Tonight was my first night off from comedy in a week. I'd picked up a bunch of small-town shows, a benefit to raise money for the Flint water crisis, and a couple open mics to hone some new material and tags on jokes for my recording in November. By last night, I was toast.
Today, I cooked up two pounds of chicken into a ton of stir fry. I made a spinach and ground beef casserole that turned out pretty great. I already had broken down a couple pounds of leftover pork roast and made it into taco meat. Those three things will be dinners for the next few days, and packed lunches for my wife, and what I eat in that weird time between when I wake up from day sleeping and go get the kids and when I head out to my next shows.
There's a break in the mayhem coming up -- a family vacation down south to see my dad, and sister and her family. Until then, there's a lot of juggling. My daughter's got several medical procedures coming up, my son's working the tech crew for a play and dealing with high school homework, and there's a ton of work to do laying the groundwork for the DVD taping. I'm trying to plan several road trips and fill empty weekends for spring and summer.
It was nice to spend some time in the kitchen today, unplugged for the most part. Brady chilled out with me after a long day (she had to go to the dentist, and she handled it well, but it was stressful) and we listened to Pink Floyd while I cooked like Thanksgiving was coming. I even prepped some bacon and eggs to make breakfast quesadillas tomorrow, since our mornings are usually chaotic. Brady's had her bath, homework is done, everyone's in bed, and soon I will be too.
None of this is particularly exciting, I know. But it's important as hell. Every day is a wrestling match between duties to family and self, between chasing a dumb muse and being a decent father. I still haven't figured out if what I want from life, and if all I ask of it, is even possible, but I'm starting to think I can at least run out the clock before a final decision has to be made.
Even if you're single and committed to no one, having some time to just clean the house, listen to music and make a meal may ultimately serve you better than that umpteenth night out at another mic or that 500th redundant band practice. You can't achieve perfect balance in a creative life in the real world, I'm convinced of that. But sometimes you can give that pendulum a hard shove in the direction of having your shit together at home so you have a strong base to work from.
I dunno, your mileage may vary, but if you're burnt out and so tired your face hurts, come over. Have some casserole. I'll probably have switched to the Dead Kennedys by the time you get here, but the invitation stands. Get some provisions when the sun's out and the schedule allows it because there'll be days when the light never finds you.
Where I write about the stuff I do when I'm out doing the stuff I do.