I have been home for a few days now. The tour is behind me and has been fading since I walked on a plane super early on Tuesday. Since I have returned home, I have unpacked, completed laundry, gone to the grocery store and everything else needed to keep my household running smoothly. Physically, I’m absolutely here in Madison, Wisconsin. Emotionally, mentally, I’m WAY still on tour. I should know how to deal with that feeling since I have been on tour many times before, but this time it feels different.
When I came home in March after seeing the two shows at Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage, part of me definitely felt a loss at saying goodbye to the tour. Another part of me was able to get right back into the swing of “normal” life. What is my problem now? Why the difference? In some ways, it should be easier now. After all, I am not working like I did in March. Last tour, I arrived home on a Monday and had to return to work the next day. This time, I have time to recover. I’m definitely still catching up on sleep as I had about 9.5 hours of sleep last night and an hour long nap on the couch. Maybe, though, the distraction of work was helpful. That could be. Still, I have plenty of things on my to do list. I should be busy and distracted. My to do list is failing me. Why?
I have been trying to figure out why I’m struggling with saying goodbye to tour so much this time. When I think about it, it comes down to a few things. First, I think part of it has to do with my friendship with Rhonda. Our friendship felt strained and distant from last fall until those shows in March. There are a lot of reasons for this but a lot of it had to do with lack of communication and processing some stuff individually. When I went to the shows in March, I wondered if it would be my last tour. I figured that we would have fun, but it wouldn’t be like it once was. The fun couldn’t last forever, right? Well, we had a good time and I felt better, that we were at least taking a step or two to getting back to normal. As these shows moved closer, the normal feeling grew. Then, this past tour happened and we are definitely back to our normal friendship–laughing at ridiculous things (like painting shoes green or sharing stories of crossing the border!). So, now that we are back to being the crazy, best friends that was always have been, I want to hang out more.
Then, of course, there is the band. The shows this past weekend were fantastic. Yes, I could focus on the setlist additions of Hold Back the Rain and Sunrise/New Moon as the reasons for the greatest of these shows. Obviously, having great songs played will make a show more fabulous but it wasn’t just that. The band brought it. The energy level was high. The interactions were a ton of fun and I couldn’t help but get into each and every moment even when I was dying of heat and annoyed at having bodies right next to me. The truth is that I started out both shows in a bitchy mood. I didn’t feel that great on Friday and on Saturday, I was ticked that the venue’s California Room was so lame. (Understatement of the year. Decade. Century. You get the idea.) Yet, the band managed to win me over. In fact, by the end of each night, the love for them grew. I knew others didn’t attend these shows because they felt that the set lists didn’t change enough and that they had seen them already on this tour. Likewise, I saw and heard fans complain about this or that. I tried really hard not to do that and it made all the difference in the world. My mind was open, then, to seeing every look, every point, every subtle move. I was able to absorb it all and that means the world to me.
In March, I knew before I left that we had more shows coming up. Now, I don’t have that. Yes, I know that there are rumors about shows in other parts of the world, but even if those rumors are true, they won’t affect me. There is a vast unknown out there. What will the band do for their 40th? Will there be dates? Will there be something else? I don’t know. I’m anxious to find out and wanting to be able to make some plans. I shouldn’t be. My bank account needs a rest. My to do list needs to get done. Emotionally, though, I would really like to know what is in the future. sigh
For now, I’ll look through my pictures of this past week and cherish the memories. I’ll also be checking the band’s social media as every tweet, photo, etc. gives me a little joy. Yesterday, for example, I enjoyed seeing the band is out sight-seeing. It reminded me of how Rhonda and I were able to take a bus tour around San Francisco. The plan then is simple. Think back to the fun I had. Hope for amazing things in the future. Enjoy every tweet/photo/post about the band in Hawaii and work on my to do list. Maybe then, I can get deal with the end of the Paper Gods Tour.