This is a three-day weekend for me here in Halifax (Natal Day). Truth be told, I could use the extra time off.
I'm long overdue to write about my New York trip; that's something I want to save for a separate post once I manage to get through a backlog of photos to edit and attach for full effect. That said, I don't feel right about devoting time and energy to working on my vacation photos when I have portraits and wedding pictures that I need to work on first. I just hope that my memory of the trip doesn't fade by the time I have the time and energy to write about it, and that my post somehow does justice to the experience.
Time, energy and focus seem to be in short supply lately as I had been working extra hours at my day job for the last few weeks. I've usually done this whenever they've been offered, but this most recent round of early starts and half-hour lunches took more out of me than I thought it would. I would come home too tired and scattered to write a blog post (let alone consider writing something for pay) or deal with Photoshop on a less-than-optimal computer. Particularly frustrating were the nights when I made the conscious effort to work, only for the cat to decide that was the moment she needed my full attention; it seems like such a small inconvenience, but I usually end up throwing my arms up and sighing "You win" to no one in particular.
The other thing working the extra hours have confirmed is that I need to make more money. I'm trying to maintain a status quo that only seems to be more expensive with every year: the cost of living in Nova Scotia is ridiculously high for what opportunities are available. I'm in a better situation than many, but I rarely feel like I can afford a night out with friends, and skip so many of the festivals and shows that attracted me to Halifax to begin with just because they happen at times when I'm particularly cash-poor: when it's happened a few years in a row, that's particularly frustrating. A few of my bad habits definitely subtract from my available funds (morning coffee, eating out more than I should), but even if I pare those back, there's absolutely no way I can save money at my current income and expense level. Addressing this has to be my immediate priority.
I was originally thinking of using the writing and photography to supplement my current income; at this moment, the extra stress of deadlines and further limits on my time isn't something I'd be able to take on. I still owe people a handful of shoots that I will still honour (including a time-sensitive one), but I won't take any new bookings until I've tackled the backlog. I'm also reluctant to taken on more paid work until I address some specific deficits in my technique that I come across when looking through some of the raw images from the shoots. When time isn't such a luxury, I want to experiment towards some more conceptual ideas I've been toying with, but it would be better to get some of my more pressing concerns out of the way and feel like I have more control of my tools before launching into high-minded and vague artistic ambitions.
I'll continue to check in here. It forces me to write. I'm thinking of using the weekend to write things ahead of time and schedule them so it doesn't look like I'm hiding out while I tend to the more important things. Better to do it when the time, energy and focus is there.