I'm hoping this is my one Scrooge entry for the year, because I'm telling you, it's days like this when I'm ready for it all to be over, for it to be mid-January, and for me to have nothing better to complain about than no more work holidays until May.
The holidays are hard on lots of people for lots of reasons, but for musicians, December is tough. There are way too many concerts, way WAY too many rehearsals and way WAY WAY not enough not enough minutes and hours and days for all the regular holiday insanity, not to mention the day-to-day trivialities of oh, a JOB and BILLS and HOUSEWORK and WHY DONT I GO TO THE STORE AND BUY SOME MORE DISHES AND SOCKS BECAUSE LORD KNOWS NOTHING I HAVE IS CLEAN. So, please don't ask me about Christmas shopping, or baking, or a TREE or a shrub or anything else that is supposed to be assembled, decorated and on display. It hasn't happened. I'm seriously considering piling up all the detritus in the living room and tossing some tinsel on it and calling it good. Baby Jee would understand, and the cats would love it. The teenager, most likely, would complain loudly and dramatically, but since that's all she does these days, I'm already living it.
And here's my dilemma -- I know that I'm lucky to have a talent that I can share with others. I know that special events afford me that opportunity. I am humbled beyond words to be asked to perform. I really and truly am. And despite my complaining, I enjoy it. I really do. I am grateful for the opportunities, even if it sounds like all I want to do right now is crawl in a hole. But like many things, a musician's life is feast or famine, and although famine sucks, even feast gets tiring when you're shoving figgy pudding down your gullet all day, every day, you know?
But, I'm not just here to complain about life onstage. No! When I am Queen of everything, my first order of business would be to teach people how to behave in an audience. GONE! would be the crinkly wrapped snacks. GONE! would be the loud loud loud out of synch foot tapping. GONE! would be the cellphones. GONE! would be the ridiculously loud talking in the middle of a performance. GONE! would be the inappropriate concert attire. GONE! would be people who find it necessary to crawl over 45 people so they can leave two minutes earlier than everyone else (in mid-piece) so they won't get stuck in traffic. GONE! would be latecomers. GONE! would be the lovers of musk deoderant and cheap perfume.
And that's just off the top of my head.
I'm sure hoping that tomorrow when I wake up, my holiday humbug will be gone. Today was full of kerfluffle, and tomorrow represents a clean start. Here's to hoping that life calms down just enough so I can breathe deeply, look around me and be grateful for the right things.
Like that big pile of living room mess and that new box of tinsel. If that doesn't scream Christmas, I don't know-ho-ho what does.