Today’s post is coming to you from an Airbnb apartment in Massapequa, New York (Long Island), a temporary base three hours from our home in Sullivan County. So far, we’ve conducted two songwriting workshops for 2nd graders. Today and tomorrow, we’re performing social-emotional learning (SEL) assembly programs for K-5 students. In addition, Beth is doing her full slate of online yoga classes.
We’re staying in a converted basement apartment that fits our needs in most ways. We’ve got enough space to film the yoga classes (hard in a hotel room) and we wanted a full kitchen so that we could cook our meals instead of dining out. For the last 10 days, we’ve been doing a food cleanse. Well, I’ve been cheating a bit, but it’s still a lot better than fast food or spending money at delis and restaurants.
Speaking of food…
The rising cost of food is something that has been boggling my mind for about fifteen years. I remember standing in the meat section of a grocery store in Yonkers, NY (Stew Leonard’s), feeling like I could not make any smart choices. I literally stopped pushing my cart and wondered, “How do I choose what to eat and be able to afford it?” Up to that moment, I think I was in denial about the prices, so coming out of it was like a drunk at the bar lifting his head up and saying, “What? Where am I? What have I done?”
This new awareness is affecting other areas of my life, too.
Even before the Adventure began, we were busy dismantling the belief that home ownership is the only way for us to live. Now, we’re looking at our careers (children’s music, yoga, songwriting) and saying, “what might need to change in order to be happy, prosperous and smart?”
Like that moment in the grocery store, it takes this guy a while before he’s brave enough to stop what he’s been doing for years and take a look at it with fresh eyes. Such is the addict’s personality.
My dad used to refer to himself as “a dumb Polack.” (Those were different times.) In my opinion, he was outing himself (partially) as a guy who was confused, just as I was in the meat aisle. My father – like many men in the throes of family life – was questioning his choices and feeling horribly unable to make a different one. Sadly, he picked the option of leaving his family, physically and financially, but that’s his story, not mine.
People refer to Beth and me as “brave”. We are constantly bucking the system, saying “maybe not” to what is pro forma and safe. Unlike my dad, though, we are doing it as a team. I think that’s why a happy-sad tear forms in my eyes every time I hear about someone celebrating a wedding anniversary. I’m so darned proud of every couple who perseveres during the difficult challenges of marriage and so sad because many couples can’t make it work. It’s the hardest work I know of.
Okay. I’ve gotta get ready for the shows. But, that’s not all, folks! Those Crazy Bierkos (better than “dumb Polacks”) are about to make some more changes, so buckle in for the Adventure and enjoy the ride.