Picture The Holidays - Day 6
Begin this day with eyes wide open to the tiny wonders that are constantly swirling all around you. Even at the most ordinary time of day, while doing the most mundane tasks, little moments of enchantment will reveal themselves. Find some small delight today.
With this challenge in mind, and absolutely no idea how to meet it, I threw my camera in the car and took it to work with me. As I walked in my office building, I noticed these big dew drops hanging off the holly berries positioned by the front entrance and decided to take a shot or two.
Juggling my coffee, my laptop and my big 300 mm lens (because that was what was on the camera when I grabbed it) I managed to snap a few pictures between people hurrying in and out of the building. I still wonder what people think when they see me photographing odd things in strange places, but I don't care enough to stop doing it.
I can't say I'm in love with photo, but it was all I had time for yesterday and fulfilled what I believe today's prompt was pushing us to do. That is, stop in the midst of the chaos of daily life, appreciate something beautiful and capture it. It was, even for just 30 seconds, a moment of enchantment in a day that mostly involved running around with my hair on fire.
I don't talk much about my day job here, and I don't intend to do so. But, sometimes I think it is important to point out that I actually have one and that I don't spend my days blithely tripping around the universe snapping pictures,pondering deep thoughts and blogging about it.
My job consumes MOST of my time. I am a manager of eight people in an an industry that is in a state of flux and has been for the past several years. My official title is Director of Operations, and that encompasses everything from software development and testing, tech support, implementation project management, and customer care. We are a small company so I wear many, many, many hats and right now the hat that seems to fit best is "Fire Chief" if that gives you some idea of what my days are like.
Here at the end of the year, I had hoped I could cruise on down to the end of it tying up loose ends, catching up, refining, and planning. Instead, I have been called to pitch in and help in another department's work and that work is consuming 10 or more hours of my day, while the rest of my job is neglected. If all goes as planned, we'll be in better shape at the first of the year and I can spend the first quarter doing what I'd hoped to be doing in the last quarter.
I'm not complaining. A lot of people gripe about their jobs, and I don't think there is a person alive who doesn't have complaints about their workplace, politics, policies, people, etc... I'm grateful to have one - especially in this economy. What I'm trying to point out is that even when you can't seem to find time for creativity, beauty, contemplation, art - look harder! I have found it is these times when we need to make time for creativity the most.
Yesterday, Lissa Forbes, marvelled at how I can crank out an essay every day. I don't really know how I do it, or even WHY I do it, I just feel that I NEED to do it. This time last year, I wasn't even thinking about doing it. Even when I started, I had absolutely no other agenda than creating a space to share photos, write about my journey through photography, and connect with a community of people with that same interest. There were no rules and I didn't even expect to post daily, but I have.
This blog has become my creative outlet, my port in the storm, the place of peace in an otherwise chaotic life. The place where I talk about things other than servers, software bugs, and systems. If I didn't do this, my vocation would consume most of my life and that isn't even accounting for the other parts of my life that I feel important to attend to like family, friends, relationships, sprituality...sleep.
I suppose there came a time when I realized that I cannot wait for copious amounts of time to follow my muse or appreciate the enchantment of a dewdrop hanging from a bright red berry.
This is our only life. There are only 24 hours to spend in each day, and most of us spend the majority of those at work or tending to the needs of others. My challenge to you for today is to give some your day to creativity. Even if it is just a quick photo of a berry, or a few pages scribbled in a journal of your thoughts. Even if its just a little time right now, my experience has been the more time you make for creativity the more time you will find for it. It is cool how that works. You just have to start.