Have you ever woken up in the morning and just felt–blah?  I’m sure you have at some point, I think we all do.  Today was one of those days…

Maybe it was seeing the picture of Micah yesterday evening.  Maybe it was a general sense of feeling lost.  There were moments today–perhaps too many–where I just sat or stood and stared off into space.  I did not know what I wanted to do next, and that lack of internal direction–motivation–left me feeling down.

I tried retail therapy–twice.  I saw an article yesterday that the Cubs were planning on wearing special gold-themed jerseys and caps for the first two games of their first homestand.  I personally think the gold and Cubby Blue look fantastic together…and that, combined with my recent desire to add a Javier Baez jersey to my collection…and before I got out of bed this morning, I had ordered a special “gold” Javier Baez jersey to wear at Wrigley Field on Opening Night.  Now I just need to hope that the advanced forecast: warming that normal temperatures, holds up so I can actually wear the jersey as an outer layer.

The new Baez jersey didn’t really help raise my spirits, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and give a new Chromebook a spin as a possible tablet replacement.  After all, I figured this was a touchscreen unit, with a stylus, and with a gorgeous screen.  I had it all planned out–I would use the Chromebook in place of a tablet as well as for email, reading articles and some light typing on short-term trips, I would give Cynthia the iPad Pro and the Surface Book, and I would take back my slightly nicer (but bigger/heavier) HP laptop for use at work, around the house, and when I don’t mind lugging the larger unit around.  I should have sensed the impending disappointment when, on the way to the store to pick it up, I had this gnawing feeling of doubt and disenchantment with the idea of the new techno toy.  I somehow knew that I wasn’t going to be happy with it, but I tried it anyhow.  After messing with it for about an hour and a half at home and trying it out during the Roadrunners game tonight, it just leaves me wanting something better–and twice as empty: once for the same seeming lack of direction from earlier in the day, and second for the $450 hole in my wallet.  First thing I did when I got home tonight?  Reset the toy to factory settings and boxed it up for return tomorrow.

I tried a local sports bar/restaurant for lunch with the family.  The food was OK, but not great, the portions were a little lacking, and the restaurant just felt empty–kind of in line with the rest of my day so far.  Once again, I left feeling full from lunch, but dissatisfied.

We went over to Staples to get some paper for the office printer…and somehow walked out having spent $71.  Paper was $7.  I didn’t really get anything else myself.

In doing all of this, I looked up and noticed that I was running behind schedule on my plans to leave a little earlier for Tucson for tonight’s Roadrunners game.  Eh, no big deal, right?  I planned on getting down to the arena around 4:30 anyhow, a nice 30 minute cushion…except there was a huge accident on the main highway connecting here and there, and even though I don’t typically take that stretch of highway, lots of people detoured off the highway and onto the normally open and speedy backdoor route that I DO take.  End result?  A normally 85-90 minute drive turned into a 110 minute drive–and getting to the arena 20-25-30 minutes early turned into getting there 10 minutes late.

Tonight was a special night at the arena–we were holding a special ceremony for Craig Cunningham, the Roadrunners Captain that collapsed on the ice back on November 19th, just before puck drop against the Manitoba Moose, and was brought back from the edge of oblivion twice by medical (and/or other) miracles.  Not only is he still alive today, but he was able to walk out onto the ice to be recognized, albeit with a prosthetic leg (he lost his leg as an unfortunate side-effect of the radical procedure they used to save his life).

I don’t know Craig well.  I’ve met him a couple times and said hello.  But being 15 feet from him when he collapsed, watching the various first responders working on him on the ice, and hearing about what happened after he left the arena and over the first couple days, I had flashbacks to Micah’s last 24 hours.  My heart went out to Craig and his mother, who was in town from Canada to watch Craig play.  I can never truly know what Heather Cunningham went through, but I know what I went through…

Maybe this was another part of my mood issue today, knowing that I was going to be an intricate part of the ceremony on the ice.  A combination of fatigue, low-level depression, the feelings of ambivalence and loss of direction…I’m surprised I stayed alert through the game (a disappointing 5-2 loss on such a big night), and the subsequent 90 minute drive home.

When I talked about taking those next steps, moving away from youth hockey and doing something different–something new–things that I had always talked about wanting to do, it sounded like positivity would be coursing through my veins.  Timing, however, was not on my side.  Sure–I’m going to audition for Joseph at the local theatre, but those auditions won’t likely take place until June.  So incredibly cool–I’m going to attend a reunion of my first high school performance with some fantastic people (here’s looking at you David, Ann, Jennifer and Joel!)…but that doesn’t take place until the second weekend in June.  I’m heading to Chicago for Cubs Opening Night (the home opener against the Dodgers)!  But even that–April 10th–feels like it’s forever away.  And I won’t even get into the ongoing wait for a closing date for our new house…

I feel like I’m walking down an incredibly long hallway that seems to go on forever, and I cannot see my hotel room door or the elevator or the lobby…just more repetitive, impersonal closed doors that might as well just be painted on the walls as decoration.  I try to run–but I don’t seem to get anywhere any quicker.

Perhaps tomorrow I’ll wake up with a newfound sense of direction.  Who knows, something exciting might happen tomorrow that rights the ship.  If nothing else, tomorrow brings me one day closer to all the other future plans.  Perhaps, like gravity, the closer those plans get, the stronger the attraction will feel, and the more excitement I’ll have filing me up and drowning away the feeling of loss…