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Pushing yourself – End of the Day for July 30, 2014

July 30th, 2014 No comments

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As I mentioned a few days ago, tomorrow marks the beginning of the Dog Days of Podcasting Challenge where we create 30 podcasts in 30 days. As I recorded and edited the Introduction podcast today, I must admit I was feeing a bit stressed. Since I signed up for this year’s challenge I had been feeling a bit worried that I was taking on too much. Along with all the regular podcasts and blogging I do, including this daily post, did it really make sense to add in another daily commitment? Perhaps not, but I also had to remind myself that sometimes you have to challenge yourself in order to change and grow. That is exactly what something like Dog Days is all about. Sure it is going to be challenge, but you never know what you might learn, what you might discover, what might happen. This is just one reason to push yourself — at least some of the time.

Push to Walk

That fact is, I had been planning on gearing up for more videos, podcasts and blogging anyway, so this challenge will be a chance to test out some systems and procedures to see if it is possible to create more output or if I am already at a saturation point. Since the challenge is something greatly critical — nothing will suffer except my ego if I miss a day, it is a great, low pressure way to see what I am capable of. If you are going to working hard, you should at least make it as easy as possible on yourself, right?

One of the tricks to new media productivity is making use of those down times to actually be doing work. Like the old 1960′s Easy Off over cleaner advertisement, where the lady sits reading a magazine in a comfy chair, “I’m cleaning my oven.” Its the same for me, really. To be the most productive, I need to use my sleeping time, my consulting time, my out of house time, etc to be doing something like rendering video, uploading video, mixing audio, uploading audio, photos, whatever. Every minute I sit waiting on my computer is time I could be spending creating something new, Of course, this requires preparation and planning to be most effective. I have to have work prepared so I can let it work while I am otherwise occupied or that time and productivity is lost. This is where I am trying to focus my attention in the coming weeks as I produce these special Dog Days podcasts as well as my usual output. Where I can I find ways to conserve time and make the best of what I am given. This then allow me to push myself a bit further without breaking something important.s

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Stranger in a Strange Land – End of the Day for July 29, 2014

July 29th, 2014 No comments

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I came across this article in my reading today, Practice Self-Compassion to Improve How You Feel About Yourself, on Lifehacker and it got me thinking about the topic again. I have read about self-compassion over the years, but I have never really been able to apply it to myself. Anyone who knows me also knows I can be tremendously hard on myself. I take mistakes, missteps, failures and disagrees fully and deeply to heart. I often say that I can feel just as disappointed, embarrassed or angry about something that happened 40 or more years ago as I can about something that happened moments ago. The cold fact is, I find myself lacking in countless ways, be it personally, professionally or in any of my life roles. Because of this lack of self-esteem, I find it very difficult to practice self-compassion. How can I when I am constantly feeling that I am not living up to my own, probably impossibly high, standards.

Part of this comes from, I’m sure, the fact that I am a bit of an odd person. There are times I think I was born out of time. Perhaps I would have been better off living at some time in the distant past or sometime in the distant future. I am not driven by those things which seem to drive most people. I do not feel rewarded by the same things or in the same ways. I harbor an innate hatred of unfairness to the point of being dysfunctional at times. I am a “sensitive” person — probably overly sensitive in most people’s eyes. I am — and always have been — different and this makes it very difficult sometimes. Like “a stranger in a strange land”, I always carry an odd feeling around with me, like wearing odd clothes that I can’t shake off.

That said, I have tried to become better about curbing my own worst habits. Recognizing a problem is not the same as solving it, though. In some cases, reacting in ways I know I shouldn’t — but cannot stop — brings on yet another wave of anxiety and disappointment in my own behavior. Sure, there are methods and tactics for controlling things — which work on occasion. I also tend to order my life these days in ways that try to limit or avoid triggers for worst behaviors. I always need to know where we are going and how to get there. Being left without clears directions, parking locations, etc gives me an itchy anxiety that turns me sullen and, in the worst cases, frightened. Crowds — too much stimulus in general — can quickly top out my ability to cope, so I avoid them or only engage with crowds when the reward for doing so it high enough to counteract the anxiety — like out trip to the Hollywood Bowl the other evening.

