Rhett Miller wrote this contemplative tune during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the rest of the world, Miller was stressed out and trying to cope with the new normal which, for a musician, meant learning how to livestream instead of going on the road. After six months of not writing any music, he finally had a breakthrough when he opened himself up to the muse on a beach vacation. He told Songfacts the story in a 2022 interview
"I woke up before everyone else and took my guitar down, and thought, The muse doesn't appear unless you give her an opening
. I sat down with my guitar and thought, If I can write a song, that would be great, but I won't beat myself up if I can't
. Looking out the window at this little Airbnb house with other beach houses, and looking at these windows and imagining other people and the terror that they were feeling with the pandemic.
That line where I knew I was back in was, 'Maybe other people have lives of their own.' That's always been my entre to writing music. It's all navel-gazing until you glance up and realize everyone else is glancing at their own navel. Everyone else is terrified. It was a great feeling being back in the world of productive songwriters. That song meant a lot to me and I'm really proud of the way it turned out."