THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Keeping up

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In recent years I realized I haven’t kept up with many things that I used to. Or at least to the levels, I did only a decade ago. I love sports and still follow it quite a bit but nothing like in the past. Technology is a field I work in and play in but the same is true here, I just don’t keep up with all the changes and directions like I used to.

Tracks of a large Blue Heron this weekend. Photo by Mike Hartley

I used to be up on photography equipment, now I just worry about having time to take and share new images. At one time many years ago I was a Photoshop expert, but I haven’t used a good photo editing program in decades. Yeah, I know, it shows.

Keeping up with the changes and power shifts at the job used to be part of my interest, now I couldn’t care less. Having input and influence in direction, technology and structure is something I avoid instead of diving into as in the past.

I used to be able to tell you the name of every player on the Maryland basketball team every year before the season, now the revolving doors of college basketball make that impossible for me. I used to keep up more with what was going on in the neighborhood, but not so much anymore.

For a long time, I kept up with popular culture, music, arts, movies, tv-series. I get lost in some conversations at gatherings now with things I have NO knowledge of.

And I’m sitting here wondering why I’m not bothered by any of this. I guess because I replaced it with other things that I find more important and maybe I have slowed down a bit. I know I’ve been putting in much more family, friends, and grandchild time. I know I’ve increased my time on my hobbies. And I’m happier for all of that.

I believe staying active and challenged is the best way to grow old. I also have had the realization I’m not the kid I used to be and the importance of rest and relaxation of this mind which has been on overdrive for too many years already needs. That balanced with a lot of fun and laughter to replace the stress of tech manuals and commutes.

Just being off for a short period of time has taught me the strain I put on my body and mind by flipping shifts. The realization that I would rather be working on a piece of wood or have a camera in my hands than responding to system alerts.

It’s that unknown of time and how much we have to accomplish what I want to but balance that with working for long-term security for the family. And it’s just such an unknown that making the call anytime will always leave me second-guessing did I go too early or worked too long.

And that is the crux of the issue. It’s not that I can’t or don’t give my job 110% or that I don’t want to do it, I just question when is the right time to make the transition. One of my best friend’s wives is retiring this month. I think it has added to the continued change in his perspective. And each time I hear about someone else going out, especially younger people I think even harder on the subject. Which reminds me we are having dinner with another couple this weekend who just retired.

I guess what I’m thinking in a long-winded way is that the time to make that choice is approaching fast. And yes that decision might just be to work longer and it also could be to work shorter than I thought a year ago and retire. But many factors go into that which I’ll get into another day.

But rest assured you will be Kept Up with that day when it happens. That will be the first and last dance video by me on this site.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I worked really hard for a few days in a row, morning, noon, and night. Today wasn’t one of those days.
  • Cults are dangerous, and not all of them are religious.
  • I hope the area is excited to see the Baltimore Orioles doing better with a very young team. I wish it was showing in fan support in the stands.
  • I think I’ll do my early voting this coming Monday. This means I have some reading to do this weekend.
  • Each time the phone rings now my excitement level rises dramatically. That is what happens when you are going to have a grandson soon.

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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