I know there’s a bright side of the road—I can see it and sometimes even reach it briefly.  Utilizing the amazing skills of resilience that I learned from my late husband, guitarist Pete Huttlinger, I am working through the grief of losing him.

Just Do The Work

Just Do The Work

There are roles and then there’s a person’s place in the world. I have a lot of roles, and I’m clear on those, but I’m at a loss for my place in the world lately. One day I was feeling unfocused as I tried to get work done—mentally spinning my wheels. This feeling seems to come with season changes, probably because they are such significant reminders of the movement of time. Another click on the conveyor belt. So, I was spinning my wheels—probably a strange thing to witness as it involves a lot of talking to myself, and walking into rooms trying to remember what I came in for. (Dear kids...please don’t have me committed. It’s just the new normal. ) I’m clear on the roles—mother, daughter, sister, friend, business partner, advice-giver, neighbor, and Pete’s wife and manager, but I am a blank slate when it comes to my place.

The intersection of the roles of being Pete’s wife and manager identified my place in the big picture. This is not to lessen the ties I feel to my other roles, especially that of mother, but this unique combination fed our love. We had common goals, enthusiasms, philosophies—and we lived together in that space. The trajectory toward something was always a driving force for us. Sometimes it was a career trajectory and sometimes it was a keep Pete alive trajectory. Both moved fast and straight.

Last week, when those wheels were spinning, I started hearing this phrase in my mind, “just do the work.” I’m not a mystical person, but I will say that I started hearing it when I was “talking to Pete” and venting my frustration. I heard it once and took it as a message to get back to my desk and get on task. Then I heard it a few hours later, “just do the work.” This time I was walking in front of the museum-sized photo I have of Pete in the dining room. For the next few days it would come to mind out of nowhere. “Just do the work.”  (I realize as I write this the comparisons to be made to Field of Dreams, but hey that worked out right?) I decided to be very present and spend some time mulling it over.

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I’ve come to the conclusion—and don’t hold me to it because I’m a grieving woman and might alter that conclusion next week—but I think I’m being told to keep on the track of the shared goals. That if I can feel like I’m still moving toward the targets that Pete and I were moving toward, that I will find my place. I obviously don’t have Pete on hand to help, but I have his art and that’s where it all started in the first place. My place is still to leave a mark from both of us. Somebody has to do it.

I’ve felt a little bit lighter this week. A little more inspired. This is nothing new in a sense. I’ve always known it was my job to keep introducing the world to Pete’s music, but something feels a little bit different now. I guess maybe because the directive came from somewhere else? Maybe someone is nudging me along this path for my sake...and for his.

The first song of Pete’s that I ever heard was Catch & Release. I knew right then I was going to love working with this guy.

1,000 Days

1,000 Days