Remember the nice rose bloom yesterday? This is the scene today, about 12 hours later.
This morning I stopped mowing the lawn jungle to take this shot, and put off starting the BBQ a few minutes last night to get the bloom shot. Then after our meal, sitting out on the back patio enjoying a beautiful summer evening and a bottle of nice Pinot Grigio, I noticed the light was nice for these two shots. I'm glad I was still able to operate the camera after wine.
It's been a long week at work, and the wine was very good. Still, the light and the blooms won't wait. Be there or be square, as we said in my youth.
"To everything there is a season..." I sometimes think people have forgotten that in the mad rush to chase whatever is next. They don't stop to enjoy what they have now. I certainly have more appreciation for flowers now that I'm taking the time to at least attempt to get interesting photos of them. I'd never known about some of the detail that the photos show.
I find there's a sense of calm as I'm working to capture a shot. There's lots to think about, but there's usually time to appreciate it as well. Sometimes waiting for the light to change because of clouds, or the wind to stop gusting gives me time to find other nearby shots I might not have noticed at first.
In a larger sense, it's good to take the time to enjoy where you are in life. It's easy to feel buried with all that's going on, and if you're always in a frantic rush to get to the next place you'll end up feeling really frazzled.
So right now I'm working full time hours on a short term contract. It's been a bit of a struggle to get used to putting in a 40 hour week at the office again, but it's coming around. People have asked if I've lost my mind. Why would I take a contract when I don't need to, and during the summer?
The short answer is, this is when the contract was offered. My plan is to work part time these days, and I suppose full time hours after nearly a year of not working still qualifies as part time, in the larger sense. Some people retire and are done working. I'm not, yet, and the team I'm working with certainly seem to think I'm pulling my weight. I'm enjoying my time there, so far.
Still, all things end. Many of my contracts have been renewed (and renewed and renewed) but I won't go on full time after this one ends. Maybe part time if we can come to an agreement on hours and deliverables. Or not. There's lots to do while I still can.
The other consideration is money. We have reason to believe we'll be fine financially in retirement; we've certainly worked hard for it. But the biggest unknown in retirement is how long you're going to live. Almost all of us don't know that, and can only guess based on genetics and your health. The ones that do know have been told by the medical profession, or they're close enough to see death coming.
Right now I'm able to trade my time for respectable money doing things I like doing. I'd really rather not find out 20 years from now I need more money and the only job I can find is a greeter at Walmart working long hours and getting peanuts. Making more now is a much more appealing solution.
My health is good (knock wood), and there are longevity genes in my family. Both of my grandfathers made 78 after tough lives, my dad's mom was 89, and my mom's mom recently passed away at 98. My mom, of course, is 29. I think that outliving my money is a reasonable thing to think carefully about. Still, I'm in traffic almost every day, and that's the most dangerous thing a North American does, excepting stupid behaviours like smoking, and saying "Hold my beer and watch this."
In the mean time, even though I've got lots on the go, I'm trying to be present. Even in traffic I'm trying to notice what's going on around me, though that's sometimes disconcerting. There is a lot of change happening here, especially road construction. I've seen a few incidents where drivers are losing their cool over what is really nothing in the greater scheme. I figure it will take as long as it will take, and there is no route between downtown and our place that is not under construction. In fact, even the best route will go through multiple construction zones.