Predictable always seems to have a negative connotation to it. When someone calls you predictable, it’s because they know what to expect, but isn’t that ultimately a good thing? I used to work in radio, which is a funny statement, because as anyone will tell you, once you’ve worked in radio, you’re forever changed (more like permanently scarred in a good way.) I started out as a DJ. No, not the kind that spins house music in a trendy club, but the old fashioned kind that introduced songs from the latest artists, or from the deadest ones depending on the format. “That was Jimi Hendrix, and “The Wind Cries Mary”, on 104.7 KIX FM.” I was told from a very young age that I had a great voice for radio, and I humbly agree, even though I can’t stand to listen to myself. Somehow that doesn’t ever stop me from talking! Anyway, most of you have listened to radio, and terrestrial radio as we call it now, and you have heard the many features that are often found on the air. “Two for Tuesday” is one example, and that’s when you get two songs from the same artist. I know, brilliant, right? Then there’s “Fourplay Friday”, yup, same thing, but look at that clever play on words! All I ever wanted was to be on the air. There are even cassettes somewhere in the world of me pretending to be a DJ when I was about 12 years old. Hand to my ear, “This is Julie, coming to you live from my downstairs secret location!” Imagine my utter disappointment when the idea of doing yet another Sunday Top 20 Countdown, or “Three for Thursday” (yes, there was that, too), seemed so boring and uninteresting to me. I mean, this was what I always wanted to do!! It had sadly become predictable and predictable was banal. I have such tremendous respect for all those radio hosts who have been doing their jobs with diligence and dedication for so many years. I shifted my radio attention to morning shows, traffic, weather, news, and ultimately Talk Radio, where nothing is predictable except the idiot callers who think their opinions are better than anyone else’s. Man, do I miss that “disconnect call” button!
Here’s what’s interesting though, now, with three kids, a dog, single-parenting, etc., all I want is predictable. I want to know that I will be making lunch for three kids several days a week. I want to know that my alarm will go off at 6:15am and that I’ll be out with the dog by 6:40. I want to know that my paper will be delivered and that my coffee will be hot when it comes out of the microwave. These are things that I count on, because if these things don’t happen, then who knows what will? These are all minor events and I could certainly go on with my list of what I want to know (I may be a bit of a control freak), but the juxtaposition of my youth and detesting knowing what was to come, to my aching for stability in my, let’s call it, more mature youth, is poignant. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about flexibility and spontaneity, but those have to be planned and accounted for! Yes, that was a joke. So when someone asks me how everything is, I am happy to say that all is status quo. Predictability can be a good thing, even sprinkled with surprise. I remember smiling on a rare “Two for Tuesday” when the DJ would play one of my favorite Winger tunes, it meant I got two!!! Don’t judge. Well, I guess you should judge, because that would be predictable.
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