(Yes, the title of this post is a tribute to post-summer essays from my childhood. My vacations have improved somewhat since then.)
I’ve now been home almost a week from this year’s Key West vacation at Meeting of the Minds (MOTM). It’s a working vacation for me, because I need to be out performing, networking, and otherwise promoting myself as a Trop Rock artist. So there’s always this inner conflict going on between “need to be at X event(s)” and “want to sit by the water and do nothing.”
This year I made sure to do some of both. I was going eight days in a row partying, and I knew that if I didn’t pace myself, I’d never make it through. So I did, and I did, and my voice was in better shape on my second Monday than on my first as a result.
I did get out to play in quite a few places, and you can see a lot of the pictures on my Facebook pages. I played with and around a bunch of my fellow Trop Rockers, and had something I was invited to play at every day this year – a first.
Here’s a partial list of the cool and talented folks who either invited me to gig with them, or whom I actually did gig with: Captain Josh Ramsteck, Chris Sacks, Dusty and Barry of the Conch Fritters, Gary PhillipS, Barbara Smith and Scott Paulsen, John Friday, and the good folks at BeachFront Radio. Thank you, one and all, for inviting me to be part of your party.
I also wrote drafts for two new songs down there, one more than usual.
Even cooler than that: I’ve been doing a lot of spiritual work the past year around embodying and manifesting bliss in my daily life. It’s easy to be blissful, driving through the Keys and looking at the gorgeous scenery. Something I consciously focused on this year was drinking in all that natural beauty and the magnificently-elated mood I’m in when I’m down there and “storing” it inside me. Now that I’m home, all I have to do is remember one or more of those really cool, magical moments when I could look out at the water or breathe the air, and no matter what’s going on, I feel better. And I’m still smiling about 95% of the time.
My friend Howard Livingston calls that “Living on Key West Time.” I call it “Island Standard Time.” It’s the same thing no matter what you call it – remembering what it’s like to be in that beautiful place, surrounded by several thousand of your closest friends, excellent music, good booze, and spectacular scenery, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Heck; I’m even smiling my way through rush hour traffic.
If you were down there too, try that the next time you’re faced with something that’s been stressful for you in the past. If you weren’t down there, remember the last really wonderful and blissful time you had, breathe that in, and remember it when things threaten to get a bit shitty. What’s the worst that can happen?