THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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I got to thinking about how I’ve changed over time. I used to want to work around people and now I’m very happy working alone. I used to like large parties and events and now I prefer smaller gatherings or just a few people. I used to like large family gatherings, now I shy away from them.

Alone with nature. Photo by Mike Hartley

I was starting to feel this way before the pandemic started but the increased isolation isn’t the tough thing it is for some people. And to be honest I like some aspects of it. Working from home alone keeps me running into thousands of other drivers each morning and evening. And I can’t tell you how much I like that being my commute was 45 miles each way to downtown D.C and back.

Not to mention being late in my career a lot of friends have retired and the number of close friends at the job has dwindled so those relationships are now outside the job. But I also like working alone pretty much self-supervised. I’ve had good bosses and some bad ones. When you are trusted to work independently and still communicate well so everyone is on the same page and happy that is what I want and have at this stage of life. Thank you, boss.

Teams are great. If you have a good group everyone benefits and grows much faster I believe some of the best work I’ve done has been on teams of people or leading teams of people. I also enjoy helping my partner and some other members of engineering and even some in other departments when I can. I’ve always shared any knowledge I have freely. But as you all might have run into there are always people who know everything and those not interested in learning anything and those I quickly disconnect myself from.

I’ve discovered I enjoy listening to music a lot more again and I like doing that alone in my man cave or car. When I’m photographing I’m alone. When I’m writing now I’m alone. And I’m very comfortable in those spaces.

Of course, I don’t want to disconnect. I don’t live vicariously through social media or nor am I a loner. I connect with my friends often and we keep in close touch through a number of tools.

I guess I started separating from the masses though when I started the night shift again about 7-8 years ago. I had to remind myself from previous stints on nights, it disconnects you from a large segment of society. It changes relationships with friends and family, even though I work very strenuously not to let it affect any of those things even if it means my personal sacrifice of sleep.

But working in a building that houses thousands and you work a shift where security and cleaning crews almost outnumber our staff there, its one of the many lifestyle changes that have to be adapted to. So I had a few years of isolation adaption before covid hit and people started to hunker down and experience so much anxiety over it.

Some people are so excited about getting back to the office. That is the furthest thing from my wishes right now I’m sorry to say. Oh, there are a few people that I will make a point to see and keep in touch with but my days of wanting to be in a large office complex are over.

Even when I’m at home and it’s just my better half and I. Many days I wake early, usually some ache or pain and I get up to stretch but I stay up because I can have some alone time. Sometimes there are a lot of voices in this head to listen to without anyone else chiming in.

The danger in liking being alone is that it can go too far and I’m keeping a close eye on it. But I’m also using the time I have in doing a little more of what I want and less of what the group wants. And I don’t mean that to sound selfish, I’ve probably been on the people-pleasing side too long and maybe that is why pulling back feels so good right now.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • There is something that makes me feel good about being up and seeing a sunrise each day.
  • Another beautiful day, well part of it, on tap and I’m going to get outside and enjoy the hell out of it.
  • It’s the time of year where you need multiple wardrobes each day.
  • I think I’ll start to try to post earlier in the day than late in the day and see if that makes any difference in viewship. Maybe doing some better content would help also.
  • Every year I have this battle with myself. Do I put down chemicals in my yard to have it look nicer or do I not and have a healthier earth and less visual pleasure. Most years I actually avoid the chemical dispersion but so many neighbors have these services pull up and put down tanks of chemicals on their lawns it seems like what I don’t do might not ammount to a hill of beans.