Today is Blue Monday, not the song but statistically the most depressing day of the year, post Christmas blues, impending credit card bills and another 2 weeks to pay day, assuming that you are working. Rethink Mental Illness are organising #BrightMonday to beat the blues. The idea is to wear something bright or just look out for someone with an act of kindness. I don’t have a lot of bright stuff but I do have a muted red hat so that will have to do.
I am not feeling the blues today. It is the start of the winter term of photography courses and that puts a smile on my face. It has taken me a long time to realise this, but looking back, the common thread throughout the work that has given me the most satisfaction, is developing people. Whether that was the work I did at Levis, teaching/tuition in photography or my current support worker role, working with individuals with mental health issues and learning disabilities. It is only when I reflect and allow myself to be less harsh on myself that I can recognise this and accept that I am good at doing it. I always said that if you had to think whether you had a vocation then you didn’t but on reflection I realise that my vocation has been enabling people to move forward and develop.
I read a book last year called The Element – How finding your passion changes everything – it is American, as if you couldn’t guess from the OTT title. But once you get over that and the very stylised way that this type of book is written, typically American. e.g. I had a friend, let’s call him Al, Al was a bigwig at corporation X or sports team Y………etc. But the core of the book was that the ‘element’ was the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. Forget all about big houses, expense account lunch’s etc – real fulfilment lay down a different path – I kind of get that now – I took a slightly wayward path to get here but at least I did get there.
Run Every Day – Day 15
I drop Gill off at the station and drive up to the transmitter on the Underbarrow Rd. It is slightly misty but still enough so that when I turn my headtorch on a large proportion of the light is reflected back. I tilt it further down to reduce the glare but it means that my pool of light only illuminates a couple of steps ahead of me. As a result I set off slowly and wander off the path quite frequently. When you run in a restricted pool of light you realise that the vast majority of the way points that you use to navigate or gauge distance are not in front of you but 100+ yards away or on the horizon. After just under 20 minutes I am by the cairn on the top of Cunswick Scar, the low lying mist, dark clouds and half light give a sombre mood to the daybreak. But I stop and enjoy the unfolding panorama. This represents the halfway point of the challenge. Unfortunately I have yet to read about #BrightMonday but I am uplifted by this setting and so I take my half way photo. There is almost enough light so I can switch my headtorch off and, with a bit of care, take a circular return route back to the car. I am now officially in the second half of the challenge.
Looking back towards the top of Serpentine Wood/Golf Course from Cunswick Scar