Self Love

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Status: good. better than good. noticed while at the gym yesterday that I wasn’t feeling miserable and dragging my feet as usual. Also noticed that my sinuses have cleared up and that I can actually breathe, I’m not as stuffy as usual. I may extend my non-drinking experiment into February because I’m quite liking this.

I have a date this afternoon. She seems nice, looks normal. Seems normal from our limited correspondence. Based upon past experience, this isn’t a sign of something that will last. I gravitate towards these ‘Lost Girl’ types who have a bit of an edge – usually identified through tattoos and scars on their arms from cutting. Always found it difficult to relate to “normals”, and they to me. They just don’t hold my attention at all. However, I’m going to make a concerted effort and be patient, let things develop over time and let’s see where this goes. I’ll reserve judgment based upon if there is a connection until after I get to know her a little bit better.

This situation with the school students and the Native American gentleman/activist in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I don’t know exactly what happened, and I don’t care that much. What I do care about are the negative reactions to the truncated video clip which seem to be based solely on the skin colour of the school students in contrast to the Native American. Guilt was assigned purely based upon the skin colour of the participants, which has been further amplified by individuals who have chosen to also focus on their gender and alleged membership in a nebulous organisation. My question is this: we have anti-discrimination laws on the books, yet they don’t seem to be applicable to news outlets and social media platforms, why is this?

 

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Winter Storm and Monday Mornings

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Status: good. more than good. I’m liking these pain-free Monday mornings, and the reclamation of my Sundays as well. I may continue on with this past the end of January. Maybe.

Discovered over the weekend what I had been telling myself vis-à-vis being comfortable when out-and-about taking photos. We had our first winter storm of the season over the weekend, which was an optimal time to practice photography in the inclement weather conditions. Problem: I don’t have the equipment to stay outdoors in -30c (with wind-chill) weather. Made an attempt on Saturday and lasted about 10 minutes, I think, before I binned it in favour of the warmer indoor environment. My hands were aching so badly, it took a good 15-20 mins to for them to warm up and stop aching. That’s a major red flag, and a sign that perhaps I shouldn’t do that. It foolish to flirt with disaster like that. And of course, something I already knew and was reminded of; when it comes to photographing outdoors, you need to be comfortable in order to be able to stay outside for long periods of time. I don’t have the right equipment for that, but going forward I need to make sure that I’m prepared. Another lesson learned on this journey to photography nirvana.

Insurance company. I accepted the offer over the weekend, so the ball is now in their court. Not overly enthused about the position because it feels like I’m covering old territory, however it may be best to enter the new company through a familiar paths versus green fields. I mean there is going to be plenty of new things to get used to – people, environment, culture, systems, etc. – so, this will be one less thing to tackle. And I expect that they’ve not told me everything, so there will be surprises. That said, the pay is good. It’s actually very good. They’ve been very accommodating on that front, so I’m very grateful for that.

Expect that my start date will be somewhere in May, so that will give me some more time to work on these Bucket List items.

 

 

 

Resistance

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It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.

Status: procrastinating again. I’m at that part of the day, very early in the morning, where I’m full of hope about what the day could be, and then I sink into little self-indulgences designed to provide immediate gratification, but to also delay working on things which will give me fulfillment in the long run.

This is a hard one to get past, and I’m afraid I’m losing the battle. The day goes by, and then a week goes by, and then a month goes by, and I use that lack of completing things to self-flagellate. So, I’m stuck in this cycle of immediate gratifying dopamine hits which provide nothing of long term benefit, and then use that behaviour to beat myself up.

I’ve tried a bunch of different things in order to de-emphasize the former and focus on the latter, and nothing seems to be sticking. So, I have to ask myself: is this really what I want to do? Do I actually want to pursue photography and writing (because at the moment it looks like the answer is No), or should I set it to the side and focus on something else?

I’m being foolish. I think it’s time to make a change…..

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/5
18mm
ISO 3200

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Neon and Early Mornings

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Lord, please help me find the strength to remain chaste…….but not today.

Status: tired, low energy. Awake at 2pm and couldn’t get back to sleep, so decided to give up around 4am and just start my day. Upside, downside. The early start gives me extra time to work on my task list for the day, however because I’m dragging my feet I’m not really capitalising on the extra time, so it’s a wash.

Suspect that this is a “hangover” from yesterday, which was not a good one. I’m feeling generally better today, but yesterday my depression was getting the better of me and it usually takes me a day or two to pull myself up from the depths and shake it off when that happens.

White-knuckling it at it’s finest. I really shouldn’t do that, I think it’d be better if I talk to someone.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/5
18mm
ISO 3200

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Trial and Error

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“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” – Seneca

I’m frustrating myself this morning. Reviewing photos from the last two weekends and not seeing in the photo what I saw in the subject when I took the picture. Not to mention the limitations of the camera in low light and high ISO settings being very apparent; I don’t know why I insist on asking the camera to do things outside of it’s capabilities.

And I think that sums it up quite nicely, I’m focusing a little too intently on the negative which is a reflection of my mood this morning. It might be best if I set this to the side for the moment, take a deep breath and then come back to it with fresh eyes.

In the meantime, what are the lessons I’m learning from this experience?

I definitely need to let the photos “marinate” and then look at them with fresh eyes and no expectations. I’m asking the photo to be something it isn’t and then getting frustrated when it won’t be that thing (it can’t be that thing).

Practice. Composition is the next thing I need to focus on. Photographing with intent. Minimal reliance in editing software to “tart” up a mediocre photo.

Stick with the camera’s strengths. A reasonable amount of light and keep the ISO settings as low as possible. The good thing about the camera is I can open the aperture to it’s widest setting and still get good depth of field.

Ok, let’s try again.

Nikon D3400
1/250 sec
f/8
18mm
ISO 110

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The Student

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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.

A wider angle on this photo would have been better, cutting out the buses diminishes the photo somewhat, in my opinion. A photographer I’ve been following said that he takes a wider photo – more than he needs – in order to have the flexibility to crop and/or straighten it later without losing any of the important parts of the composition. Lesson learned, will incorporate that into the next set of photographs I take.

So, I’ve learned this lesson but are there others sitting in front of me that I’m ready to see?

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/16
52mm
ISO 100

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Horoscope

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My horoscope yesterday:

“A positive attitude is essential today, because if you let negative thoughts enter your mind it could stop you taking advantage of opportunities that are designed by the universe to make you materially and emotionally richer. It’s all good, so be happy.”

I find astrology moderately entertaining and curiously accurate, and cynically I always check yesterday’s installment to see if it was an accurate reading, and this one was very relevant to something that I struggle with on an ongoing basis.

I do wrestle with depression and have a (bad) habit of lending too much weight to the empty portion of the glass, so this is sage advice. And it also fits the above picture which I took quite well.

Now, to put that into practice……..

 

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