As I write this, the northern portion of NJ (and much of the northeast) is being battered by snow and wind gusts that are making me very thankful to be inside, warm and dry.

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Sparkly.

I’m thankful for a lot of things, which is perhaps why I’ve decided to stop procrastinating and write a new post already. I’ll wrap my head around the direction later. The past several months have been fraught with change, both good and not-especially-wonderful. Things like:

  • The return of wrist pain which led to my doctor telling me that he wants me to lay off the rock-climbing (and giving me prescriptions for a variety of anti-inflammatory meds, including the recent sample of Celebrex. I feel old.)
  • A family member being diagnosed with cancer. That’s been the most recent (current) situation and the stress and tension are beginning to hit hard, now that it’s been almost a week since surgery took place to remove the tumor. It brings a lot of things into focus and perspective (all the cliches are true) – and also means that my parents feel I should make a career change and return to school to become a cancer researcher rather than “waste” my life with marketing.
  • A decided lack of free time and creativity… I’ve got 13-hour work days, when you take into account my 4-hour commute, and while it’s not bad (I can read, listen to music, nap – things I enjoy doing), it’s making me put off a return to graduate school and it cuts into the time I have to exercise or write or just be creative in other ways. That’s not the only reason I’m not doing those things, but it’s the biggest obstacle.
  • Fairly dramatic changes on the personal relationship/friendship front. While that’s been extremely difficult and sad (among other emotions), the most revelatory detail has been the amount of stress that disappeared from my life when I distanced myself from certain relationships… and how much that’s improved my confidence and my ability to pull myself out of self-defeating thoughts. When you spend the majority of your time wondering why you aren’t valued by someone you value highly and care for immensely, you begin to wonder what’s wrong with you. Given distance, you realize that you’re not 100% of the problem.

So – for 2011, I’ve got plans that include moving somewhere closer to my new job that will give me back some time so I can be creative and healthy. I’m going to think about what it is that I want to be doing — if I’m happy with my career now or if I need to try something new to keep life interesting. There are a great many things I could do successfully, given the time and resources. If I keep waiting for the time and resources, though, I’ll be dead before I try anything. I’m going to buy myself a new camera and invest some time in learning about the more technical side of photography — maybe take a course. I’m going to spend time with my family and try not to waste it all on arguments and shouting. I’m will work on developing new friendships and relationships that won’t make me question my worth but will remind me that I can be fun to be around, and not a burden.

Also, I’ve got to lighten up.

I’ve got lots of catch-up posts to write… I took a trip to Yosemite to do some rock-climbing back in October, and I’ve been thinking a lot during my four-hour commutes. I’ve got the WordPress app on my Droid X, so I can make use of that time to write a little, too.

In the meantime, here are some images from today:

Leftover Lights on Dec. 26th

Leftover Lights on Dec. 26th

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Rooftop Bench

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