January 30th, 2023
Balance: to put opposing forces into a position in which neither controls the other.
I have a dilemma which I am struggling to resolve. It isn’t a new problem but one which I am particularly keen to find a solution to. It is all about finding a way to balance two things so that neither takes control of the other.
I have become increasingly aware that a number of my friends divide their spare time between two or more hobbies and, not only do I envy people who can do this, but I struggle to understand how it is possible. How are they able to find space in their head? How can they divide their time between, for example, photography and learning a foreign language?
For a very long time I have accepted the fact that any hobby I pursue requires my undivided attention. However, something has happened recently to make me feel increasingly frustrated by this inability to create space in my head for multiple activities.
It is difficult to explain why I find this so challenging but I do know that, whenever I have tried to introduce a second hobby, I have always felt a deep sense of guilt for abandoning the other hobby. Not only that, but I become so engrossed in a hobby that it feels like an unwanted interruption if I go off to pursue something different.
It is no secret that over the past few years I have become passionate about photography. Harnessing my ability to be highly focused, I have taken myself on a whirlwind journey of experiment and exploration, rarely stopping for breath before moving on to the next photographic project. I have taken a prolific number of photos, put on exhibitions, created books and the list goes on.
A few months ago, however, I began painting. I am not entirely sure why this happened but what I do know is that I am really enjoying it. I love experimenting with different styles and techniques and there is so much to learn. Unfortunately, I am being taken on yet another high speed journey over which I seem to have very little control. What began as a passive interest is quickly becoming a full blown passion and it is clear to me that I am at risk of being sucked further in.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to me as it isn’t the first time this has happened. Take my triathlon stage. There I was quite happily going out for short cycle rides a couple of times a week. Then one day somebody persuaded me to add running and swimming to my weekly exercise routine and before I knew it I had signed up to a series of triathlons and I was training six days out of seven. Preparing myself to compete in triathlons had taken over my life and there wasn’t any time left for anything else!
The problem I have at the moment is that I still love photography but I am falling in love with art and I fear that the two things are becoming opposing forces and that one of them will end up controlling the other.
I know I have neglected my photography recently. For example, it is clear that I am struggling to focus on my upcoming exhibitions. The crazy thing is that I can easily divide my spare time so that I can continue with both activities and I even think they might complement each other. So why is it so difficult to maintain any form of balance? Why does one activity always have to take control?
All I know is that it is more important than ever for me to work out how to balance my time so that photography and art can sit comfortably on either side of the seesaw.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. If you would like to share any of your own thoughts, then please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at theoddpiece@alisonwebber.co.uk

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