about that annoying 1D song “The Story of My Life” – at least I think that’s the title and it irks me because those boys are like twelve and what business do they have singing a song that is supposed to have such profound meaning. I mean if Springsteen were singing I would get that and perhaps even like the song. Anyways, pay your mortgage, try and travel and DON’T PARK YOUR CAR ON TRAIN TRACKS! What the hell? Totally didn’t get that one…

    • Train tracks reference comes from the movie Groundhog Day. You did see it – right? Very funny.
      I don’t know that song – maybe I would if I heard it.

  8. I’m sorry you’re feeling stuck and bored! I hope you feel better soon. The spring has to come eventually, right?

    • No signs of it here. How about there?
      Well, we did have a few nice days and the weather is meant to be warmer, but they are predicting rain.

  9. At least you didn’t hear that song by Sonny and Cher “I’ve got you babe” like they played in Groundhog Day. See THAT would be a sign that you’re living in the same day over and over.

    I catch myself falling into the same patterns too so I force myself to do something different. Like maybe eat breakfast for dinner. Or go to a different place to eat. Sometimes just doing a small change can change your whole outlook that day.

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