So - it's 2am here. The house is quiet, except for our black cat, Persephone, who loves the quiet of this house almost more than me. I've been trying to upload a podcast episode for the last 5 hours - and it's not like it's the only thing that has gone wrong today.
I seriously enjoy podcasting. Like...I really really love it. I wake up thinking about my next episode, make lunch for the kids while I'm thinking about some audio editing that I need to do, and when I lie down at night next to my darling husband, my mind is STILL racing. I don't know what it is about it - but I feel like I am addicted and I LOVE it. The crazy thing is that my husband even loves that I love it - even though he knows that it takes time away from him, or the kids, or our nighttime routine or whatever.
I feel like Shannon has come back out of her shell- she's been a new wife, and a baby hairstylist, and a new mom, and a new friend for SO long that she's pushed alot of herself deep inside, waiting for the day to pop out again and just be.....Shannon.
The Shannon that loves to be goofy and loud and silly - the Shannon that loves to meet new people and make people feel so happy - and, sinfully, the Shannon that loves attention and words of praise.
And this has been a really great part of 2020. With COVID and Race-Riots and explosions all the way down to the seemingly smaller tragedies of not being able to hug a friend, it really has been such a relief to find this dramatic and performing-arts loving woman again. I had tried knitting in the beginning of COVID. Let's just say that my 7 year old son, Finn, happily drags this stupidly long and narrow strip of knitting that I made for him and calls it his "special blanket". Poor baby boy. And that's why I'm not knitting anymore.
But podcasting has been wonderful - it's been a chance for change and peace and friendship and venting. And don't get me wrong, there has been a TON of hard work, and a huge learning curve - but I really have thirsted for each new step in the process. None of that, however, can change the fact of how sucky today has been with this dang thing.
Ugh. It's so embarrassing. I freaking recorded an episode with a super cool girl that I JUST MET - WHILE DOING HER HAIR. And she was brave enough to let us have a recorded conversation while she juggled her husbands and her kids and her dog. We talked for HOURS. I seriously felt such a connection to this new friend - and it is so embarrassing that I had to message her to let her know - "Uh, hey....You Know how we did all of this work, and we were going to also promote your businesses, and I was at your house for HOURS doing your hair.....yeah, well, almost all of the audio file has been CORRUPTED and I was only able to salvage 17 minutes from it. "
Seventeen minutes, guys! So embarrassing. And the worst part is that the file is so corrupted and damaged that even the quality of the dang thing is just terrible.
My father-in-law (bless his heart ;-) )had donated his hand-me-down external storage device to us so that I could use it on my wee Chromebook for all of this new podcasting and data usage I had.
And I should have know then what would happen - this darling man throws nothing away. NOTHING away. Old garbage can lid? Keep it! We could use a new sled one day! Rusty hanger? Don't throw it away! It might pop a lock on a car!
I finally had time to work on the episode today, and when I tried uploading it there was a message that say "data file corrupt". I tried it over and over again in different ways and with different amounts of anger, frustration, and finally despair - until I realized that there was one small glimmer of hope in the tiny little 17 minute file that I had found from the conversation I had with Jessica so many weeks ago.
The beginning of the conversation is just me laughing like a psycho. Like so loud that it was making me angry how much my ears were hurting from the cackling - everyone had always told me growing up that my laugh was insanely loud. Check.
The end of the conversation is me talking to her sweet daughter who walks into the kitchen with me saying, "Hey peaaannnnnuuuuuuttttt" like a weirdo. Why do I love kids so much?! They're too dang cute, that's why!
And the entire conversation in between was filled with sounds of the tinfoil I was putting into her hair, the loud TV in the background that was supposed to help her daughter relax so mom could get a minute alone, and my maniacal laughter jumping awkwardly all over the place.
I worked on it for hours - trying to get things to sound just a BIT better. It sounds like I put a pillow over my face and basically just edited Jessica out of the conversation - which I didn't - but it sounds like it.
And then sometimes my laugh breaks through like a hurricane's wind.
When I knew that I had worked as hard as I could - I had two options. Throw it away and never listen to that abomination again......or......just <gasp> publish it anyways.
2020 has been a lot like that for so many of us. We can choose to throw it away, act like we learned nothing from this time of craziness and just hope that the next year or the next decade will be better. But - nothing is guaranteed, guys. Who knows, next year we might all have to use our hands to wipe our booties. I mean, that would be much worse, right?
OR we can choose to see the sweetness of this year - of people coming together in times of struggle, of sharing what little they have with others that have less - of blessing others with acts of kindness, or a friendly wave - the sweet time that kids have had with mom or dad finally being able to work from home - the fact that none of us could spend any mental or financial energy on planning vacations, so we had to make a good summer for our kids right in our own backyards - the fact that so many of us have started new and bizarre hobbies, or have connected with people on a much deeper level.
And guys - that's what I'm choosing to do - and I am going to publish the s**t out of it.
Here's to 2020, and all of our corrupted audio files!
Remember - God totally loves you - all of the time.