For A Day Like This, Explained
While watching a movie several weeks ago my husband glanced at me and said, “wow, they depicted that teen party well.”
My eyes widened as I replied, “this happens, for real?”
“Um, yes,” he responded with a quizzical look on his face.
Our discussions about topics like the aforementioned party have often surprised me because his, let’s say, “younger years” differed from mine. He “partied.” I stayed home during parties to watch movies with my parents. I was a rule follower and a judge of those who weren’t. No one likes to be judged, hence few invites to any such parties.
My extreme rule-following and judgmental qualities followed me well into my adult life. For example, during my second year at college, I became a resident assistant in my dorm to make money to be able to take part in a study abroad program. It was a perfect fit. I not only got to follow the rules and to make others do the same, I got paid to do so. Can I hear a win-win?
Wait, what? Rules in a college dorm?
Yes. Rules. Lots. Single-sex dorms and curfews, to name just two. Additionally, boys couldn’t go into the lobby until after 12 noon or ever into the actual rooms. The exception was a once a semester “open house” where we could visit each other’s dorm rooms. They assigned hall monitors for such events, myself even getting to be one! Both feet were to be on the floor and the doors WIDE open (not to be confused with the movie, “Eyes Wide Shut.”)
Other rules included not being able to leave campus overnight without a call from our parents to inform the powers that be that they or other proper chaperones would be with us. Zero drinking allowed (i.e., alcohol, just to clarify). If kombucha existed back then, I’m not sure if the college would have allowed it because of the “alcohol content.”
(Side note: It exists now. You can order some at www.canopykombucha.com. I suggest ordering a whole heck of a lot to make up for the nearly non-existent alcohol content. Alternatively, you can just add alcohol to it and have a party to help you remember your teen years. Or, if you’re like me, to experience your first ever teen party.
Canopy Kombucha is my husband’s new business. I’m plugging it here as any good, rule-following wife would do. He quit his job last May, hence the need to do something. You can read about his job quitting adventure here.)
Back to my wild and crazy college dorm room days. Rumors existed regarding rebels sneaking out at night and into the opposite sexes’ rooms via windows, to avoid setting off the door alarms set at curfew. Another rumor? “Undercover” security guards would drive around town and as far as an hour away, to find cars with the school’s parking stickers stuck on the back window. If the security guards found these cars parked at a bar, the owners of such cars would get reported and reprimanded accordingly.
I never worried about these rumors because I religiously (literally and figuratively) followed all the rules.
Rule following tendencies, I‘ve since decided, must be genetic. My 10-year-old son, for example, will come home from school and tell us how bothered he is when another kid has used a curse word. My 7-year-old daughter will respond by laughing and my husband will say “what the fuck?” (Not sure whether to believe me? Read my post here to help clarify.)
My daughter inherited my husband’s rule-following, or lack-there-of, genes. She’s even asked if she could bring a kombucha to school so her friends will think she is drinking wine. She will attend the same college I did. I’ve already sent in her application. Ever listen to Josh Ritter‘s “Getting Ready to Get Down”? It should help explain this decision.
Speaking of genetics, my sister, was a courageous rule breaker and someone I had looked up to, despite being over 5 years younger. (She is 6 inches taller, so that helped with the looking up to.) She got away with working as a bar tender while attending the same college. I am still jealous because I could have made a hell of a lot more money and had more fun. Instead, I opted for being a resident assistant and a Sandwich Artist at Subway. One rule I followed at Subway was only 3 olives per 6-inch sandwich because olives are expensive. I learned something else regarding rules there: people get mad if you don’t give them more olives.
As for myself, I began, over the years, to break a few rules (emphasis on few). For example, I started smoking (cigarettes). I broke this rule, thanks to my study abroad trip in Greece.
While there, I attended a church service where, for communion, they served actual alcohol instead of the holy grape juice I had grown up drinking. I threw back the little glass cup of wine, like one might take a shot, and it burned all the way down. I cried, both because of the burning, and because one of my main missions as a Christian was to never partake of alcohol.
Over the years, my teachers, college professors, preachers, and youth group leaders had taught me “thou shalt not drink alcohol, ever, in any form” should be commandment number 11. As that real wine went down my pipes, I felt I had been tricked, never mind Jesus having turned water into wine at what seems like a super fun party. These life influencers had also taught that the water that Jesus had turned into wine was significantly less potent. Hence the reason the church used grape juice and/or did not condone drinking at all.
(Maybe churches can now serve (Canopy) kombucha to meet in the middle? If you’re a pastor, preacher, priest, cult leader or restaurant/café owner go to www.canopykombucha.com to place your order.)
