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Friday Night Fantasy – Preventing Burnout

This is a long post, but please read it – it’s a really FUN story.

I work a lot.  I have two businesses that are mine and I’m totally responsible for what happens.  I do have a partner in one of these, and she works diligently on her “stuff,” so I don’t want you to read this and get the idea that I think I’m doing all the work — far from it!  But, as for my part, I put in a LOT of hours.  But it’s OK, because I really like what I do.

But when Friday comes, hubby and I like to shut it down early,  go out for dinner somewhere (probably our favorite sushi bar), spend time in a giant bookstore for awhile — then occasionally around 9pm we’ll head on over to a local “joint,” that has a non-smoking karaoke room adjacent to the official “bar.”

We’ve been going to Chelsea Jo’s for almost a year now.  It has a great sound system and a talented karaoke host.  Even though my husband is a Frank Sinatra impersonator, and is an excellent entertainer in his own right, the fun of the evening isn’t about that.  It’s about the diverse array of true “characters” that gather here on a regular basis, and watching them is entertainment enough, even if they weren’t good singers (although most of them are pretty darn good).

Let me give you a rundown:

Of course, I mentioned that we have my very own crooner husband.  You ought to hear him do Summer Wind or Mack the Knife!

Then, we have our very own proof that Elvis is still alive.  When he starts in on his famous words, “Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton….Look away Dixieland…”  you’d think we were at a hillbilly campmeeting.  I’ve even seen people standing on the tables, saluting or holding their hats on their hearts, paying homage to the land of cotton.  By this time, I’m almost ROTFL  (rolling on the floor laughing).  Oh, gosh, they could charge admission for this show. It’s almost as good as one of our family reunions.

Then, we have a guy who’s called “Texas Elvis” — due to that big Texas hat he wears.  He drinks a lot, but his voice is good enough to stand up to his state of inebriation.  And his cute blonde wife comes up and hangs on him while he sings.  You gotta love it.

And did I mention Shaky?  He has a disorder because of an injury suffered in Viet Nam that causes his right arm and hand to shake constantly, so he holds the mic with his good hand and, well…the other hand just shakes.  He doesn’t let it get him down and he might be one of the folks I interview in my “overcomer” series.  He went on a cruise with some of the folks and actually won the karaoke contest singing James Brown’s song, “I Feel Good,” and those were the only words he remembered.  Hysterical!

Next, there’s Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.  I’m not making that up.  Let me digress and say here that I don’t go anywhere I can’t take my knitting, so I always bring some small piece of knitting, and it just makes me happy, and insures that I’ll never be bored (since I can’t take a book).  So, I’m known as “The Knitter.”  So, one evening several months ago, this nice lady comes up to me and asks what I’m making.  I reply, “A dishcloth.”  She asks me if I’ll make her some if she buys the yarn.  I agree and the next time I see her, she has the yarn purchased.  She gave me her business card and that’s when I learned she was Mrs. Santa Claus.  Seems they dress up and do parties and such during the holidays – her husband is just the right size and shape to do the job justice.  I finished her dishcloths (in Clemson orange, no less!) and they’re very happy.  Tonight she taught me how to line dance.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Oh, did I mention that I do a pretty good  imitation of Trisha Yearwood, singing “Georgia Rain?”  It’s quite nice for my ego because I quit singing years ago, but when I belt out “Georgia Rain” or a Patsy Cline or Tanya Tucker number, these folks are on their feet, whistling, cheering and clapping.

Sometimes hubby and I will be falling all over each other laughing hysterically, hardly believing this is how we’re spending a Friday night.

And, you’re wondering why I’m telling you this story?  Well, here’s the thing…

When we walk in the door, the waiter immediately brings hubby his favorite draft beer, and delivers a Diet Coke with a big wedge of lime for me.  That says to me that we’re important enough for him to remember that, no matter if we haven’t been in for weeks.  Nice.

Then, there’s the fact that no one is whining or acting unhappy, even though I know that some of them live with great heartbreak.  But Friday night isn’t the night to dwell on it.  The phones aren’t ringing, customers can’t find me, and no one really cares what I do for a living, what kind of car I drive or where I live. I bet half of them don’t even use email yet.  I have no computer to keep me busy or entertained.  TV is not playing.  It’s all LIVE entertainment, and I can say emphatically that term has taken on an entirely new meaning.

I don’t even know the last names of most of these people.  Several are close friends, but not the majority.  Yet, we walk in and we’re instant celebrities, greeted with hugs and kisses.  I’m sure this whole Friday night thing could be a case study for a psychiatrist somewhere. Terrie, are you reading this?

It’s the phenomena of “community.”  It’s what most churches should be, but they’re not.  I’m fantastically blessed to be part of a group who has been meeting together for over 3 years now for supper on Thursday nights.  Our lives are intertwined and we “do life” together.   I’ll have to tell you about that group some other time. But for now, I say, “Find a Friday night spot – kind of like “Cheers” where “everybody knows your name.”  (at least your first name!)

I think it will go a long way to prevent burnout.  After all, even when we love what we do, we need to do something else once in awhile.

I think I’m going to sleep now…it’s been a good Friday night.

Leave a comment and tell me how YOU prevent burnout.  I’d love to hear from you.