19 August 2008

Does the music wonder what's become of me?

As those who have been reading from the beginning on MySpace will probably have long forgotten, the Amber blog was born out of the ashes of my faithful old CD player. I got a new iPod, and when I started ripping my CDs and looking for new music to fill it up, I got carried away.

This week, I have had a chance to reflect on how the iPod has gotten embedded in my life. The short answer is "pretty damned thoroughly". I thread the earbud cord up under the back of my shirt everday so it won't get tangled up in stuff and since the player is on my belt pretty much all the time I'm not showering or going through a metal detector. I never thought about it much, though.

I carried my CD player every day and listened to it a lot, but having the music available all the time means I am listening to it all the time. Lately, I've been working on some soundtracks, so I've been listening even more densely, eking out every moment. I have started chatting with some other music enthusiasts online and we play music for each other. Music wall to wall in my life, 6 or more hours a day of active listening.

This week I've been doing volunteer work. I am a big geek and introverted, so usually I volunteer to do things like clean up databases or do data entry. This week, however, I got drafted to do work that requires actual contact with the public. Passing a petition and working on a phone bank means no music playing. No way, no how. No singing, no humming, no dancing my feet around in rhythm. I can't even sing to myself in my head because I have to pay attention to the calls.

Tonight, we were signing up for volunteer stints over the next week and I was actually thinking about how the shifts would take up music and blogging time. That's when I realized that I had been passing up opportunites to skate because I was afraid of damaging the iPod and the music won.

Is this a bad thing? I have to think about it. Not skating means not enough exercise, and I know I am spending more money on music than I should. Those are both negatives. I'm making new acquaintances to talk about music with and music actually got me to go out to a concert. Those are positives. I'm writing this blog, which is a big positive. Am I paying less attention to the people around me in actual FTF than I used to? I think I am probably just distracted differently, to be honest.

I think I do need to be mindful—once this volunteer project is done so I have a chance to ignore people again, that is.

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