It’s the dead of winter. Streets and yards are snow-covered, temperatures are frigid, sunshine is rare. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is real; this year it’s heightened for many people. Depression and other mental issues have increased in the general population as stay-at-home orders, mask-wearing and social distancing mandates continue.
Fortunately, I don’t suffer from true depression, but I have found the long winter a bit wearing. It’s too cold and snowy to go out, except on work days, and my desire for photography and blog-writing is absent most days.
‘Cause, you know, since I started doing my own photography for this blog, I find I can’t write unless I have a picture ready to go (or at least in mind). And inasmuch I don’t care to go out into the snowy winter, I don’t have photos ready to go, and I find it difficult to create staged photos unless I have a post idea in mind.
It’s a chicken-or-egg-first situation.
Recently, I was at the end of another ho-hum workday. I had just dropped a couple of finished projects into my boss’ in-box and was leaving her office when she called me back.
Even though it’s been three years since I left The Job From Hell, I still have that feeling of constant anxiety that I will be berated for something I have, or haven’t, done. Certainly I know better – my current employers are wonderful, caring people who value their employees and who never yell or threaten, but the feelings are still there sometimes.
So, I turned back to my boss with a silent sigh, expecting I had done something wrong.
BOSS: [CM], you are …
I’m what? A good worker but sloppy? A nice person but just a bit lazy? Too stupid to live and about to be the first employee ever fired at this firm (the latter half of this sentence being a direct quote from The Job From Hell)?
BOSS: … a wonderful photographer who takes beautiful pictures. Go over to my window and see what’s there.
Now, my boss’ office is rather large and normally I have no reason to go over toward the window, nor to even look that way. Rounding her desk and approaching the window-side table, I saw …
Her Christmas Cactus had bloomed! Such a gorgeous cascade of luscious pink flower and succulent green foliage!
A camera-must. All I had with me was my little Olympus pocket point-and-shoot, and I did my best:
Not perfect, but not too bad, even considering it was late in the afternoon and the light was bad. I loved that my boss was fascinated by my efforts to get just the right angle, and allowed me all the time I needed, or wanted. That evening, I edited the photos and emailed her the two above.
She thought they were wonderful, but I wasn’t satisfied.
The next day, I took my somewhat better Nikon camera to work and retook the shots, earlier in the day and with better light. And I was pleased with the results (see photos at the head of this post and at the end of this post).
As I told my boss, she made my day. Have I mentioned that I currently have The. Best. Job. Ever! ?
I’m easily uplifted by small kindnesses. It helps that I’ve recently learned that several other bloggers have picked up my photos from Flickr.com for their own blogs (yes, with proper credit and link-backs!). This makes me feel like a real photographer.
Happy February, folks. Soon winter (and the pandemic) will end, spring will come, and yours truly will (hopefully) find the spirit and energy for better writing and more varied post scenarios.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio