So a couple of months ago I lost/someone stole my iPod classic after going to see Star Trek, Into Darkness (great movie by the way, despite what the critics say, but more on that at some other time). As with many things that happen in my life, this was after a particularly amazing two days. And life doesn't ever seem to allow me to have a really nice time without subsequently kicking me in the balls somehow. I realize this may be a self-fulfilling prophecy to some extent, but you shut your damn mouth, little voice in my head.
Like the ending of many relationships, this one was the result of carelessness and/or sheer stupidity, possibly both. I was so focused on sharing my joy in my movie-going experience I wasn't focused enough on checking to make sure I had everything until after I left the theater. Now to be clear, I was miffed, but after several trips back to the theater and costumer service, I finally just shrugged and kind of accepted it. It wasn't until a few days later it started to sink in how much the content on that iPod had become an integral part of my life. The more psychoanalytical of you might see this as a crude metaphor for a lot of my relationships. That thought has not escaped me, but I've found dwelling on it just makes me sink into a cycle of questioning myself, which I do enough on my own, thank you very much. Also incidentally, it make me miss the damn iPod more, so I decided to let it go.
For one thing, there was an accumulation of about three years worth of music and podcasts on that thing. Some of which is not backed up because it was essentially stolen from other people and will now have to be purchased. Proof that sometimes I am both lazy and a bad person. I also didn't realize how much of my daily routines, and therefore, a certain extant of my mental stability, was based around playlists on that thing. It's like living with a significant other and waking up the next morning after breaking up to find your whole daily routine now has to change. I realize that's a over-exaggeration, but a lot times you don't realize how important all the little things are until they are gone. Obvious? Yes, but it never fails to surprise you when it actually happens.
To get into some specifics, here are some playlists that I had and the reasoning as to why not having them actually became a issue for me.
On the Go: Basically a playlist of all my favorite songs. Like a giant blueprint of the randomness that is my brain, and a profound comfort blanket whenever or wherever I am.
Wake-Up: Music that helps me get out of bed in the morning, and adding to this, a couple of educational podcasts I listen to get my brain moving on groggy days. This was the first one I didn't realize how integral it was to my morning routine until it was gone.
Aesop to Sollila: A carefully curated mix that could be started at the beginning of the day skating and ended on the way home at night.
Battlestar Meditation: I ostensibly stopped meditating for a period of time without it. I initially panicked then I realized that I only really used a couple songs on it to actually meditate. This was one of those moments where I realized having an abundance of choice wasn't necessarily a good thing.
I am a Superhero: Have we not established that I am massive nerd? Another one I didn't realize its importance until it was gone.
Skating: A comprehensive playlist of all the music I like to skate to/gets me amped. And holy shit that was a lot of goddamn music...
Other playlists I created were not as important, but are still missed.
I have since been using my smart phone, which only has 4gigs of storage. This has been a interesting exercise in paring my musical life down to the most important things. It's weird how much you take all that space on an iPod for granted. It kind of makes you lazy when it comes to music. I often found myself using it on shuffle. And I am almost certain there are albums I have put on there that I have not given a true chance because they have been lost in the sheer amount of choice on the damn thing.
Maybe there is some epiphany that should happen here about how limiting your options actually improves your life. Maybe. But I'm still going to buy a new iPod classic.