THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Taking Time, no Making Time

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After typing that phrase “Taking Time” I laughed and realized I had made a mistake. At first that seemed like a normal phrase, but when used in the context of what I was thinking it was wrong. Because to me taking time means you were taking/stealing from something else. That taking time somehow makes what you we’re doing more important that you had to take time or steal it to spend it otherwise. And you know what, I would never want my daughter or son or better half to think that I’m ever taking time for them. I “make time” for them because they are my priority.

Going with the flow.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I could certainly understand them feeling that way though, that I have been taking time to spend with them. I’ve mistakenly made work and other things a priority at times. I feel guilt to this day that I allowed myself to focus on my career or my fun time and miss a few things when they we’re growing up. I’m no absentee father. But if I missed one or two or more things that were important to them, with each of them, that is one or two too many.

If I were to give advice to younger parents its to find that proper balance. Yes its important to provide for your family. It’s also important to have your children know your always going to be there for them first. And that should never change, even when they are adults and have their own partners.

Get your cream on.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Yesterday I MADE TIME to spend a day with my daughter. Its something we do each summer that I really look forward to. A day trip somewhere when we just walk and talk. Eat and relax. Enjoy some sites and have an ice cream together.

Usually a day, a few weeks before she returns to teaching the youth of today. And it always seems to be a sunny day for us, now that I reflect back on previous years trips. Sunny and HOT. It’s a good thing we are usually at a spot near water in our travels. Places like St Michael’s, Annapolis, Baltimore, Chesapeake City and Washington.

And yesterday matched that sunny and hot weather pattern exactly. So hot that we rode in the car with the A/C instead of the top down. But just walking Old Town Alexandria took it out of us both. Yep we had bottles of water, even me. You could feel that heat though just radiating off the concrete. We ducked into many wonderful stores but that still didn’t give enough of a recharge.

It was a good thing the service at lunch was slow because sitting in the AC was the balance you needed to get back outside mid afternoon.

As we walked through the Torpedo Factory complex of artist I was a kid in a candy store, as well as terrified again. I saw lots of beautiful work and tremendous talent. And I’m inspired and having ideas of my own, expanding concepts that could be combined, and then something snaps.

Doubt creeps in. Can I ever get close to doing something beautiful? Something that others would find pleasure and value in. Something that I could maybe even sell. I was telling my daughter how much I want to get into carving and engraving. I’ve tinkered around a bit but that is an art that takes a lot of practice to perfect.

I’ll try to summon some backbone and change those doubts and fears as I’ve been trying to do with my words and photos so far. Yes I still get embarrassed about how basic this site is in its writing and art. But I love the practice and the hope for creating that piece or image or idea or laugh that touches people.

Many things I saw had great craftsmanship. You know what, even if I can’t get to the level of those artist, I’m going to try to make it a fun journey getting there. And that means overcoming that doubt and beginning that road. Because one shop I wandered into I got talking about various pieces and she pointed at one I was looking at and said the artist did that when they were 92 years old. It was a large piece and I could tell had taken a great deal of time and work. And it gave me hope.

My daughter helped me again yesterday. She mentioned that I was to hard on myself on a lot of things. I used that mindset a long time to make myself better. Recognizing there is always someone better that I can learn from. It’s not that I’m not proud or satisfied all the time. I’m guess I’m just always looking for what could have been done or said differently and better. Maybe its the extra effort that I didn’t take. Or maybe the lack of writing down a simple idea to come back to and flush out. I’m trying to limit these lost opportunities now.

I’m learning from my children now that they are adults. Well to be honest I was learning from them as children. I learned about compassion and love. About responsibility and commitment. And many other wonderful things. Like worrying about others happiness and less on my own. Because the reward in the end is so great.

If there wasn’t a sign saying “don’t jump in the fountain”, I would have jumped in the fountain.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

I road with the top down today, and it was hotter than hot. I’ll use today and remember how hot I felt when on a cool morning with the top down in hopes they will balance each other out.

Well I missed posting yesterday. Broke my streak of several days in a row. You know what, after the day with my daughter, it was worth missing it, a zillion times over. And I really enjoy this stuff.

I’m looking forward to doing some shooting tomorrow. Hope I handle the sun better than I did today.

I have to stop writing when I’m so tired.

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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