One of my high school Bible teachers once explained to our class he had experienced a serious dilemma because he had found an empty beer can in his yard. He worried if he went to pick it up out of his yard, his neighbors, or someone driving by might see the beer can in his hand and wonder if he was the Christian he had proclaimed to be. He feared he would discredit Christianity by merely having an empty beer can in his hand. During that church service over in Greece, I believed I had discredited Christianity by drinking a tiny glass of wine.
What does my drinking .0000000002 ounces of wine at one church service have to do with smoking? It was then I started to question everything. How could one group of Christians use wine, and another group not even want to be seen with an empty beer can? The same Grecian wine-guzzling church did not allow us to play cards on the property because it represented gambling. However, card playing had never been an issue at stateside churches I grew up attending.
I have zero recollection of when I picked up a cigarette for the first time. However, I do know that it was my first step towards learning that all of life choices aren’t black and white. I should note that the “thou shall not smoke” commandment does now make sense to me as it will make my lungs black and I prefer the color pink.
How did I end up marrying a partier who broke so many rules? How did I marry someone who says “what the fuck?” to my children and who sells kombucha at www.canopykombucha.com? Okay, he doesn’t say that to my children, at least not on purpose. I don’t either. The not on purpose part that is. You can learn how well I follow the not cursing in front of my children rules here. Let’s just say they know all of the words and even some “sign-language” for such words. We homeschool. I digress.
He wasn’t my first, both “in that way” or in marriage. My first, in both ways, was a Bible major who expected me to follow all kinds of rules. It only made sense to marry someone who helped me to be sure and walk the line, and not the one about which Johnny Cash sang. He was a boy. I was a girl. Our pre-frontal cortexes were not yet fully formed, and he was in love. I wasn’t sure I was in love. By the rule book, I guess I was supposed to be, but in my heart I was not. Another rule I had learned to follow was that females were to never listen to their heart. We were to only listen to G-O-D through the voice of males. Ironic, I know. I mean, didn’t a female birth Jesus, the voice of New Testament Christianity?
The above long story to say this: I have a dear friend who has suggested that I change the title of my site (www.notsosupermomjq.com). He tells me, “I’m not a mom, but I love reading your posts and other men would too if the name of your site didn’t scare them away.” I’ve since had other males say the same.
I fought this suggestion for weeks because another rule I’ve lived by over the years is to not “self-promote” because it’s not “humble.” Changing my site to attract more readers, specifically more male readers, is a shock to my well-established internal system of beliefs and rule following. One other self-imposed rule I am learning to let go of, albeit slowly, is the one that says “I don’t have anything of value to say, especially to males.” And/or, if I do, I shouldn’t say it.
I then heard this song:
“A Day Like This”
by Nathan Bell*
(Link to song here.)
Open up your eyes
It’s all brand new
Every wish you make
can still come true
I’m an old man, but I
have wishes for you
Stay young at heart
Be an old soul
Keep your head and
lose all control
Laugh a little louder at
every near miss
And live your life for
a day like this
Listen to the wind blow
Ignore free advice
Always think first
Sometimes think twice
Keep your balance when
Roll the dice but,
keep your cards hidden
Do something foolish
that is forbidden
Save your love, then
blow it all on one kiss
And live your life for
a day like this
Good days, bad days
Happy, sad days
They’ll all be your days
Life gets strange
But it’s better that way
Skip the circus
join the freak show
forget what you know
Try anything, but
never make a list
And every day will be
a new measure of the
rusted coins that you
turn to treasure so
open your eyes there’s so much
you won’t want to miss
and live your life for
a day like this
May every day
be a day like this.
This song resonated with me and because of it, I’m taking my friend’s advice. I have officially changed the name of my site to www.foradaylikethis.com.
Done, dear friend. Thank you for the gentle push, not unlike the gentle push of real alcohol for communion at the Grecian church. Both pushes have helped me to navigate life’s rules to make life changes when needed. This change burns going down too, but not badly enough to deny myself the opportunity to live my life “for a day like this.” I guess it’s my time to take my rusted coins of childhood and work on turning them into treasure. It’s time for me to join the freak show, so here I go.
I also must thank Nathan Bell, for both the song and the beautiful, wise advice that comes through the lyrics.
I contacted him and asked for his “blessing” to use the title of his song for my website. He responded and said yes. I had written a post inspired by another of his songs here. I didn’t seek permission for that one, just forgiveness. He granted this forgiveness, thank you, heavens above, because I wasn’t aware of the copyright rule for song lyrics until recently.
Now if he’ll just come to Nashville to perform. My husband hasn’t yet sold enough kombucha at www.canopykombucha.com for me to be able to travel to super cool (and cold) places such as the Netherlands or Scotland to see him play this song and others live. I hear house concerts are fun. I have a house.
In the meantime, buy some kombucha (it’s tasty), listen to Nathan Bell’s music (you’ll enjoy it), and live each day “for a day like this" (you won’t regret it, I promise).
Thanks for reading.
Visit www.nathanbellmusic.com for more great music.