Between the Headphones of the Publisher


Calling 2013 a “rough year” is an understatement of epic proportions, but as I flipped the calendar over to 2014 I had an almost nostalgic feel for the year that we have just made it through.

I look at the year like a really long concert (shocking, I know, for me to equate it with live music, but follow me here). Almost every concert has its great moments, where you’re singing along, swaying to the tunes, smiling and maybe occasionally, at the right show, fist pumping with excitement. But most shows also have those songs where you quickly dart to the bathroom, or head outside for fresh air.

This past year was just like that. Epic times where the concert of life filled our souls and our heads with magical moments, followed by some real duds, those kinds of times when you just want to recoil — call them the Bobby songs of life, if you will.

For every instance that I can pinpoint where things were great, I can also go back and find equally tough moments, and even then, some of those harder times ended up revealing their own bits of magic.

I’m probably dating myself here, but I can’t help but be reminded of the movie Parenthood with Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen. In it, there is a scene where the seemingly senile old grandmother tells a story. Briefly, she says, “When I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together. Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.”

Like Steve Martin’s character in the film, there were a lot of times throughout the year that I didn’t want to be on the roller coaster anymore. The peacefulness of the merry-go-round sounded pretty friggin’ wonderful in many regards. As “Gil” says in that same scene, “I hate messy. It’s, so, messy.”

I do hate messy, but if I didn’t realize it before, 2013 sure did have a way of beating it into my thick skull. Without the mess there wouldn’t be the clean. Like Grandma’s roller coaster, without the downs, there wouldn’t be the ups. And like the great concert of life, without the “meh” Bobby songs there wouldn’t be the epic Jerry tunes.

I hope for us all that there are more epic songs in 2014, but I hope even more that during the “bathroom break” songs of the year, we can all have faith that if we hold out just a little bit, one of life’s epic songs will once again sweep us away.

See you at the shows.


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