Along with all of this, though, I try to be more compassionate with myself. I know we all make mistakes, we all have failures, but knowing this doesn’t help dissuade my own disappointment in myself. I keep focusing on this even so, in hopes that eventually it will become a habit — a good habit — some time in the future. Like the battle with my weight and my career, I fight this battle every day — sometimes less, sometimes more — but it never goes away and I know it probably never will. It is up to me to find ways of dealing with it that let me continue to grow and achieve without burdening myself with past disappointments. They only slow me down or stop me completely and thankfully, the fear of that — not accomplishing anything anymore — gives me the drive to keep working at it — to keep trying.

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Photo: Bee on Echinacea at Oberlin College, Ohio

July 29th, 2014 No comments

Photo: Bee on Echinacea at Oberlin College, Ohio

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

See all my photos on Flickr

Categories: Garden, Photos Tags:

Friends and Podcasting Plans for the Dog Days of Podcasting – End of the Day for July 28, 2014

July 28th, 2014 No comments

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An unplanned visit from family friends today put me off my schedule a bit, but it is always important to remember to take a some time to just exist for a while. Work can subsume everything else that we do and overwhelm any sense of life or balance. When I get “heads-down” on a project, the world can disappear and I can work just a bit too hard. I wake up one morning just mentally beat and wonder what happened. I did it to myself, of course, but we can all get lost in our work without realizing it. We sat and talked, visit PizzaRev for dinner and then shared birthday cake with our long time friend Liam C. I met Liam during my first semester of college, just about the same time I Rosanne, so it is am important relationship to maintain. We have seen much together and I expect will se much more in the coming years. Cheers, Liam!

This means, though, that I needed to sit down a little later than usual to write up my thoughts on the day and finish a few tasks that are usually done earlier in the day. That can make it seem a little overwhelming — so much to be done before bed time. Still, I have found it important to capture my thoughts each day. I think it helps me frame my days well and gets things off my mind so I can sleep well. I highly recommend it for each of you, too. You can write text such as this or record audio, video, dictate into your phone, whatever makes the most sense for you. We all have our own preferences. It is more important that you do it, rather than how you do it — as I often say about a lot of things in life.

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Next week I will be adding another element to this daily madness(?) when we begin this year’s edition of The Dog Days of Podcasting. This is a 30 podcasts in 30 day challenge where podcasters look back to the earlier days of podcast and try to capture some of the magic of time. We focus on newly created content, typically audio (although I will probably do a few videos, too). Much of this is slice of life material, audio blogs, interviews with friend and family — many of which I have been wanting to interview for a while — comedy, music, whatever strikes out fancy over the 30 days. I’ll be posting these podcasts on the Careers in New Media blog and sharing some of other blogs as they fit the topic and theme. You can find out more about The Dog Days of Podcasting — and even join in — on the web site. I hope you’ll check out my podcasts and some of the other folks, too.

Previously on End of the Day:

Improvisation – End of the Day for July 27, 2014

July 27th, 2014 No comments

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There are times I wish I had the precision of NASA as I launch into my week each Monday. I make lots of check lists and plans, but life is never something that respects plans greatly. There are too many unknowns in life to allow too much planning, so we come up with a few scenarios, a few goals and hope that circumstances go along with those plans.

As you might imagine, while circumstances and our plans sometimes match up, it is much more common for life to fly apart, go chaotic and make us improvise perhaps a bit more than we might like. This can be very stressful depending on the cause of the chaos and the results, but without these improvisational moments life would certainly be a lot more dull. We might not enjoy it much when we are in the middle of a crisis but in many cases it can make our life better — if we let it.

Playing music with Lorilyn

Life chaos requires the ability to let go of trying to control what you cannot and make the best of what you given. Fear and our own arrogance can often cause us to flail about and fight against what is happening, even if would be better for everyone involved to go with the flow. The ability to recognize chaotic moments and ride them out with style is definitely one trait you should look to cultivate. I can guarantee that it will do more good than all the authoritarian bluster you can manage.

