Tell it Thursday How Did I Get Here? Once in a Lifetime

by Gretchen Zelek

As I sit here preparing to write my first “Tell it Thursday” blog post-ever- the song Once in a Lifetime sung by the Talking Heads keeps playing in my head like an earworm. 

Most everybody knows some of the lyrics to the song. And more than a few may even remember dancing to it. I remember. At Studio 54, at the Heartbreak (on Varick Street where I met my husband), at CBGB, the Limelight, Roxy, and the Palladium.  It was so much fun then, and now it is a fabulous, albeit surreal, memory. I can actually remember, out on the packed dance floor thinking, I am going to do this for the rest of my life.” Now I can’t wait to make peppermint tea, get into bed, and turn on a documentary.

In an interview with NPR, David Byrne said: “We’re largely unconscious. You know, we operate half awake or on autopilot and end up, whatever, with a house and family and job and everything else, and we haven’t really stopped to ask ourselves, ‘How did I get here?'” 

“And you may ask yourself

Well…How did I get here? …

Letting the days go by

Let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by

Water flowing underground

Into the blue again

After the money’s gone

Once in a lifetime

Water flowing underground ….”

I think for some people, life maybe, kind of, like that. Living on autopilot, getting into a routine, following the rules, and staying on the path. Think about all the times you were driving down the road talking on your cell phone, and then when you arrived somewhere, you say crap, how did I get here? 

I wonder, does life really have to “end up” like that? 

I work out almost every day. I understand how important it is to keep my body moving. Now it is time to work on my brain and to be more thoughtful; not just the thinking way, but the opening my eyes, understanding, feeling and being more present ways. I am trying to be more engaged, I am trying to be more mindful. I am trying to ask questions that are uncomfortable. I am trying to be more in the moment. I am going to pause and think before I speak. I am attempting to notice things I may have previously avoided seeing.  I am trying to acknowledge my emotions and I am learning to listen to my gut.  I am going to try to follow through on the ” what ifs”, the “I wishes”, and the “I wills someday”. 

I am going to figure out, not only how did I get here, but where I am and where I am going. 

How did you get here?

xx Gretchen


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