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?

A Love Song For His Children

Sometimes things touch us, move us, affect us.

The Nick and Zack Song by my fellow Dad Blogger, Bill, did this for me. Bill and I belong to the same Dad Bloggers Facebook Group. Everyone in our group knows him as the wise and sensitive sage and the best compliment giver.

Anyway, I’ve been reading his blog, I Hope I Win a Toaster, for some time now. I quickly learned that Bill is a loving father and a sensitive soul.

Besides blogging, Bill is a Stay-at-home-Dad, husband, guitar player, trained actor, and reader of books on spirituality.  Bill prides himself on being a “meat whisperer” meaning that he can take any meat and any source of heat and make it good. He swears it’s a gift, God-given and very handy.

Prior to becoming a Stay-at-home-Dad to his twin 9-year old boys, Bill spent nearly thirty five years in the restaurant business. He says it prepared him for life as a Stay-at-home-Dad.  Besides the food prep and safety and all the obvious stuff, he learned about prioritizing and triage.

Check out Bill’s post below for the back story about the song and then make sure to give the Nick and Zack song a listen. I promise it will make you smile. Once again, you can check out his blog here: Bill’s Blog.

When our twin sons were born in the Spring of 2005, I was 44 years old. Six weeks later my wife, a youth minister at the time, went back to work, and I stayed at home to look after the boys. I hadn’t had much experience with newborns – as in, I think I’d held one once. But, I didn’t have much time to learn things.

I think you can guess what happened: I fell in love with them. So, what does a guy raised up in the sixties and seventies do when he is in love? Right, I wrote a song about it. I had penned dozens of love songs up to that point but never for a couple of infants.

Listen, when a guy writes a love song for a girl he is doing it for a reason… I’ll leave it at that. In fact, I wrote a song for my wife asking her to marry me. It worked. I didn’t know the reason I was writing this song. That came much later. One summer my family and I were camping. I was playing a few tunes around a fire, and I asked Nick what he’d like to hear.

“How about that song you wrote for us?”

“Yeah,” Zack chimed in, “I love that song.”

And, we all sang it together

I love this song too, and, it seems to have done what I had hoped – it cherishes them. And, they understand that.

A while back I began to worry that there wasn’t a recording of it, so, I sat down in front of the computer, faced the camera, and sang it for them. I’m glad I did.

Nick and Zack Song