Making a Life vs Making a Living

Another in a jumbled pile of random thoughts that has been prodding me lately… Finally after half a year of grave yard shifts, next week I get to move to the day shift. Apparently there is an odd soul who despises working days who is more than happy to take my place πŸ™‚ Anyway, I don’t sleep well or even at all during the day so I have basically gone pretty much without sleep four days out of the week for this entire time. On the nights I work I spend the entire day trying to sleep and worrying about the next day… by the time the week ends I am so trashed that I am completely disfunctional until it is time to go back to work and do it all over again.

Deer in Wildflowers

So… for all these months I have been making a living, but not a life. However, I am finally getting put together the things that help make a life, things like a checking account, internet service, a routine and friends. I am looking forward to once again having a life, not just living to make a living.

As I was working on my laptop today which I have largely neglected since I didn’t have internet service I noticed that all my accounts, my agencies and my blog have the wrong phone numbers, address and various other details that require my attention. Not terribly surprising… but I also noticed that I haven’t shot many pictures worth uploading lately. So I decided to take a look back at last year, especially since with my latest photo shop updates I have acquired the Adobe Stock publishing button available right in Adobe Bridge πŸ™‚

Misty Peak

What is surprising to me though, is an apparent inattention to uploading that plagued my photography last year… I wonder what was going through my mind to just shoot these images and not upload them? When I look back a few years at some of my older photo shoots I can remember the very day that I captured the pictures… What I was doing, thinking, and where I was at that exact moment. As I look back on last year I don’t remember these pictures or how I came about getting them.

Interestingly last year was the same as this year… working late at night at a physically exhausting job. No energy for anything but work, no strength to make a life, just a living. Anyway, now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel I am glad I had the mental acumen to keep my camera with me and keep shooting because some of these pictures are amazing! I just wish I could remember having fun shooting them!

Oh well, no great words of wisdom on what to do about it but at least if you read this and find yourself making a living and not a life, perhaps you might recognize it and hopefully make a change… Sometimes it is all out of our control though and all we can do is pray for the strength to get through it.

As always there are many new images for sale on my website which you can view by clicking the links to the left, or by bringing up the menu if you are on a smart phone!

Advertisements

A Word With Myself

Had to have a word with myself yesterday… Coming off a week of some kind of flu bug or something, I finally had a day off. Well sort of, since I had actually worked until 6:00 a.m. the same day. It was cold and spitting snow late in the afternoon and all kinds of things that I think I should be doing, including paperwork, hiking, shopping, walking the dog, etc. were running through my mind and I was feeling quite guilty that I didn’t seem to be getting to any of it.

Finally it hit me, and I could almost hear the audible scolding I was about to get from myself, β€œDude, you are running a temperature, coughing up your lungs, running on a total of eight hours sleep in the last four days… It’s OK to just REST!
So I almost took my advice, I didn’t go out in the cold, but I did get on the laptop and work on a few pictures that I have backed up over the last year or so. Found some sunsets, snow pictures on Pikes Peak and a few mule deer that I could be uploading to stock. Looks like it wasn’t a huge year in my photography history, but I did get a few decent ones to remember the year by πŸ™‚ I thought this beautiful snowy shot of the peak was quite appropriate for the day!

Feeling a bit better today after getting 11 hours of sleep last night so I did venture out and get a couple of things done. But it didn’t take long and I was feeling very worn out again and in need of some more rest. Maybe another 11 hours of sleep will do the trick!

Well anyway, as always my images can be found by clicking the links in the menu for this blog… There are links to prints and gifts, stock images and more in the menu, so please enjoy!

Turning Point

One of those memories from one year ago popped onto my Facebook today, it was a great memory of a great day, breakfast with my beloved cousin whom I hadn’t seen for too many years to even count. However the good part of that day was overshadowed by the memory of the rest of the day after I received a call from a friend who told me, “Steve, all hell has broken loose here.”, a terrible day in which several lives were irreparably altered, and not for the better. It was also the day that resulted in me having the two dogs that I wasn’t planning on or prepared for by any stretch of the imagination. However as you can imagine, these two beautiful doggies have worked their way into my heart and now they go with me everywhere. One riding shotgun in the passenger seat of my truck and the other standing on the console in the middle making sure there is nothing unusual lodged in my right ear or my mouth and nose πŸ™‚

I had to take a part time job unloading trucks to make ends meet and it is a job that is physically difficult for people 40 years my younger. Unfortunately a few months ago I sustained a serious injury from which I have not been able to recover and is getting worse. Each day at work is a new lesson in pain and fatigue and I am sure I’m not going to be able to endure it much longer. And Son Boy is starting to look so sad when I have to work, like he knows. I hate leaving them behind, hate taking time away from writing and photography. And I have been praying “Please God, don’t make me go back there…”, pleading and begging the Almighty to have mercy on me and my little family of fur babies.

