Monday, February 29, 2016

Ridiculous, But Normal

Last night I saw some friends I hadn't seen in a long time. A band I was in for three years has decided to put on a reunion concert, and our first rehearsal was last night. It was really great to see everyone and make music like we used to. It's amazing how, when you're in a band for a while, you can break up and not play together for five years, and then still pretty much pick up where you left off years later. But as usual, the rehearsal started late. Once we were ready to start, 30 minutes after we were supposed to, the keyboard player and band leader, my friend C.J., said that 30 minutes late is actually pretty good for this band, which is true. Then he said it's ridiculous, but normal. I knew then and there that I had the title for my next post.

Isn't that true of so much in life? There are so many things that are both ridiculous and normal. Two small examples from our house:

Since the Broncos are in the Super Bowl, I've been wearing Broncos gear every day for the last three weeks. I'll continue until at least Sunday. If they win, I may wear Broncos every day for a few weeks after that. Ridiculous, but normal. At our house, at least.

Today the Iowa caucuses take place. I've mentioned before what a political junkie I am. Once I finish this post, I will be watching cable news for the rest of the day, until I go to bed. Ridiculous, but for me, normal.

By the way, I've promised my wife that this will be the last election I'll follow like a sport. She doesn't enjoy it like I do, and I'm getting tired of the hatefulness. It's not enough to disagree now. Now we're supposed to think the other side is evil. That has to change. Also ridiculous, but normal.

Of course, nothing is normal about life for us now. Now, it's all about finding the new normal.

For me, the new normal is weighing myself every morning and hoping I weigh at least 125. I'm still hanging around that weight, by the way. I'm eating bacon 3 to 4 times a week just to keep my weight up. Delicious, but not exactly in keeping with our healthy lifestyle. I'm drinking protein shakes and always choosing the highest calorie option. Ridiculous, but normal.

It took me two hours to fill out all of the forms I had to take in to my oncologist appointment last week. Ridiculous, but normal.

Having to wear long underwear when it's in the 50's because I might catch a cold breeze. Ridiculous, but normal.

Living on one level of your house for four months for your dog? Ridiculous, but that's my new normal until May.

Not realizing that my loved ones love me as much as I love them? Truly ridiculous, but until recently, normal.

I have been called ridiculous many times, but few people think of me as normal. Normal is something I've never aspired to. I want to be different. Unique. Of course, we're all unique, one of a kind. There's a Bible verse that, in the old King James translation, says that Christians are to be a peculiar people. I figure I've got that part down pat.

But when you come right down to it, we're all the same. We all want the same things; to love and to be loved, and to be happy at work and at home. We're all subject to the same human frailties. And we all must keep the same appointment one day. No one escapes with their life. This truth has become very real to me. I may think I'm special, maybe you do too, but I'm not that special. In that respect, at least, I'm very normal. But still ridiculous.

All my life I've thought there was some conflict between being this goofball I've always been and being normal. But thanks to C.J., I now see that I can be both. Ridiculous, but normal.

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