I was already in a weird mood. Kind of down, for no good reason.
As I sat at my desk, overhearing my boss’s boss on a conference call, I found my mind wandering, so I pulled him up on LinkedIn — I was curious what he’d done before he started working at our company.
I never found out — he didn’t have that much job history listed on his LinkedIn profile — but I did find that he has his own side gig.
Music and portrait photography.
And he’s good at it, too.
He’s got that kind of photographic style that I wish I had: clean and sharp, with deep depth of field and just enough post-processing to make the portrait pop. (I can never get the shutter speed fast enough in combination with a stopped-down aperture, especially with portraits. I never get the lighting just right. That’s why I shoot wide open and let the depth of field set off my subject instead. It’s become my style and my crutch.)
His day job is Assistant Vice President, Director of Technical Services.
He has enough oomph on the side to freelance portrait photography and get gigs photographing live bands. He also is a musician himself, although I’m not sure how much gigging he does outside of church.
Learning this about my boss’s boss didn’t really improve my mood.
What someone else does with their life shouldn’t affect me mentally. Actually, on one level, it’s pretty cool that I have something to chat with him about the next time he and I are in the same conference room or elevator (which rarely happens, but still).
But then I got to thinking — especially since I’d just gotten done reorganizing my camera collection last night — about how I don’t
have the time make the time to do the things I love to do anymore. I love not just photographing, but editing the photographs. I love being in new and exciting places to take photographs (like, say, vacation, or an art fair).
I suppose I should be grateful that spring and summer will bring me a yard full of flowers to photograph, and that I can go for a walk downtown during my lunch break and photograph the buildings and people and bridges and whatnot.
But it still gets to me.
I told my co-worker how I felt as we were walking out of work this afternoon. She, as a mother of two, understood. It’s rough, putting your own life basically on hold while you’re getting a little one up to speed.
Her response: “Put it on the ‘someday’ list.”
That’s about the size of it.
Someday I’ll get back into my photography for real.
Someday I’ll get back into my genealogy research.
Someday I’ll get to go on vacation again.
Someday I’ll edit together all those home videos and vacation videos.
Someday I’ll sit down and do some real gaming again.
Someday I’ll suck it up and stop moping about what I’m not doing, and start appreciating what I am doing.
This might not have been the life I’d originally intended, but it’s the one I’ve got, and it’s actually pretty all right for what it is. Ask me to “count my blessings” and I’ll start feeling totally and completely awkward for even thinking about complaining about my life.
If I want to make something a priority, there’s no reason I can’t carve out the time and do it. I just need to come to terms with the fact that I only have a finite amount of time and mental energy on any given day. If I want to write a little and bake a batch of muffins, that’s what I get to do. The end. If I want to start some seeds for the garden, I won’t also be able to order prints for the photo album. Some things are going to get pushed back, and that’s OK.
To everything there is a season, as the scripture goes. This is the time for me to be present for my son — but also, when I can, to share with him the things I’m passionate about. Gardening, photography, family history, music. Later, when he’s older and doesn’t require my constant supervision, that will be the time to do my own thing again.
Maybe by his side.