Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas in October

I have been listening to Christmas music since October. If you know me, or have talked to me about music and Christmas anytime in the last 15 years or so, OR have read this blog where I inevitably touch on the subject as least ONCE, you know this is very unusual. I am typically the Scroogiest of Scrooges about Christmas music, particularly when I am involved in performing it during the season, and therefore required to sing certain songs repeatedly.

Yet there I was, on October 20-something, listening to Christmas music happily and liking it. 

So weird. It honestly freaked me out a little bit.

But then I started thinking about why. For one, a ton of Christmas music came out early this year, at least from the artists I like. Late October saw JJ Heller and Pentatonix come out with full-length albums, both of which I am contractually required to acquire ASAP and listen to until the cows come home. It's in the fangirl contract. And honestly, how can you not want to listen to this song 50 times in a row? 

Then, of course, I committed to singing for my mom's business, but because I had such a short lead in time in terms of rehearsing, I hadn't been hearing these same songs since mid-October like normal. So there wasn't the traditional over-saturation that I usually experience at this time. 

The biggest reason though is more likely that this has been a really, really, really long year. Starting in January, when I decided that doing an intensive workout program at the same time as school, through the summer where I was working 30 hours a week, and in school for 15 weeks straight with no breaks, and jumping right into Student Teaching after about 4 days of a break... Add in a generous dose of personal drama, and the worldwide dumpster fire of the year itself, and you have a very weary Alanna, even by October when Christmas music started coming out.

At that point, I started listening to it and thinking, "what is wrong with me? I never do this..." It wasn't just because I love JJ and PTX (or Josh Garrells and Rend Collective when they released their albums later). I think it was also largely because I was so desperate for the year to be over, even in October. 

It's not because I didn't enjoy the last bit of my Student Teaching. In fact, it was considerably more fun than the first half of the semester, because I was more settled into the routine and I got to know the students better. I got better at teaching, and hopefully better at adulting to some degree, inasmuch as the definition of doing hard things even when you REALLY don't want to.

I was ready for the year to be over because the weight of everything that's happened this year is making it hard to convince myself that continuing to get out of bed is worth the effort. That will change with actual rest and time to process everything, I know. It's just a matter of getting through this last little bit without going insane.

And on that note, I have to step away from this mental break to go grade essays. Speaking of lessons learned... Yesterday, I foolishly boasted that I could manage to grade all the 20-some essays I had still on my docket by tomorrow, not realizing that it would take me much longer to work my way through full essays vs. paragraphs, which took me awhile. So I'll be up for awhile, due to my overdeveloped need to keep my word, even if my word was really dumb.

Until tomorrow.

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