I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Friday, February 26, 2016

A lifetime of Bill and Peggy

I am Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

Every morning I wake to the smell of coffee, which brews at 4:45am. A little before 5:00am I am out of bed, reaching for my ratty blue robe and slipping my arms through the long sleeves. Feet groping in the dark for my slippers by the closet door, I walk to the top of the stairs thinking that I did exactly the same thing yesterday, the day before, and the day before that. I am stiff. Gripping the banister I find myself cautiously walking downstairs like a knee and hip replacement patient during rehab.

My husband takes the dog out. It’s still dark and cold and we have coyotes which watch the house for our little guy. My husband is vigilant.

I pour two cups of coffee.

We sit, dog in my lap or his, to watch the news for a few minutes.

My work schedule is all over the place so if it’s a day when I have to be at work by 7:00am my morning takes on a kind of purpose dedicated to a routine down to the minute. If I have to go in later my Groundhog Day disappears into a wonderful chance to write, respond and read.

But it’s that repeated rising in the dark, and stumbling forward into a new day, that has me wondering, is this it?

As long as my job rules our schedule the first fifteen minutes of everyday will be exactly the same. I’m not complaining, because I know that someday, something may interrupt that which has become so routine. My nights early to bed are just as programed as my mornings. It’s comfortable and it’s maddening.

In 1969 my mother loved a new hit song sung by Peggy Lee, Is That All There Is. She talked about it a lot. At the time I had arrived back in this country after an exciting year away in Africa. I had a wonderful job I loved. I was writing music. Life was spread out in front of me like the Great Plains in front of a wagon train headed west for a new future.

I thought the song was depressing. How could my mother like it?


Is that all there is?

"There’s got to more," I said to my mother every time she played it. She just smiled and played it again.

I am twenty years older than my mother was then, ground-hogging my way through life.  

Is that all there is?



  1. I enjoyed reading this. I've been wondering the same thing myself lately. My enthusiasm for life in general has waned and I feel like instead of living every day like it's my last, I am wallowing in self-pity. Not so much about what if I...made another decision way back when. Rather more like when do I get that break out moment? I know you relate.

    1. "Break out moment?" That's it shitster.
      I'm still waiting, and while I'm waiting I'm working so damn hard for it. I'm still wondering when (not if) it will happen. When my mind switches to "if" I'll be in a very bad place.

  2. Amazing post and so beautifully written. I'm deeply moved by you. I think that's the reason we create/write. For something from the beyond to reveal itself through us in all its glory! You are magnificent, my dear friend!<3

    P.S. I didn't know you write music as well. I do too…

    1. Oh Lilac you are too sweet.
      Years ago my dreams swam with music and fine art. Won a few ribbons with my watercolors. Though writing lyrics and melody filled my heart, I was not up for what it takes to succeed in that art form. My greatest joy in music, hearing a band play my tunes.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Again, you are too kind.

  3. Of course there is, 2Ns! But you knew I'd say that... ;)

    Thought-provoking article. One of my daughters recently told me how much she was looking forward to an event the next day. "I wish it was tomorrow already!" As only someone who has crossed into "middle age" could, I chided her for wishing time away. "You'll only get these minutes and hours once. Don't be so willing to cast them aside."

    Count even those times of seemingly pointless repetition as precious. They're still moments of life. Moments with your husband, your coffee, and infinite possibilities.

    1. You are so right Colin. I tell myself that someday I'll be missing that routine, like I miss the moments waiting for the school bus with my daughters when they were young.
      It was such a pain, in the cold, the hot, the rain and yet they were precious times when our days started together. Miss them.

  4. I've often thought about how routine my life is, yet I love it. I enjoy the fact I get up about the same time every day and begin it just as you say. Like the movie. Repetitious down to the nth degree.

    This also, in a way, reminds me of one of my favorite movies. "As Good As It Gets." The scene where Jack Nicholson (funny he plays a best selling author with OCD) walks out of his therapist's office into the crowded waiting room and says, "What if this is as good as it gets?"

    One day you'll look back on these particular days and perhaps think I wish....

    1. I love my routine and actually get a little uncomfortable when my list grows a few interruptions. Having said that, I wonder if I am missing something.