Marching Music


Are You Wasting Your Life?
February 26, 2009, 7:15 pm
Filed under: Drum & Bugle Corps, heavy on the philosophy, life lessons

No matter how you feel about George Hopkins, if you’ve actually spent any time around him you know he’s got some great things to say about life.

I was lying on a gym floor in the summer of 2006 (the summer that I wasn’t a field liner).  As was the case every single night of that season, I had spent the entire night dreaming about being in rehearsal.  I tossed and turned all night.  My aching muscles seemed to ache even more.  My brain was so full of coordinates, notes and suggestions that I thought it might have to dump the simple knowledge like addition and subtraction.  I had finally come to the stage in my nightly ritual where I could get some rest…that time where I was almost awake but still asleep.

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I barely heard one of the drum majors yell, “Good Morning Cadets!  The time is 7:02.  Breakfast today is biscuits with sausage gravy.  Stretch and run is at 8.”  I kept my eyes closed.  I wanted to enjoy the 15 minutes that I could rest, and if I ate sausage gravy I would no doubt have to taste it twice.  (Acid reflux+drum corps food=gross)  The next thing I heard was George’s voice, “Wake up.  You’re wasting your life.”  He kicked a couple of air mattresses and bothered a couple for sharing one.  I was glad to have chosen my sleeping bag and the cold, hard floor early that morning.

At the time  I didn’t give it much thought.  I folded up my sleeping bag, put my shoes on, grabbed my backpack and was out the door.

Now, as a 22 (23 this Saturday) year old middle school teacher (and it’s important to note that I am not teaching instrumental music, which was my life’s ambition) I’m starting to give more weight to those words.

What does it mean to waste one’s life?

This post is far from over.  I plan to add a second edition when I’ve gotten some answers.  Here are my ideas so far:

You’re “wasting your life” if you’re…

-Passing up options that you only have when you’re young (drum corps, sports, a good education, family, etc.)
-Choosing not to do the work that it takes to accomplish what you want in life
-Doing something that you hate for the sake of having a job
-Creating drama for the sake of making life interesting

Please feel free to add…