This week has been a week of changes and challenges, from becoming an official empty nester, to becoming a part-time student, and starting back at the camera club, the week has been an emotional roller coaster.
To cope with our daughter leaving for college this past Sunday, I cleaned non-stop for two days. The house feels emotionally empty. Everyone tells me I will get used to it and that the feelings of peace will come. I think I must have texted her at least a hundred messages, but I’m doing better now at adjusting to her not being here. It’s just the after school hour that has caught me off guard this week. New routines are beginning for all of us.
Tuesday nights are now camera club. I was eagerly anticipating getting back to the club, though my initial feelings were borderline at the end of June when we broke for the summer. My anxiety was very bad back then.
The first meeting was great until competition came up. I was excited, then feelings of humiliation flooded in as my image was projected on the huge screen. There it was, a good photo with a stupid watermark on it. It wouldn’t be so terrible but the announcer had to point it out and tell everyone that the image was disqualified. I could feel the burning of shame on the skin of my ears. I tried my best to let it roll off as one of those things, except I would have rather the image just been pulled and sent a note explaining why it wasn’t judged. It didn’t help that later in the evening our vice-president tells me it’s happened to her before, but the club sent her a note that there was a problem and she was able to resubmit. Why wasn’t I given that opportunity?
Instead, I tried to tell myself that my image showed members what not to do. Look at the positive, not the negative I tell myself. Now when exporting my images from my Lightroom I will be sure to uncheck the ‘add watermark’ feature.
Prior to the start of the club’s new year, I set up my journal for competitions. It’s a small black book where I keep track of the images I submit. What a bad start for this year. Points are given out for each month. This month with the disqualified image I feel like I’m already behind a HUGE black ball. Never the less, I am pushing ahead.
CAPA, my other photography association begins in October, and I’m not sure I will be returning to it. More competitions and stress.
Today, being Friday, I have to pick out my next two images for this month’s competition. My anxiety is so high! I feel nauseated just looking through the flood of images in my computer, trying to pick out just two. The competitions are divided into two categories each month, with the rotation of Nature and Open plus a specific theme. I will have to force myself to sit for a set period and choose my images. It doesn’t feel fun at all.
On Wednesday, I started back to school. I’m taking a single photo editing class. I wasn’t nearly as anxious to get back into my studies… or so it seemed.
My first class went well. I had no panic attacks, felt calm and relaxed. I have a seat in the front off to the side where I feel comfortable. I was able to focus without problems. Now the student mania has kicked in.
I spent the first afternoon doing my online portion of my class as expected without issue. Taking the necessary notes, then writing out the ones from the morning class to make sure I didn’t miss anything. You see all my material is Power Point delivered, so I rewrite the slides with my personal side notes from class. I don’t learn well from just reading materials.
Now here comes the mania, because I don’t feel like I’ve done enough. I must be missing something. I type out all my notes into Google Docs with headers, proper indexing… everything must be consistent and perfect. This isn’t so bad because if I leave my note book behind I have the notes readily available anywhere. This is what I tell myself. Simply though, it is my worried mind that won’t let me rest. I feel like I’m not doing enough.
I have written out my schedule at least six times, checked the online D2L, the site that delivers our class materials more than I care to disclose. I’ve written the instructor twice to check in on what I might be missing, to be assured that I’ll be just fine.
Thursday I purchased a $50 planner so I won’t miss anything. ** Side rant – Michael’s why would anyone need two of these things. Their deal was buying one get one. I’d rather have been able to use your 50% off coupon for the purchase. Think positive thoughts again… give the second one to my daughter who was looking at getting a planner for college.
Having both an online calendar and now this bulky calendar book, I feel like I’m still missing something. WORRY… WORRY… WORRY. Feelings of “I’m not doing enough.” I am trying my best to take a break every once in awhile, but it is difficult.
I haven’t done anything else except school and planning. No cleaning, no taking time for myself.
Now it’s Friday. I have my meeting with the Accessibility office at the college to discuss my accommodations for class. Extra time for assignments, the privilege to leave class for anxiety… and a few other ‘in case’ scenarios. I really wanted to go school without this, but better safe than sorry as they say. I just hate asking for the special care at times, wanting to be just like everyone else.
Trying to look forward to the week ahead and praying for a peaceful weekend. I am doing the best I can… at least that’s what I am trying to tell to convince myself of tonight.