Did you miss me last week? Although we are under perpetual financial stress, the Pirates were at the Rockies, we had a bit of free time, and my brother’s family was willing to meet us in Denver. Also – and this is big – my gut said go. So I bought 4 tickets to Colorado.
I checked to see who would be playing at Red Rocks during our visit, knowing that it was much more in my wheelhouse than in that of my kids, but thinking it was worth a look. No music that we couldn’t pass up, but OMG, the Tuesday that we would be there was Film on the Rocks and they were showing the GOONIES! My gut told me to go for it. Tickets bought.
The plan was to see the Pirates vs Rockies at Coors Field on Monday, but I had learned that tickets are pretty easy to come by. Without knowing the weather or exactly how many people would be going to the game, my gut suggested we hold off. And so we did.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are in Denver right now, requiring a time-sensitive ticket be purchased at a fairly hefty price on top of the general admission cost of the Nature and Science Museum. I thought about splurging to buy those special tickets, but my gut chimed in. “Why don’t you wait?” she said. “We don’t know how we’re going to feel on Sunday afternoon and we don’t know if everyone even wants to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at 30 dollars a pop.” “Let’s have a family meeting about it.” Instead of buying the tickets, I bookmarked the page and closed my laptop. (Okay, I probably clicked over to Facebook or Twitter or something, but you get it.)
Sometimes, your gut tells you to buy the ticket, and sometimes it tells you not to. What I’ve learned is that, whenever possible, you should listen to your gut. Even those times when the money is just barely there and there won’t be much left if you make the purchase. Those times when you get a little bit anxious about spending the money or taking the risk, but you feel an equal amount of excitement about doing the thing. Buying the ticket helps you to push yourself to do more of what your gut knows you should be doing with your life/mind/family. Then again, sometimes it’s simply not a good idea. My gut often seems to know that, too.
Going to Denver and spending precious hours with my kids, Max’s girlfriend, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my oh-so-perfect niece was absolutely the right way to spend my money. Shelling out a few extra bucks to get us a condo where we could all sit around the living room or the dining room table and chat instead of being relegated to separate hotel rooms was definitely worth it. The new parents having a private bedroom to escape to with their sometimes fussy baby where they could change her or feed her or tuck her away in her bed and then quickly return to the group was a priceless comfort on their first out-of-state trip as a threesome.
Buying the tickets in early July to see The Goonies at Red Rocks on August 7th also turned out to be a wise move. We found out when we arrived in Denver that the show had been sold out for weeks. It was our last night in town, and I was T-I-R-E-D. I would’ve been very happy to veg out at the condo, knit, read, and let the kids swim. But, I had already bought those damn tickets. What a good thing that I had listened to that gut of mine – it was an absolutely phenomenal night with clear skies, great opening bands, a comedian, yummy food, and an absolute movie classic that we got to watch with a whole bunch of people who have loved it for a very long time.
Kerry and Dalton, waiting for the movie to begin
When we got to town and checked in with a friend who lives locally regarding the baseball game, we got the insider’s forecast for game day. There was going to be sporadic rain and, potentially, hail. Get seats in section 204-209, he said; they’re cheap and that area has a good view and is mostly under the cover of an overhang. So we waited and got the tickets when we arrived. Section 205. Under the roof. We watched the game in mostly sunshine, and had a perfect view of the guys rolling out the tarp for the rain delay while staying perfectly dry.
An unexpected and ridiculously complicated change in our flight arrangements stole a day from our Colorado experience and made what would have been our museum day into a rather chaotic day of planes, trains, and strollers. We were worn out by the time we finally found our rental home, and I had a few local people that I really wanted to see who could only manage to get together that particular evening. The Dead Sea Scrolls were uninteresting to a few of us and one thing too many for the rest. Seeing the people was far more valuable than seeing the scrolls. Those relics have lasted for thousands of years. Us humans don’t have quite the same life expectancy. I’m sure glad I didn’t buy those tickets.
Ryan, Amy, and Kerry: we hadn't seen each other in 25 years; the Dead Sea Scrolls can wait.
Your gut isn’t always going to be right. It’s not God. (Or maybe it is… I’m not exactly sure about the relationship between God and my gut. We can explore that in another blog.) But it’s almost always better to listen to it than to ignore it. Sometimes it’s hard to hear. Sometimes deafening silence is the answer, whether you like it or not.
I think it’s probably easier for me to listen to my gut than it is for the general public because, in a way, I have less to lose. So if you ever need help, give me a call. Just put me on speakerphone next to your belly button, and I’ll try to figure out what your gut is trying to tell you.