On the upside, the economy must be turning around, my stock photography sales have been picking up substantially. After years of terrible sales I have actually made more selling than I have working in the last few days… and I think that too is a sign that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Also I had a vivid dream the other night of a house in the country… one of those dreams that you just have a feeling is significant, a sign even perhaps. And after a long time of feeling repulsed by writing and out of inspiration for my photography, ideas are starting to come to me and the words are once again flowing onto the page… Every storm has to end and my storm that has washed away a home, a wife to cancer, a family, a career and all my savings and plans for retirement and almost everything but my faith, has lasted a decade.Β  It is a storm that I am hoping will soon be on the other side of the turning point.

“He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.” Psalm 107:29-30

Layers of Stress

`At first, upon Tricia’s death I was even more stressed out than I was before. But as time passes I can feel myself unwinding, as if it is one layer at a time. For so long I have been in a race against time, running one errand at a time and coming right home to see if everything is OK, followed by a sprint to another errand or appointment. Doctor’s appointments were literally an all day scramble to get ready and get there on time. A missed appointment could be a catastrophe, another week without medicine, pain pills or referrals to necessary treatments. Too long at any one errand and I could find a plugged air hose, a missed medication, or a relapse into AD.

So now I find myself still racing around, heart pounding, running and racing, skipping meals and forgoing my own needs. But each day is a little better, a little more relaxed, a little more like I used to be. Today I was on my way to Denver via Black Forest and I noticed I was speeding and my heart was pounding, and I thought to myself, why? There was no real possibility of anything going wrong, I just had to make a little drive and come back. And if I could just slow down, I could even make a nice day out of it. So I forced myself to think of the pleasant things that would come after my appointment. Lunch, I wanted to have lunch. I haven’t had time to stop for lunch anywhere in a year. So when I got back to the Springs I decided to get a salad at the salad buffet on Garden of the Gods Road. And I forced myself to not hurry.

View through the keyhole

View through the keyhole

Soon I was proceeding past Garden of the Gods and I thought, why not pull in? Why not drive through it instead of past it? But what about the time? Well what about it, I have plenty of it now. Once in the park it was so beautiful. Brilliant snow covering the peak and the early spring light bathing the red sandstone spires with beautiful afternoon glow. The weather was perfect as I was hurrying through, and I thought, why am I hurrying again? Why not stop and take a walk? I have been wanting to try the Spring Canyon trail for a long time, so I forced myself to pull in and park. It was so worth it to see new parts of the park that I had no idea even existed from racing past on the road. Fantastic views of the peak, rock features that I had never seen or even heard of. I was hoping to snap a couple of pictures so I would have something to do tonight and I ended up with eighty. I will be busy from these for a while!

Finally I let the boy kitties out the back door for some sun and exercise. For some reason they didn’t take off as usual and were just hanging around the door as if they wanted something. My chair in the backyard was in the sunshine and it looked so inviting, so I just decided once again to stop everything and just go watch them play. They were happy to see me out there once again after months of having to entertain themselves. Soon they were back to running back and forth, batting around various objects that have collected in the yard over the winter. I forgot how much I enjoyed my kitty time. As I sit there watching their fun my mind slows down and the important things manage to bubble to the top while the days unimportant problems sink to the bottom.

So as I continue this journey it is like stress is falling off in layers. Entire levels of worry melting away. New plans forming, messages I need to send to old friends, and most important of all… I am starting to feel closer to my God again. He has felt so distant for so long but as I rested in the yard with my critters it started to sink in that He was never distant, only obscured by so many layers of stress that have been piling on gradually without notice until they had become an unbearable burden. But time passes and with each day another layer falls off. I don’t know how long it will take, but I hope soon the burden will be lifted.