Old friends, new ideas and the ides of late spring

Well, well, well. Hello old friend! It’s been a minute.

Oh, I’m talking to the blog. Not you. I don’t even know you. Anyway.

After a long afternoon of sending interview queries, researching such scintillating topics as casinos and coastal art organizations for a few freelance stories, and attempting to navigate the quagmire that is government employment and labor statistics for an independent data-gathering project I’ve been commissioned to, I figured I’d drop in for a visit. It was either this or do push-ups, the last thing on my goals list before I get to quit working and eat dinner. So here we are.

I can’t help but feel a little shamed by the sour note you and I left things on last month, when I used our time together to publicly air a few personal grievances and to generally complain about a nasty and oh-so-persistent case of low-grade malaise – the same one that seems to hit me every time this year. Call it spring fever, call it whatever. I always get an itchy heart when the April rains come.

Now, it’s May. It’s still raining on the Oregon coast, but I’m in better sorts, these days. Although: dreadfully busy. This month marks my sixth as a freelance journalist and I am almost afraid to think/talk about how well it’s going. I don’t want to jinx my good fortune, but I will say that I’m actually at the point of possibly needing to start turning down work, which feels like a milestone, definitely.

I’m doing all manner of projects, from commercial photography to newspaper and magazine features to governmental research, and the variety is definitely keeping me on my toes. But I feel ready to hone my focus a bit. I am bummed about the fact that I haven’t had any time lately to devote to my personal writing projects, including this blog, but I’m already working 6-7 days a week and I’m in training for the Hood to Coast relay this August, besides, which eats up another 10-12 hours of my time each week.

So all of that equals me needing a stunt double, or possibly some performance enhancing substances. KIDDING!!

It does mean I need to work harder at balance. I’ve been hitting yoga class three times a week, which goes a long way toward that end, but I know deep down that it’s going to take something bigger for me to stop fretting. I’m heading to Indiana in a few weeks to spend time out in the country with family, so that should help. I think.

In other news: I’ve become completely fascinated with the political philosopher Michael Sandel, and, praise be the digital gods, many of his lectures are available on YouTube, including a Harvard course he teaches called “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to do?” I’ve been listening to the lectures while I edit manuscripts and the ethical dilemmas they invoke are seeping into my dreams, my speech, my everything. It’s great. I recommend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBdfcR-8hEY.

I’ve come to philosophy and jazz – two of this planet’s greatest ideas, EVER – relatively late in life, but better to be fashionably tardy to the party than never to arrive at all, right?



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