Photographers keep things in focus

My mum bought me a mug for my birthday a couple of years ago and this was written on the side.  Pretty self-explanatory really but a salient lesson for life.

The last week and a bit I’ve not just been feeling flat, I’ve been feeling pretty fed up. For the most I’ve lacked energy.  I think this is partly a physical thing and I’ve had an underlying bug which seems resilient to any shaking off.  But then I’ve just reached a point that I’ve been drained of the mental energy that I’ve been devoting to changing my behaviour.  All in all I’ve reached some buffers for this service and need to stop.  The problem is I can’t.

Take the cycling for example, I’ve talked about recovery rides, about pacing and about keeping going.  Really what I need is a complete rest and even though I’ve not been on the bike this last week and a bit I’m mentally beating myself up for not having been out on several rides piling up the miles. Yes, pretty counterproductive as I may have given the legs a rest but the mind is on overdrive.

I need some focus. Anyone who follows my twitter feed will see what a scatter gun it is, firing off thoughts and reactions seemingly at random.  It’s not by happenstance, it’s a reflection of me.  And so trying to develop anything new is suffering from the same problem – no focus on the priorities, no priority on focus.  That’s what I need to do – I know it, I just need to act on it.

But in gathering some focus I think I also need a bit of realism.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and as Mrs AB and I found out last year on our honeymoon they haven’t finished it yet! I’m trying to take on too much,  solve the problems of the world in one go, be a success overnight. Again take the cycling – repeat after me: I am not a professional cyclist. Riding around like a blue arsed fly grinding out high gears and pushing on isn’t getting me anywhere. I’m not going to cover 25-30 miles in an hour. But I can cover a greater distance if I devote a bit more time.  I’ll never make it at a pro level but what is it I cycle for? Enjoyment. There’s the focus for that one and now its time to put into practice properly.

So, time to get life back in focus.

Skip a beat

If you get the lyrical reference today you will realise that things have hit something of a wall. In full it goes along these lines: “skip a beat and move with my body” for those who still haven’t got it (and if that still isn’t a help then google it).

The other lyrics I could have chosen and whoch always seem to strike a bit of a cord is Eels “Novocaine for the Soul”: “Life is hard and so am I. You’d better give me something so i don’t die.” Okay so I’m not about to take drugs but there are plenty of times when I need something to get me through. That’s been the last few days for me.

In all truth I’m shattered. If we adopt Novocaine as the metaphor life got the better of me and I’ve taken on plenty of “novocaine” to get back on track.  Ironically for this metaphor cycling has become a bit of a drug, though I’m a rather amateur addict as I’ve shown in this blog, often more a passive imbiber than an active chainganger. But what with cycling, photography shoots, the allotment, a potential new co-operative enterprise and the day job, not to mention everyday life with the wonderful Mrs AB, I’ve reached a stopping point.

So in good Catholic tradition here is my confession: since Tuesday I’ve not touched my bike. I’ve done plenty of other things: On Friday Mrs AB’s folks and I demolished our old shed and I now have stiomach muscles I never knew I had (they ache); this morning we all did a hard morning’s graft on the allotment (we now have to enter what looks like a prison camp given the new secodn fence, something which is getting me down about a one time escape – indeed if they put the words Work Makes Free above the gates you can now imagine what it looks like!)  No wonder I’m wiped out and so that’s why I’ve decided to take Kylie’s advice (after stern words from Mrs AB and Mum2), listen to my body  and have a break.  Back to it this week but first to overcome the guilt of doing no training. Perhaps another whiskey will help?