All or nothing

Okay I gotta be honest, it’s always either all or nothing with me. Just two days ago I shared my plan of doing one week of boring computer stuff and than the other week of going out and experiencing stuff. Well, today I did went out again (as promised) but I immediately ended up walking a solid 11,5 KM, like that’s a normal thing to do. I mean, sure it’s good to be out there but am I not overdoing it right away? I just might be. Though we’ll know for sure when I wake up with a crippling pain in my relatively untrained legs tomorrow morning. And if that doesn’t happen? Good on me! Let’s simply do it again then.

Those moments of twilight never last long enough

As promised, I would be back to report on my week of doing stuff. So here I am: reporting. Sadly, the Mondays are set aside for a full day of office work (I still have a job) so it was well past daylight when I had the first moment to myself. Luckily, the weather is kind enough to us on this November 15th, so I made sure I was warmly dressed and, after a quick bite, headed out again.

I wasn’t entirely sure what my plan was when I set foot outside so for a moment I dwelled around the vicinity of my home a bit. I did shoot a photo I was happy with pretty quickly, which raised my spirits and increased my level of energy. After a few minutes, I decided on a direction and started walking.

I quickly realised it might be wise to collect GPS data so I could later have an overview of my walk (you know, for bragging rights) so I could pinpoint my photos on a map. I also fired up a walking workout on my Apple Watch to track my calories burnt and, of course, to close those rings.

Coming home I felt very happy and looking through the shots, it’s a good thing I went out. Let’s do it again tomorrow.

I have a new plan!

New plan! I have a new plan! I’m not sure I will actually pull through but I like the idea so here it goes. How about… how shall I say this… splitting my time into two parts for a while. One part where I focus on doing computer stuff and one part where I focus on going out and making real life stuff.

I have so much trouble planning my time properly to allow for outside adventures. It’s not uncommon that I end up finding something to do on the computer and just default to that instead. Such a waste. A shame! A photographer needs to be out there, experiencing stuff, seeing things! That will not happen when sitting behind a desk all day.

So let’s try to divide my time into two parts. Each time of a week long. A week of computer work to make boring digital stuff. And a week where I make it a point of going out as much as I can to take photos, meet people and be present. Sounds pretty good in theory, right? Last week was a full week of desk work. Let’s try to make the coming week one where I venture out. Obviously, I will report back.

A logo update

If you don’t count the final touches I did on the logo for De Ontluiking I did this afternoon, nothing much happened today. If you do see that as being substantial enough to write about, then I would tell you that I’m proud and satisfied of and with the results.

If you then tell me I constructed those sentences way more complex than they need to be, I’d tell you it might be better to just take a quick glance at the updated logo below and move on with your life. I will then do the same.

Anything for mental clarity

My mind is overflowing so I hope you don’t mind me venting a little1. Meetings aren’t supposed to be at 8PM anyway. Sometimes we do whatever is necessary though and this meeting was necessary. It’s so easy to loose track of what you’re doing and whatever progress you are making.

Until you talk about it.

Then it all suddenly makes sense again. So this meeting was necessary for exactly that reason — mental clarity is a beautiful thing. I’ll do anything for it. Even if that means I’m hyped and overflowing with ideas again when I should be going to bed instead.

  1. As if I do anything else on here. ↩︎

Whoops, almost made a mistake

Whoops, I was already nodding off on the couch with my YouTube video but then I realised there have not been any writing of words today yet. Luckily, the computer was still within an arm’s length of myself so here I am typing away some random sentences. I hope you can appreciate that I at least keep the effort up to do this everyday.

Other than that, there isn’t much to share again today. I tinkered with my website redesign a little, which is starting to take shape now. I then noticed I have a lot of photo editing that still needs to be done. Maybe I’ll dedicate tomorrow afternoon to that. Maybe not.

If you don’t mind, I will continue my nodding off with the YouTube video now again.

As a now proud owner of an Apple Watch I have noticed a trend

As a now proud owner of an Apple Watch (let me finish, this won’t get technical! Promised.) I have noticed a trend slowly starting to develop itself. This evening was one of the most extreme examples recorded of this developing trend so far. Just as I rode my bike up to my home, I glanced over at the Watch’s screen and noticed I was on 86% of my, admittedly already modest, Movement goal.

