Susan Gibson knows all about blessings. Roundabout 28 years ago, she wrote herself a wish that grew up and went off on its own to become one of the biggest country songs of all time. Smiling at its success from afar, Gibson went on to happily live her own best life, free to hit the open road with a van full of happy dogs and a heart full of songs to share with attentive audiences across the country — and all the room in the world to "make the big mistakes" that a wide-eyed dreamer kinda gal could ever ask for.
All that said, though, Gibson is not a lives-in-la-la-land kinda dreamer. Blessed as she's been, the award-winning songwriter also knows all too well that in the real world, sometimes there's just no avoiding "the hard stuff." Mind, not the kind she consciously swore off way back on Valentine's Day, 2010; after nine years of humble sobriety, it's easy enough, relatively speaking, for her to resist the temptation of a bottle of wine at a friend's table or politely decline the occasional unasked-for drink sent to the stage by a fan. But positive life choices and willpower alone offer no proof or protection against the kind of knock-you-on-your-butt shots that life itself can serve up on the regular. The best you can do, she's learned, is take each hit as it comes, get back up again, and try to find your wits and center of gravity before the next wallop lands. Because as sure as hearts break, van transmissions fail, and loved ones (both two- and four-legged) pass on, you can always count on another one coming.