And to be honest, it was a pretty neat place to work, but there wasn't much sitting around and playing the guitar.
In general when I think of my former life, I remember how I worked very long hours for very short pay, and how I had to deal with an incredible amount of office politics... because musicians aren't exactly known for being even tempered.
I remember how I got work calls at home at all hours of the night and day. Like the time the phone rang at 2am: "Hi, um... we have a little issue here - you know that concert grand piano that's on loan for tomorrow night's show? Well, um... one of the volunteers was trying to move it, and it seems they accidentally sorta broke off the front leg, and the nose kinda smashed into the ground, what should we do?"
In general, I sorta felt like I spent my life trying to squeeze blood out of a proverbial turnip.
So, I couldn't help but smile and feel a sense of commiseration when Dar over at An Exacting Life mentioned in a recent post how people always assume that since she works at a library she gets to sit around all day and read books.
In fact, I seem to have run into a lot of examples of the "grass is greener" syndrome lately.
CatMan and I were chatting with a fellow on the bike path the other day. Turns out he used to do real estate up in Winter Park, a little ski resort town outside of Denver.
He was chuckling about how at least twice a week a couple would wander into his office and say, "We're looking for a nice place that we might be able to turn into a bed and breakfast."
It reminded me of all the people who would show up whenever I advertised a teaching position saying, "I've always wanted to quit my corporate job and make a living as a music teacher!"
To which I'd generally respond "OK... so have you thought about how you're going to handle living under the poverty level?" Because... sadly, "starving musician" isn't just a euphemism.
And I couldn't help but chuckle when I stumbled upon this open letter to Gwyneth Paltrow.
Apparently Gwyneth was recently asked about the stress of raising kids while making movies, and made some rather unfortunate comments about how it would be so much easier if she just worked a normal 9-5 job - the letter was one working mom's hilarious response.
Oh dear! Apparently even the rich and famous can succumb to lusting over how the "other half" lives!
In a certain sense, I think it's just human nature. We're all way too familiar with the struggles that we personally deal with on a daily basis, yet we always put our best feet forward in public - so I guess it's reasonable that other people might think our lives are just carefree and easy.
I also think that our society tends to encourage "woe is me" syndrome, which makes it even harder to keep from wallowing in a pool of self pity when we look at the perceived idyllic lives of those around us.
And I'm in no way immune to this myself.
Every time I'm chatting with someone in another part of the world about gardening, I find myself grumbling about how easy it must be if you live someplace with more rainfall than we enjoy - because, you know, in that case the grass really is greener!
Of course, I neglect to consider little things like slugs, and root rot, and lack of sunshine, and mold, and allergies, and the fact that weeds like water too - never mind what it must be like to try to hang your laundry to dry in a wet climate!
I'm sure there are a million other ways in which I assume that other people's lives are easier than they actually are, and it all got me to thinking, there must be countless examples of this sort of thing.
So here's your opportunity to vent all of your grass is greener pet peeves... I'm dying to know how it is that people assume you've "got it easy" when it ain't necessarily so!