Shifting Focus

The last several months have been completely overwhelming. I have been running at a spoon deficit since I started to transition and it is only getting worse. The burnout is bad, and I do feel myself slipping closer into bouts of depression again.

I was talking to the hubby and he pointed out that every single hobby I regularly participate in is to please other people. As a general rule almost all the hobbies I still partake regularly are more spoons out than in. I think I am going to do some changes. I need to stop doing things as hobbies for other people.

Take for example baking, mostly for other people. I don’t like eating that many sweets, and the sweets I do want to make are generally not favored by Americans (not sweet enough, unusual ingredients, etc). I suspect I will reduce/eliminate my baking. I will expand my cooking though. I do that for me and the hubby and I enjoy it.

I do like talking about politics, but for the last couple of years, it has been more of trying to help shift people (or outright fight with MAGA shits)… which doesn’t change things when done online. I haven’t learned much new and I certainly haven’t enjoyed it. In response to this, I dumped all my political feeds today, I probably will only do anything LBGTQIA related, and then only on occasion.

I will probably mute a lot of people who do politics only. That means my Facebook will mostly be shitposting, selfies, photos of my food and random inane shit I think about.

My video game lets plays are another thing. I do enjoy it, but the stress comes about in my desire to provide content for others.  The stress about scheduling and what games to play can sometimes get in the way of having fun. I haven’t played a video game for me in a long long time other than Battlefield and I don’t know how to even do that now. I think I might continue, but at my pace and only with the games I want to play.

My Things You Should Know channel is the most fun of the youtube but that is probably because I do that at my speed. Originally it was multiple videos a week, now if I get a video a week out I am happy and that is fine.

My photography, one of my “me only” hobbies has been curtailed severely due to the spoons it takes (money and time). That will be coming back soon.

My writing has been haphazard. That is purely for me. I think that will take a lot higher focus and I need to let that be something I come home and do, instead of putting it away so I can do things for others.

Gaming… the biggest hobby I have had over the course of my life. Currently, I am not a player in any game, so there is no “me only” focus. However, as a GM I get a lot of out it. It helps with my creativity, leads to me writing stories and bonding with friends. So it will continue. I enjoy making stories, and my technical writing skills ARE SHIT, but I am really good at the actual telling of stories (insert oral joke here).

I will also be expanding world-building not just for my current games, but future games. I very much enjoy the process of building worlds, cultures and making websites on them. I realize most people don’t read the. websites for the games they are in, let alone the others and that is ok. The websites/world-building is mostly for me. Plus if the worlds are built, its easier to run them as a game.

The one hobby that is for me and is new is makeup. I have gotten a pretty good basic foundation on it, but I think I want to get better. I want to include dressing up,  hair, etc. It is dual purpose though, the better I can do, the closer to passing I can get. This means my public life gets easier overall.

End result… I am dropping politics/news, and baking, while cutting back on video editing (but not stopping), increasing writing and makeup/girl stuff and staying the same on my gaming. Photography I will come back to eventually, just not enough spoons with the surgeries and travel for transition. So that is how I am shifting focus at this moment.

A quiet week of scanning.

One of my goals in 2019 was to post several times a week, but already I got a little behind. For the last week or so I have been scanning our pictures packed away. I did this about two years ago shortly after my parents passed. it was done in a hurry, the scan qualities probably not the best, but I did it so I could get the degrading photos safely saved and handed out to my family members.

The photos from my childhood had traveled with us homeless for years, we moved more than 20 times in my childhood (eviction, poverty and homelessness) and this meant all we had left were some ratty photo albums that we kept no matter what. So when my parents died, I figured it was important to scan them, evidently not as important to my family in the end. Lesson learned on that front.

Now that we are settled and I am taking some photo restoration online classes I am learning a lot. I want to go back through not just my childhood, but the hubby and I’s photos and scan everything that I WANT. I make this distinction because there were a lot of photos I scanned that I had no idea who the person was, where it was at, etc. It was only done in case someone wanted it in the future. Now that I am doing it for myself, I can be picky. The other problem is my organization when I scanned it makes it hard to figure out what photos I want to keep and if I can get them in better quality, so here we are scanning.

That being said, being picky is pretty hard. I can for the most part not blink as I put aside photography dealing with people I don’t know who they are. I can also avoid photos of scenic (or not so scenic) views of places that don’t mean so much to me.

I have however found it difficult anyways to not scan some stupid imagery. Not that it means anything to me, but I think it is some sort of resonance, or worry that I don’t want to lose what my parents were looking at, at one point in time of their life. It makes me super anxious that I might be squishing out their point of view.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still not scanning all of the photos I will never look at anyways, but it does give me anxiety about doing it. I am about 1/3 of the way done after a week and I will be glad to have it done, and stop the scanning.

At least at that point I can use my computer to figure out duplicates, remove them. Then remove photos I can’t restore and are no good. I will then go back through my current photo library (after backing it up) and deleting or replacing photos I don’t want or need.

The other good experience is I am learning pretty fast how to restore photos, it is both easier and harder than you would think. Hey, maybe now that my job prospects are shakier with being out and trans I might be able to pick up a little side money restoring photos, or even photo manipulation.

Either way, next couple of weeks will be busy as I do this.

Lesson 1: Pre-Dawn Photography #1

I haven’t really gotten to play with my new camera much. I have taken a bunch of random photos, but not really discovered what I am doing with it yet. I do plan on adding a photography portfolio here, but until then I figure I will just do regular posts.

Lesson 1: Low light photography not as easy as you would think.

I woke up on May 21st just at sunrise. I hadn’t ever really attempted pre-dawn photography before other than quick snaps with my phone. I kept two pics to remind me what I need to learn. Which is a lot btw.

I didn’t realize that the camera keeps the shutter open longer to gather in light if there isn’t a lot of light around it. It is rather straightforward when you think about it, but I hadn’t considered it at all. The second part of my lesson is how heavy and awkward that camera is when you are waiting for it to take in enough light. Here you can see where my hands shook.

Didn’t realize I needed a tripod.

It had dawned on me that I may actually need the tripod. While I appreciate the squiggly lines, I of course wanted to take a clean picture. Sadly, my tripod was put away, so I placed my camera on the porch balcony. It resulted in a better picture, but still not what I wanted.

Not what I wanted, but better than expected.

So it turns out that I will need to brace the camera. I will take that more seriously now and keep the tripod where I can set it up. The shot isn’t as clear as I want, but I couldn’t point it directly at anything since it was sitting on the balcony. I know it is similar if I try and take a photo of the moon or stars, with the light. I guess I will be utilizing my tripod now :).

Also I think that is Mars to the left and down low on the horizon.