Plan your life and your actions,of course, but then treat each day like a Jazz tune where all the musicians follow a basic track, but then are encouraged and challenged to make their own song in and around the basic framework the songwriter created. Life is often nothing but improvisation, so the more you cultivate it, the better off you will be.

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: Music, Writing Tags:

Video: Sunday Morning Pancakes — with recipe

July 27th, 2014 No comments

 

Video: Sunday Morning Pancakes -- with recipe

I had a craving for pancakes this morning and turned to my standby, fluffy pancake recipe, which you can find in the video and also on My Word with Douglas E. Welch in the blog post, Recipes in Rotation: Fluffy Pancakes.

Music: “Slow Burn” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) by Creative Commons License

Photo: Bees on a Zinnia via #instagram

July 27th, 2014 No comments

Photo: Bees on a Zinnia via #instagram

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

See all my photos on Flickr

Categories: Garden, Photos Tags:

Noted: Finding New Photography Locations Just Got Easier With ShotHotspot via Digital Photography School

July 27th, 2014 No comments

Finding New Photography Locations Just Got Easier With ShotHotspot via Digital Photography School

Finding New Photography Locations Just Got Easier With ShotHotspot via Digital Photography School

There are many ways to go about finding photography locations, but if you’re struggling to find new locations I’d suggest giving ShotHotspot a try.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted/Shared Items here

Categories: Education, Photos, Shared Items, Tips, Travel Tags:

Noted: How to Master Your DLSR in One Afternoon a Beginner’s Guide via Digital Photography School

July 27th, 2014 No comments

How to Master Your DLSR in One Afternoon a Beginner’s Guide via Digital Photography School

Camera bi

As the Editor-in-Chief of CLARITY, I believe that photography is one of the most unique forms of visual art. As a photographer, you must possess an ability to express yourself visually and also be technically proficient with the tools of your craft.

Thankfully, the technology is relatively simple to understand. Given a small amount of time, anyone can master the mechanics of their DSLR very quickly. I’m referring to the technical side of photography, or more specifically, how to use your camera.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted/Shared Items here

Categories: Education, Elsewhere, photo, Shared Items Tags:

Appreciation — and the lack thereof – End of the Day for July 26, 2014

July 26th, 2014 No comments

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I know it is impossible to say with this without sounding impossibly naive and even selfish, but I have to say it anyway — there are times in my life when I feel distinctly unappreciated. There are even times I don’t appreciate myself that much. I fill with self doubt and the lack of appreciation from others feeds into that hole, digging it deeper and deeper. Self-confidence falters and falls and I begin to wonder why I do anything that I do, why I share anything I share, why I write anything I write. Publicly and personally this feeling dogs me.

The most important part of self-confidence, though, Is respecting yourself and appreciating yourself and your work. To truly do and be our best we must find ways of being self-supporting and self-confident. That said, a little outside validation can go a long way towards helping us in this endeavor. While our own intrinsic drives are most important, without some extrinsic rewards, it can be very difficult to maintain your energy. This seems to be my largest problem in life and work — running out of energy to sustain myself.

I think those who are able to maintain an endless supply of intrinsic motivations certainly have a leg up in the world. There are burdens and issues with this. Too deeply convinced of our own specialness, intelligence or artfulness, people can fall into arrogance, over-confidence and even maliciousness. Like everything in life, it is all a fine balance, a dance, that we must perform as gracefully as we can.

So, like most, I fall into cycles of up and down, in and out, hopeful and hopeless and must deal the best I can. If the depths of times, I often think about stopping all I do, crawling into a dark cave and stopping these feeble attempts to grow and better myself and share my thoughts with others.

And yet, I can’t. I still have these intrinsic desires to do all of these things, no matter how my feelings rise and fall. It can be maddening sometimes — like a lunatic shouting into the night — but I can never imagine, even in the darkest moments, NOT doing what I do, writing what I write, sharing what I share. It is an intrinsic drive in my own life that I cannot — and I think — would not be without, even if I could decide.

So, I share this with all of you in hopes you gain a better understanding of both me and yourself. We are who we are. We do what we do, even if we don’t always understand why. This is probably what brings about all this confusion in our lives. A human frailty? Perhaps, but also a definitive part of being human that cannot be avoided.

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:
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