Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sleepless in SE6

It was the Pringles wot dunnit!

I got back from rehearsal feeling peckish and dived into a tube of Pringles. Now I can’t get to sleep. Not sure whether it’s the sudden influx of sugars into my system or whatever E-numbers they use in the flavouring, but something is stopping me from slipping into sleep. Hence, here I am blogging at a ghastly hour of the morning when I need to be up for work in a few hours.

Work has been on my mind a lot lately. For some reason, for the last three or four weeks, I have been bored senseless by my job. It’s not that I don’t have anything to do; things have quietened down since the Financial Crisis, but there’s still lots of stuff I should be doing. I just can’t be arsed to do it.

Is it the winter blues setting in or is it some deeper discontent with my role? I’m still trying to decide. I could argue it either way. There is less work crossing my desk, so I’m not feeling as much pressure as previously. Maybe I need a bit of pressure to keep me focussed when there’s so much stuff going on outside of work to distract me. Conversely I’ve never been a great man-manager; is the ‘new’ of the job wearing off and I’m finally facing the cold reality that my job now requires me to do lots of stuff that I don’t find at all enjoyable?

Brett and I discussed it a bit in the car on the way home from rehearsal tonight and he asked me what I would want to do instead. It probably wouldn’t be staying in IT. The technical side of things was already getting repetitive and beginning to bore me before I got promoted, I don’t enjoy the management side much either, so in the long-term IT is a dead-end for me, I think. If I don’t do IT, then what else can I do to pay the mortgage?

The only likely candidate at the moment is to develop the photography interest more seriously (= rapidly) to see if I really can make money there. In the current world of affordable DSLRs it’s a risky career path to set out on; everyone I’ve spoken to says it’s getting harder to make a living as a photographer, but at least I enjoy it, am passably competent and (I think) getting better as I practice. It’s not a decision I need to make now anyway; I need to build up my portfolio quite a bit first – and my inventory of equipment and skills – before getting anywhere near considering leaving work. Brett is also still in the start-up stage of his own business and we can’t both be doing that at the same time – at least one of us needs to have a reliable income!

By coincidence I was browsing the Calumet (= photographic supplies) website today and worked out that I could get myself a very basic mini-studio together for about five hundred pounds: Not a casual purchase, but still quite affordable.

Another coincidence had me commenting on a photo of Mikey F on Facebook; it was a typical scene of teenage high-jinks (sp?) but the moment captured bore more than a passing resemblance to some renaissance painting of Christ being taken down from the cross and it got me thinking about reworking familiar religious iconography (or even just familiar old paintings) from a modern standpoint. It’s a theme that’s certainly been done before – even very recently – but it would be an interesting project to do to challenge myself photographically.

Apart from the soul-searching, today was quite mundane at work. The only thing worthy of note was that Gavin made the transition from contractor to full-timer and brought in fresh chocolate croissants to mark the occasion. This evening’s rehearsal was productive; the Christmas show is getting there, but there is still work to be done – not least by me!

I’m planning to sign-up to do the Norwich 100 (a 100-mile bike ride around East Anglia) in June next year. I’ve been trying to get my act together and get back on my bike all year (and failing miserably) so hopefully having an event to work towards will give me the little extra push I need. The concept worked when I signed-up for the London-Brighton ride with Simon R at work a few years back; it got me out and about and it got me exercising and feeling good. Mikey (who is a keen cyclist himself) has agreed to do the ride with me and having a committment to someone else to do it should help keep me at it too. Brett wasn't keen on doing it himself – It would be a huge training commitment for him. I can put in a lot of time just by commuting by bike, whereas he doesn’t have that option – but maybe I can drag him along on a few weekend training rides to augment his gym sessions.

Okay, having successfully uploaded my latest mid-life crisis (and how timely is this one – I’m forty in three months (OMG!)) I’m going to go back to bed and try to get three hours sleep.


John said...

What was the attraction of Norwich?

Liam said...

It was just the one that came up in conversation and got me thinking goal-based motivation. Retrospective justifcation is that East Anglia is pretty flat - 100 miles around the Isle of Wight was strenuous enough for two days; wouldn't want to try doing it in one until I'm in much better condition!