Life is sweet

degung

This picture came up for some reason in the suggested pictures so I decided to go with it. Apparently it is a “degung”.

I thought my scheduling woes were finally over, but I was mistaken. A rigorous marching band schedule was the least of my worries – after all, it was one event and it was pretty stationery, being Tuesday and Thursday practices, Friday football games and Saturday competitions. It was definitely stressful, and it was a lot of time spent at school, but it was one thing that I had to do. Now – since I pushed everything else off until November and December to get done because I had marching band filling up my time – it’s tricky.

I may or may not have signed up for too many things. I could always back out of these commitments, but I am one thing that very much so permits me from doing that: horribly indecisive.

You see, when horribly indecisive people, like me, decide to do something, we are literally putting an enormous weight that we’ve been carrying down. (We’ve been carrying it around while waiting to find the perfect place to put it down. The enormous weight = our commitment; we want our commitment to be in the absolute best place possible.) The mere thought of having to haul that weight around again or to negate it, or whatever, is unthinkably stressful.

Most of the commitments I’ve, well, committed myself to are givens from last year – jazz band, marching band, pit orchestra, math tutoring, key club, German club – so doing those again was an easy decision: I just leave that enormous weight where it is. Piece o’ cake. Then, I decided to take two AP classes, a band class, and join NHS, percussion ensemble, a music and arts community service thing, and start a book group. (It seemed like a good idea at the time.) Actually, if I can pull this off with straight A’s, I will look tantalizing on my college resume. If not…well, we’ll see, I guess.

I can’t back out of my classes – I am not messing with my schedule, that always turns out bad – and I don’t want to because I like them a lot. (AP Calc looks hard and strenuous – hello, homework every night – but my teacher appears to be very nice and dedicated to teaching, two things that I pray for in a teacher and don’t always find! AP Lang is just fantastic, I recommend it to EVERYONE. It makes you smart. It really does. And symphonic band is fun. The people, the music, my instrument. The only downside is that I am not playing my primary instrument, I am playing string bass. That equals more practice time and stress that I am not as good as everyone else [it is an auditioned ensemble].)

I considered quitting jazz band because I am bored and the only rhythm section-er who reads jazz charts and chords (this is NOT the auditioned ensemble). But my justification for remaining in it is: I don’t have another jazz outlet, I LOVE jazz competitions, I LOVE jazz, and I want to actually play guitar somewhere. That is the whole reason why I entered the band program at my school anyway – for jazz. Somehow I infiltrated all the other bands as well.

And experience is experience, and I do need experience.

Percussion ensemble is indoor pit and drumline from marching band. I was ecstatic about it when we initially formed. But now I am wondering…is it worth my time? It is not jazz, it is not a stringed instrument, it is weekly rehearsals and competitions, and it interferes with pit orchestra – something I am a veteran at. I already committed to it and I would be sort of ashamed to quit because I love the people in it and I believe it would be lots of fun if I had time. (See, I already put my weight down, and it is easier to leave it there and truck on through, and then punch myself in the end when I’m too busy to live anymore.)

The one thing I, and most other people as well, forget about musical groups is the

PRACTICE TIME.

Yes, rehearsals are weekly, biweekly, daily, whatever. Those are givens. But outside of rehearsals include private and personal practice as well. Every musical endeavor one pursues carries more weight than it appears. The fact that I am playing BAM! three new instruments this year is a tidal wave of more responsibility than I truly care for (or have time for).

* * *

This seems like quite the downer for a post entitled “Life is sweet” doesn’t it?

I admit, it is. But I just needed to get all that out of my system. Because I came to realize that besides that fact I have a boatload of annoyingly complicated homework due this coming Monday, and I have my winter concert that I am only partially ready for next Thursday, and I am having a scheduling crisis – I have had a great past few days.

While writing the first paragraph or two of this post, my kitty was snuggled so close to me that I had to move her little white toes to click the buttons of the mouse pad of my laptop. I had a successful vegan Thanksgiving dinner (my main dish was acorn squash stuffed with a wild rice and vegetable stuffing – see, vegan food isn’t bland. I actually eat, unlike some people think. I do not feast on cardboard and leaves) and my family and extended family passed around a microphone from our old karaoke machine to say what we are thankful for at the dinner table. I have a string bass in my bedroom at the moment! On Wednesday, I went to a “Clarinet Party,” which is defined as: the clarinets from marching band plus honorary clarinets such as me, the two boyfriends of clarinets, a graduated trumpet player, and a freshman trumpet player, celebrating the end of marching band, where we played Band Hero, made the nastiest frozen pizza ever (I just observed the horror go down, of course), watched a disc of Hey, Arnold! and made an unsuccessful fire in a firepit. It was one of the best parties I’ve been to.

Anytime I get down like this, about “why do I always commit myself to so many ambitious things?!” I remember the fantastic things that come out of it. I wouldn’t have made those excellent clarinet friends without the bands. I have great memories from last years’ bands. I’m still a social cocoon at the moment, but band is my release. That is my social life. I know it sounds lame, but as a shy, creative, yet adventurous individual, joining band is the most excellent choice I ever made. And for a horribly indecisive girl like me, that is exponentially, extraordinarily reassuring and gratifying.

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