Friday, May 16, 2008

New Monday Photo Shoot #20: Busy Lives

"You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping."

-Rudyard Kipling

New Monday Photo Shoot #20: You're busy. I'm busy. Everyone's busy. (Well, almost everyone.) Show us a photo the represents one of the demands upon your time.

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

Sigh. I wasn't going to do the Monday Photo Shoot this week, but because I am wanting to send some support Karen's way, I gave it a go. I enjoy the Monday Photo Shoots, I have for as long as they have been in existence. I participated in nearly every single one offered up by the Blogfather, John Scalzi, and I have played along nearly every week since Karen inherited the meme. Truth is, there have been weeks when I decided to sit it out, and there have been various reasons for doing so. I usually post one entry per day, but lately, I have been occasionally taking Wednesday's off from posting, making it fewer days per week online. Sometimes I have other things I want to write about, other then photography. Alan is home now between Monday afternoon and Thursday mornings. That is his scheduled weekend, so things can get busy. With what you ask? What's got me so busy that I can't find the time to participate in the Monday Photo Shoot?

Well, to answer your question... LIFE! REAL LIFE! UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL LIFE! Housecleaning, spending time together, going out in the world for a little camera time, I have a garden in full swing, and the newest demand on our time, taking care of Elvis, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Feline Lymphoma to be exact. There hasn't been a week, in the past 6 weeks, where Elvis hasn't had at least one appointment with Dr. B. or his staff. I choose to share about the positive time we are spending together, because there is a great deal of it, but there is a lot of negative time as well. For the most part, I would rather not share about that time. That's my business. I will share, however, that one of the new symptoms Elvis is dealing with is the urge to pull his fur out in large tufts. Sigh. I am cleaning it up all the time. Enough said, but add into the mix the same problems everyone else is facing... hell... just making it to the next paycheck... and you spell busy, stressful times.

Karen has indicated that this might, perhaps, be the last Monday Photo Shoot. Personally, I wish she would continue with it. She is doing a good job with it, but ultimately the decision lies solely with her. The thing is, the summer months are coming up, and people will be spending more time outdoors. I can think of a lot of reasons why both readership on blogs, and participation in memes will be down. My readership always falls in the warmer months, and then picks back up in autumn and winter. I think sometimes you have to ride out the slumps, and focus on when things will pick back up. I know how difficult it is, when you spend the time to come up with an idea for a challenge or spend a great deal of time on an article entry, only to have it seemed to be overlooked or ignored. It can hurt. We have all had it happen.

Tap, tap... is this thing on? :(

I had an excellent piece of advice given to me one time, when I was ready to retire all together from blogging, and I would like to pass it along now... "Don't let your ego get in the way." Meaning, you can't take it personally, when your hit counter hits the skids, or your comment or participation levels numbers drop. There are seasons to these things. I have been blogging nearly 5 years now, and I only have a few regular readers who have stuck with me that long. Duane, Steven, and Nancy to name some off the top of my head. I still hear from some folks, but not as often as I used to. On the other hand, I have some new pals which I made since the big break with AOL, who have been with me for at least a couple years now, such as Suzanne, and newer friends like Vicki and Martha. To my delight, I continue to be visited by new folks like Mike, who I met recently by way of the Monday Photo Shoots and Weekend Assignments. He writes a wonderful blog, if you haven't been reading him, you should be. I am glad I began looking at things in a different, less negative perspective, because look at all the fun that has happened since. :)

I am writing this entry from the heart. I wish only the best for Karen. But I want to tell her, with love, to take the hurt feelings, or resentment, or whatever the negativity is, out of the equation. Post a Monday Photo Shoot you are comfortable with, and if no one plays... so what? It is NOT a reflection on you. Not at all. Try approaching the project from the perspective of something to have fun with, and don't force expectations on yourself that you have no control over. All you can do is put the project out there, and hope for the best, but you have to keep in mind, you have very little control on whether someone gets sick and can't play, or life gets busy, or they aren't inspired by the topic, or, or.

Anyway, that is my two cents for what it's worth.

Now, about the rose. It is one of my busy stressful success stories. It is from my garden, which you will see a little more to tomorrow in the entry for the Round Robin Challenge. My garden keeps me busy, chasing aphids, and researching how to prune the flowers, and natural pest control, and planning for new rose varieties. A lot goes into gardening, it's work, but when you get a lovely rose like this one, after really working hard for it, you feel a great deal of accomplishment. :)

"The Pink Rose"
Berkeley, California
May 16th, 2008


Mike said...

Thanks for the nice words. :) You really take some nice pictures! I lack the eye needed to take really nice pictures, but I take OK ones of the family when needed. Hope Elvis is doing well today.

Dave said...

I still read your words and love your images, Carly! :)

My thoughts and prayers are with you in your struggles with Elvis' health. He has a loving mom, and I'm sure he knows it!

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Well, I hope it's not really a question of ego so much as whether it serves a purpose for anyone else. Apparently it does, so it can stay. :)

I love that the effort you put into your garden results in the tangible results of lovely, healthy flowers that you turn into even lovelier pictures.

And of course, my thoughts are with you and Elvis every day. As you know, I have some experience with pets and cancer, but for me the initial stress is behind, the more difficult part still to come. I hope and pray Elvis remains by your side, with a decent quality of life, as long as possible.

Martha said...

Lovely entry and I agree on your thoughts. I'm just catching up here for this week, sorry I haven't been around much. I do always read entries I missed. Love your Round Robin too, you are an inspiration Carly! Still sending thoughts, hugs, love and prayers for Elvis and your family every day.

Kiva said...

You grow beautiful flowers and I'm glad that it does something for you as well. I'm sorry to hear about Elvis. Feline lymphoma is not pretty. We lost our RatCat to cancer last July. Will keep you all in our prayers.