I haven’t taken a photo on my camera in over 2 months.
As I’ve said before in this blog, this summer has been full of transition after transition and along the way I seem to put a few things on the back burner. Like most people (I think…), the busier life gets, the more you ignore the things that you love the most. It’s weird how that works; how the things that make you feel alive seem to disappear when you need them the most.
It’s not a conscious choice, mind you, to ignore those things, but it’s just something that happens. Life gets busier and instead of focusing on the things that make you feel alive, you spend your time on the things that you need to stay alive (like meals, showers, alone time looking at the wall as your recuperate from 8 hours of washing kegs, etc.).
Fortunately, relationships–with my wife, family and friends–aren’t among the things I’ve left by the wayside the past few months. Those are the things that are truly most important to me, and I can’t imagine a world in which I forget about those amazing people.
However, it’s the things I’m passionate about, the hobbies, the creative outlets that I’ve somehow forgotten about. Maybe “forgotten” isn’t the best word, because while I’ve definitely been ignoring them, it’s not like I haven’t been thinking about them. In fact, I think the stress of not having these things in my life have–if possible–made me more obsessive about them.
But times are a changin’…
I photoshopped a photo this week for the first time in months. It was exhilarating. (See: Ambiance and the Decor)
I was able to get my family to homebrew with me on two occasions this past month! In both of the sessions, we had a great time and grew closer as we talked about everything from different beer styles to the intricacies of fermentation science.
My lovely wife bought me a drum kit for my birthday last week and it’s been an amazing breakthrough for me creatively.
I’m writing a blog for the first time in weeks, and it’s going…okay. Good to be back though.
In the dozens of writing classes I’ve taken, I’ve always heard that writers need deadlines. Even after the classes are over (especially after the classes are over), when you’re trying to write, draw, or do just about anything creatively, you need deadlines (I need deadlines). Without a note in my calendar telling me that something is actually due on a specific date, I’ll put it off for…
And that’s doubly-true for things that don’t affect other people. Obviously taking out the trash, picking the wife up from work, and dinner with the in-laws are among the things that I’m not going to put off or forget about. But “write blog” or “go on photography adventure” are both things I need to see written down, no matter how much I know I want/need to do them.
These things, these creative endeavors, aren’t just wastes of time…well, my fantasy football team is kind of a waste of time, but that’s beside the point. MOST of these creative outlets aren’t wastes of time, they’re soul-feeding, enlightening, refreshing, cathartic occurrences that remind me just how good life is, how good God is, and amazing the world is, and that I’m surrounded by amazing people.
Sure, it’s wrong to shirk any duties or responsibilities to go take some photos of a tree for a few hours, or to play drums for hours on end by myself in our shed. But it might be just as wrong to ignore these activities for long periods of time. And while my soul has been slowly rotting (thank you hyperbole) as I’ve been avoiding some of the things I’m most passionate about, I’ve been making excuses.
In college, I was the kind of guy who needed 6 hour blocks of time to get 6 hours of homework done; I couldn’t just do an hour here or a few hours here. For some reason, I need about 30-40 minutes to get into the mental state of whatever I’m doing…I’m slow, and I like it like that. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably noticed that the end of each blog is much better than the first few paragraphs. (I’m trying to amend that, but that’s also just how it is.)
So when I think about putting the time and effort into a hobby I’m passionate about–after I get home from working 9-5, and want to spend time with my wife, and I want to work on that book I’m reading…and the one I’m writing, and I want to make dinner, and watch that show my wife and I are watching–it gets a bit draining even thinking about taking the time to do…just about anything else. (Especially if I want to put time into that thing and be proud of it.)
Excuses. I friggin’ hate ’em.
So, what do we do? We stop making excuses, we live deliberately, we put deadlines in our calendar and we sleep at least 7 hours a night–all at the same time!
That’s the plan for the next few months. In this process, I will be updating both of my blogs at least once a week, taking photos at least once every two weeks, and playing drums at least twice a week.
I’ll also be telling my wife about these deadlines (goals) and hopefully she’ll keep me accountable to each of them–shouldn’t be too difficult as she likes to read my blogs and look at my photos though.
And hopefully over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a few new photos for ya…
Thanks for bearing with me over the past few months.
Also, the San Francisco Giants are 6.5 games up on the Dodgers and the sports world is abuzz with the overall greatness of the San Francisco 49ers. ‘Tis good to be a Bay Area sports fan this month (check back next month…).