Monday, September 15, 2008

Mondays are still cool

About a year ago I wrote why Mondays are cool, and a year later, they're still cool. For the same reasons I wrote then plus a year's worth of appreciation of the time I've had since. Despite the changes our economy is going through and the effects it's had on my income and budget, I wouldn't change the decision I made to retire.

I have had to the time to work on my Mt. Rainier NP photo guide and found a number of new areas to research and explore about the NP, including the first scientific expedition by three geologist and others to summit and circumnavigate Mt. Rainier before there were established trails and summit routes. And the research has expanded into the work of other photographers who were visiting and photographing Mt. Rainier before it was officially a NP.

In addition I've spent the time to learn Google maps and build a series of map-based information Web pages for the different types of activities and information in Mt. Rainier NP, such as day hikes, waterfalls, lakes, bike roads/trails, weather sites, lookouts, and wildflowers. I've found Websites to present information on the sunrise and sunset and moon rise and set for both time and azimuth to aid photographers' work in the NP.

I've had the time to explore the resources and information about Mt. Rainier NP, which is the point, time. While nothing has seemed to change, everything has changed. While I gained a lot personally and professionally, I've also lost a few things. The first is a sense of urgency. I haven't fully realized the costs and benefits of this yet, as with most things, judgement is always done with hindsight.

Not history but hindsight. Not from what has happened and I can relate, but what will be seen later in time looking back to see what I lost and gained. We can plan all we want to maximize the latter and minimize the former, it's more likely the reverse, where you gained a lot of the specific topic or subject, you've lost the rest of the events and world around you and your work.

But that's the reality of anything, you choose the work and the time. Only for me now, it's my choice for much of what I do. The rest of life and the world will find me as events always do (to all of us), but I can see what I'm doing is what I want and love to do, and not what someone else wants me to do or not do, or worse demands (long story about bosses).

And losing the sense of urgency has helped to focus on specific interests, I don't have the mindset anymore about deadlines. I work on incremental milestones and give myself breaks. I don't pressure myself to absolutely get something done by a deadline, which sometimes isn't good as time can just as easily slip away, or by, but it has proven good to give me the flexility to adjust work and interests around life, problems, events, others, etc.

In the end, and why Mondays are still cool, it's about the freedom of time. And the sense of urgency? I don't know, yet anyway, if it's a problem, but then we all die thinking we want to do more and want more time to do it. But alas, urgency isn't important then, is it?

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