Usually, I wouldn’t have thought twice about this and just parked my bike to prepare myself for winding down. Safely stowing myself away for the day in a cozy sweater in a nook of the couch. With this tiny computer now on my wrist, I can’t help but feel a sense of responsibility to complete its fitness goals, no matter how small or otiose they might seem. No matter how hard you try to not let that device have any control over your life, deep down inside you know that accomplishing those small goals every day will add up to noticeable results over time.

So when I stood there on the sidewalk staring at that screen, I made the decision to not quite finish my day just yet. Those final 14% had to be added to the goal I’ve set for myself when I first setup the Watch. Therefore my feet got back on the pedals immediately upon that realisation and before I knew it I was on a random final lap around my neighbourhood. A couple of minutes of intense cycling later, I returned home for real. The Watch showing 98% on my Movement goal.

Still not good enough, of course, so after storing away my bike I decided to run up all five floors to my apartment. After closing the door and giving the cats a good petting, I finally looked at a solid 100%. And the best part? I still had time in the day to spare for that cozy sweater.

Zooming. Zoning

The trees are passing by rapidly as the sun slowly sets behind them. I’m simply staring out the window, trying to drown in the tunes that are playing through my headphones. I’m intermittently closing my eyes to combat the burning sensation. I should’ve put my glasses on instead of opting for contacts this morning. That’s my mistake for thinking my eye-infection was over. No worries though, the next thirty minutes are guaranteed shut-eye. This train will carry me aaaallll the way home.

Write like a camera

Mindlessly scrolling around the internet in the little time I had today, I learned something. A thing that is good to remember as an idea to be expanded on. That thing being to ‘write like a camera’. I’m not entirely sure what it can mean, though I have an idea, but that sentences resonated with me a lot. For reasons I hope are obvious enough I hopefully needn’t clarify.

Candles and fondue

Can’t talk because tonight is all about the cheese fondue Charlotte is cooking up right now! Our first in years and my first home cooked one, I think. Super exciting stuff this is! So let’s cover the house in candle light for ultimate coziness and one functional light to keep the fondue warm while we indulge.

A steaming pot of creamy cheese, some bread and veggies to dip, a good glass of red wine. Oooeehhh what more do you need? The darker days aren’t so bad when there’s this much light inside.

Guess what?

Guess what? Never mind, you’ll never guess it. Chapter three of ‘De Ontluiking’ is online! Ah maybe you could’ve guessed that one. In the meantime, the government is slowest reinstating past restrictions. Despite our hopes we might not be out of this pandemic thing yet. We’ll continue the documentations regardless though. Anyway, placing the third chapter online is also the single biggest task I’ve completed today, so there is nothing else to share.

Oh no, wait!

Today is also the day the cats are one full year with us. That’s perhaps an even bigger event than the newly released chapter. It is to me, at least.

I write better in the mornings and I read better at night

Here’s a thought: I write better in the mornings and I read better at night. The reason for that, is that my mind in the morning is still unscattered from the hectics of a day. In the morning, I’m still zoned into my own thoughts and ideas and have not been polluted yet with external influences. This ultimately helps me better structure my thoughts, which leads to better writing. At night, I’m mostly tired and worn down by the day and have experienced too many different things to still focus on internal processes.

It has been a challenge to write on a daily basis for this project. On some days, I wrote my stories in the morning. Mostly when I had something in particular I wanted to share. Which wasn’t that often. Which means that on most days, the writing had to be done in the evening; after I experienced enough things to talk about. Paradoxically, it’s those same experiences that make it harder for me to focus my thoughts and formulate a cohesive story. Even now I can feel the effects of the day working on me.

As I’m typing the sentences, my mind wanders to the events from this afternoon, wondering if there is something that I should incorporate into the story right now. There isn’t anything in particular worth mentioning but I still have to wonder to eliminate the possibility. I’m much better off writing about things when I’ve had some time to process them say, after a good night’s sleep. Ah well, the end of the year is creeping up on us quickly now and this’ll be all over soon. I better make the best of it and enjoy it while it lasts.

Daylight saving myself from the noise

It’s a little past 10 PM and everybody is giving into their sleepiness. Darkness sets in at around half past five now that daylight saving time is back for the next few months and our natural melatonine adjusts accordingly. Everybody is slowly sinking into hibernation. Everybody except for one little four-legger.

