And the rest of 2014 wasn’t so hot, either. There were a couple of serious illnesses in the extended Jaybee family, and while everybody made it through it all okay, we did get word over the holidays that an old friend passed away.
I would typically be laying a little low (musically and otherwise) during the winter anyway. It’s a good time to sit back and listen to something more contemplative than pop music. Something that fits the cold, quiet Saturday afternoons in January. Jazz, Classical, Folk, World, Weird, but nothing too loud or raucous.
But circumstances were dampening my enthusiasm even more than usual.
Plus, it turned out I would be studying for a professional certification - one of those things that you value less the closer you get to it. (Sort of the Groucho Marx effect: Who’d want a certification that I can get?) So I knew I’d have some studying to do, and music with vocals would be a distraction (unless it’s Leonard Cohen).
And when I set out on such a course, it's not enough to simply study. I must do so in the most ascetic, humorless way possible. In other words, No Fun. Fun normally takes the form of music, movies, books, friends. You know, Good Times. But I was abstaining. (Somehow beer and wine make the cut, though.)
It stems from reasons both practical and nonsensical. On the practical side, I get easily distracted. "You've got a lot on your mind." my Mrs. Jaybee says. But she’s being kind. My head is filled, but like a hoarders apartment, it’s mostly crap.
And while young peoples’ brains are like sponges that soak up whatever knowledge is around, mine is like the stained and crusty one by your kitchen sink that you’ve been meaning to throw away because it's starting to smell funny.
So I had a lot of good reasons to not listen to music in the new year.
The weird thing this: I didn’t miss it.
I barely wanted to hear music at all. If anything, the sound of music would just annoy me. (Let’s put aside for the moment that 95% of what I hear annoys me anyway.)
This would go on - with some minor interruptions - for nearly three months. No iTunes at home, no radio playing while driving, no songs floating through my head during conversations with my boss.
I began to think I'd reached a new phase of my life. As I said in a recent post, I’d made a resolution to experience a little more life and a little less music. Little did I dream how easy it would turn out to be.
So this was the state of my music obsession. Or in this case, my now non-obsession.
In the spirit of “less is more”. I opted for silence.
To be continued.