Letting Go

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Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety or possessions – we cannot be free.

Status: sitting at the keyboard sweating blood. The morning has just flown by and I’ve accomplished…..not nothing, but less than expected. Stuck on The Visitor story, not sure what happens next. Need a space where I can “close the door” and daydream, still stuck in the corporate day job modus operandi where I need to be head down productive for 8 hours. The creative process is different, still getting used to it.

So, I need to let go of the anxiety I’m feeling over not being word-count productive, relax and let it flow. I can do this.

Above photo is good, but the composition is a little off. I had the camera to low on the tripod. Too much of the platform is in the photo, it’s drawing the viewer’s eye away from the main focus of the photo, which is the train’s light trails. It’s not quite following the rule of thirds, applying that rule would put the train (and Meet Happy monitor) in a better position.

Obsessively checking that damn dating app. The dopamine hit from looking at the pretty user pictures is too great to ignore. Need to consider locking it down so that I can’t check the site. A net nanny type app would be good. Had the laptop in the shop for servicing a few weeks back and was without it for a couple of days. That was of tremendous help to my productivity. Maybe I should consider writing in a notebook instead of a laptop?

That’s not a bad idea.

Nikon D3400
1 sec
f/13
18mm
ISO 100

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Signs

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You can ask the universe for all the signs you want, but ultimately, we see what we want to see when we’re ready to see it.

Status: awake. empty. struggling to start. Spent way too long selecting a photo for the post this morning. Agonising over which one is “just right”. Up at 5:30 am, but didn’t make a real start until 7:30. Suspect that I need to adjust my expectations; hitting the ground running at 5:31 am is unrealistic. Spent too much time hitting the dopamine button with YT videos. As usual. Think that my priority is self-flagellation and not fulfilment. Becoming a little frustrated with myself and perhaps this is a sign that I need to adjust my day, so that I can make it easier on myself to get into the “flow”.

I’m not big on resolutions, but I’m determined to make this writing thing work. So, my goal is 500 words a day (not including journal posts), 5 days a week. Commitment, execution. I can be disciplined enough to devote time everyday to go to the gym, then I can be disciplined enough to devote time everyday to writing. It’s just that simple and that hard.

One other thing I want to do. Sober January. No alcohol for the whole month. Slightly concerned because I like my Saturday nights for a little partying, and I can’t remember the last time I actually stayed in on a Saturday night and didn’t drink. We could be looking at 30 years ago, so the behaviour is well ingrained. In any case, let’s see how this plays out. The primary purpose is the hangover really disrupts my forward momentum, and it takes a few days to kick start it again. And I use it as an excuse to not do things like write. If I remove the impediment then in theory I won’t have an excuse to not do any writing. Let’s see if that’s true.

Dating. Connected with someone over the Christmas break and exchanged numbers so that we could firm up plans to meet. Red flags aplenty. Her profile says that communication is of paramount importance, however the paucity of her correspondence to date says otherwise. She told me about a “stalker” from the dating site; starting off the interaction with a negative is not a great way to start, and given the tone of our interaction I’m getting the feeling that she’s pretty self-centered and therefore likely strung this guy along. That doesn’t excuse his behaviour, of course, however I suspect that this is a recurring theme and she is unconsciously selecting needy types who feed her self-centered pathology. Perhaps I’m being a little bit unfair, but I’ve seen this before. I’ve seen this a few times, actually, and have been burned by it. I think it’s best if I just let this one go.

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/5
18mm
ISO 100

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Out With the Old

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But I have infinite tenderness for you. I always will.

Status: postponed my writing from this morning because I thought I’d have something to say as the day went on. But, I don’t. Head full of cotton even though I got a good night’s sleep. Having a hard time wrapping my head around the possibility of this being an after effect from NYE, which was two days ago. All I know is I have no momentum and I’m just dragging my feet through the day, going through the motions and allowing all of The Usual Suspects to distract me from doing what’s important. Telling myself, “I’ll try again tomorrow”, is becoming a recurring theme and habitual cycle which I’d like to break.

On a more positive note, I did close off all of the administrative tasks scheduled for today. I’ve also responded to the preliminary “offer” provided by the insurance company. It’s a reasonable offer, just want them to tweak a few details. The HR manager is out until Monday, so don’t expect a response until next week.

The weekend and NYE was uneventful – the usual stuff. Had a coffee date on Monday which I’m sure is not going to progress. I’d could see the disinterest and the ‘waiting-to-be-dismissed’ body language early in the interaction, but I was able to get a halfway decent response a little ways into the date. Good enough.

Bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in a while on NYE. Great body, dumb as a bag of rocks. I can tell that she’s interested, but I passed and am now regretting it a little bit. I should at least give her a bit of a chance. I have a bad habit of dismissing people too quickly – and I keep catching myself doing that. Something to work on in 2019, for sure.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/16
55mm
ISO 100

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Resolutions

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He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe. 

Status: desperately trying to remember a line/scene in a movie I saw over the weekend where the protagonist has this epiphanous moment and from that point forward lives a life of intent. It struck me as relevant at the time, dovetailing quite nicely with some of these thoughts I’ve been entertaining about my approach to Things and Stuff. Reflecting on my life and how I can break through…..

More to come..

Nikon D3400
2/5 sec
f/9
18mm
ISO 100

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Yorkville

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What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more.

Status: there’s something about working on a Saturday which doesn’t sit well with me. And if this feels like work is it something I really want to continue doing?

I’ve hit a roadblock in the story and I’m not sure what happens next. Fully admit that I’m letting it intimidate me and I’m procrastinating with other things so I don’t have to face it. This is something I’m not great at: when I don’t know how to start The Next Thing, I become listless. Not sure exactly how to get around that one. Mark Manson described how he just started doing something, anything, and the momentum and encouragement from that start brought things into focus and allowed him to power through it.

Perhaps that’s the best way to do it.

I’m sitting on my response to the initial offer provided by the insurance company yesterday. I’ve already told them that I’m “travelling” until the 3rd and therefore I may be a little slow to respond until then. I think this speaks volumes about my interest in the role.

The practical choice is to take the job and engage with it as best I can. It’s a good job, with good compensation and growth potential. I’m covering old ground with this role, but that might not be a bad thing – I can ease myself into it with the familiarity of the landscape. It’ll also give me some breathing room by providing another source of income and giving me additional time to work on the things I really want to do.

I’ll mull it over a bit more, but I think that’s the smart play…..

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 400

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Procrastination

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Be proud of who you are, and not ashamed of how someone else sees you. 

Status: procrastinating heavily. The Christmas holiday really knocked my train off the tracks. I’m not only feeling sluggish, but also allowing just about everything to distract me.

Suspect that I should lower expectations and just focus on pushing out a few words. A little stuck with the progression of the story – not sure what happens next. I think I’ll just clear my mind and do a brain dump. Hopefully something useful will come out of it.

I mean, I do enjoy the process of writing, right? RIGHT?! I’m looking at you, man in the mirror. Not sure why I allow myself to become intimidated by the story. Just relax, let it flow. Focus on the things which get you into the flow of writing, like this journal.

So, I finally connected with my second network contact yesterday. Good conversation, he has something for me in Halifax. I’m due to speak with the MD of that office in the New Year and we’ll see if we can make this work. Not sure exactly what the position will be, but I think he intimated that salary level may be lower than I’m used to. Could be reading too much into this, but let’s not set expectations too high and we’ll pick this up next week.

Job offer looks imminent from the insurance company. They’ve started discussing salary to see if it’s a good fit. So, not a firm offer, but as long as we can agree on compensation levels then that should be the last hurdle before receiving an offer. Initial exploratory compensation pitch is not bad, but I think I can push them to offer more. To be honest, part of me doesn’t want the job, so I have no issue with approaching it like I have nothing to lose. This might not be the smart play; it’s a good opportunity, I think I should just land it and use it as an interim stepping stone to The Next Thing.

Whatever that shall be………

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/16
38mm
ISO 100

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Even More Christmas

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Status: dragging my feet, so it must be Monday. The instant gratification monkey is distracting me this morning, which means I’m not getting on with it.

In any case, I did complete one of the photography projects over the weekend and started post-processing the photos from the completed projects last week. All in all, I have quite a few usable pictures from the last few sessions including some really nice slow shutter speed blur motion captures of the train in the subway. Topped that off with some really nice pictures of a couple of musicians playing Christmas tunes in one of the shopping centres. So, progress.

Carousing around town on Saturday night, stopped into one of the chain restaurants because I hadn’t done any prior planning for the really nice ones. Keep forgetting how they view their frontline staff as salespeople and how they’re trained to engage and relate to customers in order to win their loyalty and keep them coming back. Fair enough, it’s good business to do this. Got quite a bit of attention from one of the female bartenders who saw the camera and kicked off a conversation about photography which ended with a, “you’ll have to show me more of your photographs next time”.

That immediately started me thinking about going back to the restaurant. Well played. I mean, the attention is appreciated and I do like the engagement, but I’m a little bit uncomfortable with being manipulated. You’re playing off my natural instincts to connect with attractive woman in order to drive sales.

I’ll probably go back there in a couple of weeks.

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 1600

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