Hamster Wheel Syndrome 

 

Do you ever find yourself in a rut?

I know I do, frequently.  My addled fibro-fog prone brain doesn’t help matters, either. When I was in graduate school i had the toughest time finishing papers because my mind would just get stuck, and I couldn’t come up with any more ideas; it was as though my brain was a hamster on its little exercise wheel, running, running, running, and getting nowhere–except frustrated and angry. Or even with my photography, as much as I enjoy it, I still sometimes find myself, camera in hand, looking at a bunch of peonies and thinking, “Dammit, how am I supposed to make these look interesting?”

Some wise mentors/friends of mine gave me great advice, which I try to remember to follow, and sometimes actually do recall: Change things up. Get off the hamster wheel. Study for a different class, take a nap (YES!), go for a walk, meditate for a while, play with the pupster, have some ice cream (the last two are my ideas, of course)…whatever. Just get off that darn squeaky wheel.

Apparently burnout/hamster-wheel-syndrome is common amongst creative people too, as photography books and photographer friends of mine have also given me a number of ideas to help me leap off the wheel. One is to experiment, learn something new, like macro photography…or do only flatlays for thirty days…or shoot the same spot outdoors everyday for a month at different times and observe  how the light changes, how it looks at different angles, etc. One of my favorites is a group project a talented friend of mine, Susan Licht (Licht Years blog and Licht Years Photography in Boston), does a couple of times a year on Facebook, called a #weekofdiptychs. Diptychs, according to Merriam-Webster, are

  1. a 2-leaved hinged tablet folding together to protect writing on it waxed surfaces
  2.  a picture or series of pictures (such as an altarpiece) painted or carved on two hinged tablets
  3. a work made up of two matching parts

So this past week a number of us did spring-themed diptychs and posted them on Facebook. and I have to admit that it rekindled my passion for photography and my creativity, and most of all, despite a nasty fibro flare, I had fun! Our yard is simply glorious at the moment, blossoms exploding all over the place, the scent of lilac everywhere…

Anyway, here are some of my diptychs. If you like photography, I hope you’ll try doing some of your own! (I use the Moldiv app on my iPhone and you can also create templates in the Lightroom print module, as well as in Photoshop.)

Let it snow…

There is a Winter Weather Advisory out for the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area this afternoon and evening, and we are supposed to get around 4+ inches of snow, although how much we will actually get is anybody’s guess, as the forecasters haven’t gotten it right once yet this winter. This has proved another wimpy winter by Minnesota standards, especially for those of us who were children in the 1970s and ’80s. Still, although I’m sure there are snowboarders and skiers who are excited for snow, and I must admit that snow is prettier than our current brown and drab color scheme, I am ready for spring. Sunshine, blue skies, and flowers, please: tulips, hyacinths, lilacs and peonies…If you know how I feel, here are some tulip pics to keep you going until the real thing starts growing outside.

“The deep roots never doubt that spring will come.” Marty Rubin

goodbye may

Goodbye May…you’ve been simply lovely, despite the twin evils of fibromyalgia and depression. Tulips, crabapple blossoms, lilacs, lilies of the valley, and peonies galore. Of course Catholics celebrate May as Mary’s month, and for me, May has always been my mom’s month, bittersweet now that she’s gone, since her birthday and Mother’s Day fall so close together. So goodbye to May…and hello June! I’m looking forward to summer flowers (my salvias and lupines are blooming already) and hopefully a photography trip up to the North Shore (of Lake Superior, for all of you non-Minnesotans out there).

What was your favorite  part of May?