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Man, I could really use a holiday in the sun right now.   I find this time of year very difficult.  The clouds sit heavy on me like a Sherpa’s load, making me cranky.  Edgy.   I am in a very austere mood.  The family would attest to this.  I fly off the handle at the smallest provocation.   And if I find nothing external to provoke me, I am quite capable of making one up on my own.   I wouldn’t go as far as saying I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but I am certainly exhibiting the symptoms of PAD (Patience Austerity Disorder).    To say that I have one nerve left and you’re on it would be a generous statement.

The easy thing to do in this situation is to apply blame.  As we all do at some time or another, we look back at our parents with a scowl and a pointed finger.   I could say that I am a product of my upbringing.   In Newfoundland, there is this fascination with time and the weather.    Every room has at least three clocks, and not a five minute period goes by without a deep sigh and comment (usually negative) about the weather.   You spend 11 months of the year wishing time away (hence the clocks).  At least, that was the way it was in my home.

Or, I could choose to accept that I actually have some control over this.   When I fly off the handle, I take one look at Nick and realize the impact I’m having and I really dislike myself for it.   This is not the way I want to be; not the example I want to set.

So, back to the holiday in the sun comment…   A trip down south could be a quick fix, in a less austere year.   Soak up some rays and some vitamin D.  But clearly this is not an option this year.  I have been looking for other ways as a result.   My motorcycle usually helps, but the weather has not been conducive for the most part.  I was, however, given a nice camera by Sarah for Christmas (luckily before the YoA hit us) and I have been putting it to good use.    The beauty of photography, I find, is that it fully engages me.  I get so caught up in finding the optimal perspective, composing the picture, assessing the light, and so on, that everything else that has been bothering me is immediately shunted to the background.   At the same time, I am out in the light, in nature.  It truly lightens my mood.

It is interesting when I look at what attracts me for a subject, that I am drawn to straight lines and sharp angles, symmetry, and simplicity.   Quite austere interests really.   I am attaching one such photo below, should you wish to view it (or others at http://www.flickr.com/photos/theamblingmonk/).

By the way, after reading Sarah’s last entry, I want to state one thing for the record.   When it comes to blessings, I count mine for Sarah each and every day.  She is the light of my life, and I know of our kids’ lives as well.   And I know that her mother adored her and respected her more than any other person.

In the end, if I’m looking for motivation to lift myself up through the cloudbanks, I only need to look at Sarah and my beautiful kids.  What more incentive could there be?

Glenn

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