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Personal Notes: Jet Lag, Email, Workload, Priorities

First, I’m not sick as one reader inquired.

Rather, jet lag has hit me hard; I went to bed at 10PM last night and woke up at 14:30 (16 1/2 hours later (!), which I think sets a new personal record; I can usually sleep little more than 8 hours, which is always too little, particularly with a heavy training load, e.g. cycling). I still feel all out of kilter from the Germany trip.

And still, I have a daunting workload facing me over the next few weeks, with a few secret projects (!) that will excite many when they emerge. And more than that. It’s not just the making of images either: for every day I shoot, it’s usually 3-4 days of analysis and writing to publish the material. Moreover, when I publish one aperture series, there were usually 3-5 others that I reject—the end product is neither casual nor quick nor in a lab (but it is why I sometimes shoot The Dolls and similar, a simple time-demand reality). I still have good Zeiss Batis material from August that is as yet unpublished.

Nor does reader email abate. I welcome it, but there are always many demands on my time, and it is only one such thing among several* that compete for my time vs publishing what makes me a living (pays my bills and supports my family). So responding to emails is a true cost to me, and what some don’t realize is that subscribing really helps and that while one subscription is much appreciated, it is not adequate to sustain my efforts longer term (the “full” upgrade is available to all subscribers, please consider it). We all have the same 12-14 hours in a workday, and I am not an internet company whose operations scale and with an IPO looming as a grand prize! The foregoing is nothing more than an articulation of reality. I love what I do.

* For example, many hours over the past year spent implementing anti-hacker defenses in my web server, which is hit with thousands of hacker probes each day. Or the world’s best (and automatic) retina image support for the web; I write my own server code for everything.

I’ve had to drop some lower priority projects for now at least. And also forgo a Chicago Master Class with Ming Thein that I’d really have liked to attend: IMO, Ming is exceptionally talented, and his workshop is a real opportunity for anyone who can get to it. But I know the limits of my aging self (26 bid, no ask) and I've had to be realistic about what I can handle—while I work about 80 hours a week (12 X 7 X 365), and I can do double centuries (7 of them this year), airplane travel is always stressful for me and I’ve been cursed with needing something like 9 hours of sleep of day and yet rarely getting more than 8—and sometimes that piles up into a train wreck that shuts me down, as I learned struggling through August** (a miserable month but there is no rest for the weary in my job). And there is some latent oscillating health issue as yet unresolved that nags me. Still, I love what I have, and that’s all I’m getting. :)

** I was not rested prior to the Marin Double Century (disappointing time, finishing 39 out of 300 or so, poor for me), and then I slept badly for 10 days. Unlike all the previous doubles, recovery was slow and it hit me hard with daily fatigue for the entire month. I finally felt back to normal around the 1st of September.

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