Today…actually lately in general…I’ve been feeling my age a bit. My lower back cries in protest at times, I’m having trouble with one of my feet again. (I tend to battle neuromas – pinched nerves – in my feet as well as Plantars Fasciitis) Then this morning I woke up with the telltale sign that I’m about to embark on a tour again: I’ve developed an “old man” cough. This really isn’t all that shocking to me as each one of my kids has taken their turn with this same illness and I knew it was only a matter of time before it reached me (again), but as I sit back and relax with a mug of Airborne in hopes of beating this thing to the punch…let’s just consider what it takes to keep ourselves going these days. Humor me.
To begin with: we need sleep. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my body desperately requires a good 8 hours of shut-eye these days. I’ve suddenly discovered that I am not the night owl I once was. My regular evenings consist of dinner, cleaning up, giving the little one her bath and getting her off to bed with a book. I typically will be “finished” with my mom duties at 9pm, and only then do I flounce down on the couch with a flourish that can only be characterized as “overworked mommy”. From then until 9:07pm (the time when I’m typically called back into the little girls room with requests for a drink, an apple, a pear, an extra blankie or the infamous “I’m scared, there are MONSTERS in my room”…) it’s a struggle to decide whether the TV is worthy of my attention or if my bed is more deserving. Once I’m finished tucking the smallest child back into her bed with the final comment that “Mommy is going to bed now and I’m not coming back in here tonight.” I realize that it’s 9:35, and I’m done for the day. I’ll head upstairs to bed, only to be completely out of it by 10pm. It’s sad. On tour, however – it’s a completely different story. There IS no sleep. Amanda and I joke that our hotel rooms are used as storage sites for luggage, and we’re not even kidding. I think that on any given “tour” night, we’re lucky to get 4 to 6 hours of sleep – and honestly, that’s a good night. Normally, it is far, far less than that, and aside from feeling as though I’m hungover the entire time even if I’m not, it’s all good! We’re out all night, we’re eating a late night breakfast as though it’s our Last Meal (sometimes, it really is!)…and we’re feeling good about it!
Do they even do that sort of thing in the UK? *gasps* Late night eating??
Food. I hear there are several food groups. At home, we swear by them, and yes – my kids even eat their vegetables, as does their mom. I cook 90% of the time (although if it were my choice I wouldn’t know how to work my oven…), and I really do try to eat healthfully. Lately we’ve really taken to eating more turkey and chicken in place of red meat. Turkey tacos are the best! I’m not a vegetarian like my writing partner, but I really have cut way back on my red meat intake, and I do make a vegetarian meal every now and then. I’m also pretty careful about sugar. Both of my parents were diabetic (my father is now deceased from a completely different illness), and my mother is HOR-RI-BLE about her diet. I’ve given up on her, figuring that she’s a grown up now and if she wants to kill herself, there is nothing that I can do. That said, I do not drink ANY kind of soda/pop/coke/pepsi/etc, or do I drink juice very often – we’re talking maybe a very small glass once a month if that. I don’t typically add sugar to anything unless I’m baking and need it, and I do watch out for it in food. I try to eat lots of fiber and whole grain, although I still don’t like whole wheat spaghetti. I’m Sicilian and we don’t go for that stuff. Ick. Then there’s food on tour. First of all, I don’t know how many food groups there really are, but I do know that Amanda and I actively count coffee and alcohol among them. Wait – do we even eat on tour?!? Seriously. There have been times when Amanda and I have gone for ridiculously long periods without eating, and suddenly one of us will say “Oh my god, when did we eat last?!?” It’s wrong. It’s disgusting. It’s touring. I should add that eating in the UK is a bit of a challenge for us. To begin with, the food is quite a bit different than here in the US. Even the most basic things are just done differently, and while I don’t mind the food…it’s not home. I found that I ate a lot of pasta and Italian food when I was there in May. Pub food really isn’t an option for us since Amanda is a living and breathing vegetarian – and I don’t mind saying that vegetarian options at such places are ridiculous…as in they either don’t exist, or we didn’t know where to find them. PS – duck eggs are not acceptable food for these Americans. 😀 Go ahead and laugh – we do! I found that I truly missed good salads, fresh veggies…and developed a deep seeded dislike for canned peas and carrots. Since this time we’ll be traveling from place to place, I dare to imagine how many hours we’ll go without eating. Perhaps we should just count how many meals we’ll miss!
Drinking. That’s right: drinking. At home, I probably will have a glass of wine a few times a week. Typically it’s after dinner as a “wind me down” sort of thing. My idea of a glass of wine, or rather – the way it works with me – is that the wine will be poured into the glass, I’ll take a sip, get called away by someone or something, and come back to it an hour or more later, realize it’s time for bed and end up dumping the glass down the drain, which drives my husband crazy. So, I’ve taken to sipping out of his glass instead. It’s amazing how much more I’ll drink of it that way! 😀 On the weekends, especially those when we’re out with friends, I may have more. Last weekend for instance we spent Friday night with friends and I had a couple glasses of wine, and then two martinis (it was an especially late night). No, I did not feel ill nor did I have a hangover the next day. It takes more than a few drinks for me to tie one on! Then there’s touring…when under the right set of circumstances drinking begins with lunch! We’re out late, we’re having fun….you do the math! What’s even better is when you wake up in the morning knowing that it’s time to blow out of town and your body says “Oh hell no.” Yeah, gotta love that about the touring. Good times were indeed had by all!
Coffee. I am truly to the point at home where I’m considering just mainlining the stuff and being done with it. It was not long ago when I began drinking coffee. Prior to that, I hated the stuff. Starbucks had absolutely no real use for me other than as a point of interest. No, it wasn’t until about 2003 that I began my love affair with coffee…and if you’re keeping track you’ll already realize that there’s a correlation between the beginning of my coffee addiction and the time I got involved in this godforsaken fan community. Coincidence? Of course not!!! Back in 2005 when I was “involved” with Clear Static (another band for another time…) I was going to shows fairly regularly, getting home at the ridiculous hours of 3 and even sometimes 4 am, going to sleep only to get up at about 7:15 to get the two oldest children off to school. Coffee was my lifeline, and I used it! I really try to only drink one cup a day, but there are days that require far more than just that. Guess when most of them are? No, not on tour – here at home! 😀 Honestly though, I really do try to stick to the one cup a day habit simply because I have to add both half & half AND one spoonful of sugar to my coffee (hey, that’s down from two spoonfuls a couple years back!). If only I could get used to black coffee…but I just can’t! On tour though, and I should probably say on tour here in the US, I need one venti coffee of the day to get me going. I add my own half & half and sugar (you should read this to say: I have half & half, sugar and some coffee to get through the day.)
Exercise. Really??? Well at shows I’m dancing the whole time. Does that count??? I think it should. My doctor probably doesn’t agree. Oh well.
So basically what I’m saying here is that I try to take care of myself at home (aside from that exercise thing), but on tour….well…I think the plan is to get through it with minimal damage. It’s a good rule. We tend to try and stick to it. What I really think Amanda and I should do for this tour though is to take a “Before” and “After” picture. That would be amusing, and it’d probably scar everyone for life, too.
In the meantime, I’m actually going to get out and walk today…after I drink this coffee.