This tiny animal thought it a good idea to loudly start playing with his toys when we could all use some quiet. Who can blame him though, as he’s not concerned with conventional schedules. He simply plays when he wants to play and sleeps when he wants to sleep. He does not have to succumb to the tyranny of conformity. Your work-life/private-life balance means nothing to him.

Sadly, I do have to conform at this time. It’s now almost half past ten at night, though it feels later because of the recent time-shift. That means my body could use the rest it deserves. Time to turn down the lights and hopefully inspire the cat to do the same.

The new computer is treating me nicely

The new computer is treating me nicely. I had a shoot in the studio today (I can’t really call it work, as it was with/for friends but it’s also not necessarily free work for myself) and I felt excited to sit down for the edit. That has been a while. In fact, the last time that happened was when I got my previous MacBook, which was my first. Back then, I was still shooting the ol’ Fujifilm X-T1 that had way smaller files though. The X-Pro3 and X100V produce some hefty files, even when shooting compressed RAWs or even JPEGs. I don’t know… it just didn’t work for me anymore.

Today though, it was smooth sailing all the way. When is the last time I shot and edited a complete shoot in one day? Hell, I even went through the filtering of another shoot I had laying around just because I had the time. This is why it makes sense to spend this much money on a computer. It hurts a little when you see your bank account taking a hit but you gain so much time, it’s incredible. That makes it worth it for me immediately. I almost, almost, consider doing photo jobs again because of the lessened strain on my workflow.

Alright onto the third paragraph. Not because I have anything else to share but because the last line of the previous paragraph did not constitute a proper ending to this story. Also, I enjoy stories having more than one or two paragraphs. It makes it seem like somebody really put some thought into what they are writing. Three paragraphs does not provide sufficient length to call this anything more than a quick thought jotted down but at least it makes it seem like it’s a thorough one. That should conclude it.

Sitting by the door

This man was sitting by the door aaaaalll day. Literally, the delivery could come between 9AM and 9PM so I stayed in until the package came. Which was at 8AM. Of course it was.

Anyway, I bought a new MacBook right after the new one’s dropped and ever since I’ve been looking forward to this moment. Not that this new machine would be revolutionary for anything I do but I just couldn’t wait to give my workflow a significant performance boost. And oh boy it certainly boosts. This story is, of course, coming straight to you from the new machine. Do you notice anything different? Nah, me neither. But it does feel nice to have a machine that can keep up with my thought-processes.

That’s the most significant thing that’s happened today so that also ends todays entry. Bye now.

Day 302 reflections

Okay it’s getting late and I need to put my words in for the day. Man, can you believe it has been over 300 days of writing already? That’s right, today is day number 302! I didn’t miss the moment I hit day number 300 but I also didn’t feel the need to reflect at that time. To be honest, and I know I have said this before, I don’t know what I still want to share in these Monologues anymore. At this point, I feel like I either start repeating myself too much or I need more time to write a piece than the few minutes I grant myself each day now.

That’s not to say the project is failing. My writing muscles have definitely warmed up and I hope I can continue exercising them after the year ends. This project has taught me the discipline required to be a writer but I also realise that writing extensive, well thought-out pieces require time and revision. Neither of those are luxuries I currently enjoy. Each entry gets maybe one quick revision, right after I complete it and that’s it. Which trains me to get things right as much as I can right away. It does make me feel like I’m plateauing though.

I think for the next step in my process I’ll need to start writing more stories with substance that require more thought, research and reflection. Sure, there can be other topics I can think of that will fill the remaining days of this project. I can even write something low-effort and meaningless each day as well. The project has no rules on any of that. As long as I force myself to sit down each day and jot something down, I can at least be sure I’m writing more good stuff than I would’ve done without the project. You just have to weed through the yapping and streams of consciousness to see the goodies.

I guess that’s something I’ll have to do when the year comes to completion: sit down and read through all my entries to find topics I’d like to expand on. This whole year has been a constant stream of rough drafting and some of those might be worth it to revisit. On the more successful days of the project I’ve done some of my best writing, I’m pretty sure of that, but the actual good writing I can hopefully do is still way ahead of me.