THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Feeling a little tightly wrapped

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Maximizing time can eventually lead to feeling a little tightly wrapped. I find myself approaching or crossing that line. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to the rooftop armed. But I do feel a bit more on edge and not as relaxed and creative. Which I guess is par for life. Not every day is perfect. Then again every day I wake up is perfect.

Wire bundles. Photo by Mike Hartley

Wire bundles.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But as I make more effective use of my time for even things I enjoy doing, it’s a fine balance to leave yourself any free time or down time that provides some balance in life. I worry about this for myself and my family. For instance my daughter is interested in learning about blogs and maybe doing one. Young people’s lives are so busy as it is and I worry that she will get like me and make a commitment to doing it and then feel like it’s an obligation.

For instance when I started this I thought posting each day was a piece of cake. Maybe even 3-5 post a day. Well hell I’m lucky to do one a day and I’ve had some gaps I’m less than proud of. You see I work for a daily newspaper and I’m used to doing many things on a daily basis. Well when you’re a photographer, writer, creative director, designer and publisher, those things add up to a lot of work. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m far from anything but an amateur at most or all of them. But I’m working at perfecting my craft in a way that makes me happy and fits in with the life that I have.

When work (job that pays the bills) gets busy, I have to back off on other things. Or maybe I choose to eliminate my downtime and use that to try to produce. That decision has a negative effect on my creative edge for this blog. I stop looking at life in the lighthearted way I love to. I have to find humor in life. I have to laugh.

But back to balance and blogging. I enjoy this greatly and much more now because I don’t heap any guilt on myself if I don’t post. Or feel bad that I’m not as happy as if I would have worked another day on a piece of rambling thoughts and expressed or added some more ideas. Or another photo to illustrate a piece. Or if I had any design talent to stylize my post better. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t find a tool to do some simple illustrative work.

Hell, I don’t even look at statistics now and feel anything but great (and they aren’t great). Because I know a few of my family and friends have expressed interest and enjoyment from it. Complete strangers have liked or commented on it. But those are the two core reasons I started to do it. For my own enjoyment and to bring enjoyment or thought or pleasure to anyone who stumbles along it.

So I’ve learned to be at peace with what I can do each day. It’s good to look back only if your learning from it and maybe doing something improved the next opportunity. But if I start posting more it’s because I’m enjoying it more and have found a balance with other aspects of my life that are also very important.

This way if I toil away in oblivion with the exception of few souls that have seen or read something they like, then I will be happy myself. And if it becomes more successful I’ll know not to let it consume me unless it wants to replace the job that pays the bills but it will never cut into family, friends, and some relax/downtime.

It has taught me to do what I enjoy and farm out the rest. For instance if I ever make any money, I’m never going to be the one doing the books. I’ll never be the one doing my marketing or self promotion. I find that pretentious but it is a need if you’re a business. I’ll be the one doing what I want.

And that is why its important to have a plan and good financial planning. I wildly entertain some days the possibility that I might be successful someday that I might be a writer and or photographer, with a side of artist/sculpture. Until then I keep in good standing and apply a good bit of effort to be successful at the job that pays the bills. Some might say well I’m not all in and I’m not giving it a fair shot. Yeah your right on both counts. But then it becomes maybe something I’m not happy doing. You see I guess I’m more happy like this server out of its cabinet not bound by its walls, nothing below or on top of it to compete with, still connected to the same redundancy and network, still enjoying the A/C. But doing my own thing.

Server out of water. Photo by Mike Hartley

Server out of water.
Photo by Mike Hartley

You see I like to shoot and write about what I want to. And by my schedule and inspiration. And in the way I choose to display it. For right now at least. And I find when I’m doing that I’m happy and feeling creative. And if someday it becomes successful in some way then that’s just extra icing on my already beautiful cake. I just have to remember, who is in control. And exercise some for myself.

Have a good afternoon all.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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