According to Cheryl Richardson, I may be addicted to adrenaline. Which explains a lot about rushing, the topic of my previous post. It also makes me laugh because when I first read about adrenaline as a fuel source (Take Time for Your Life, p. 145), I thought it didn’t apply to me at all and I was going to skip reading the list. And then I read the list.
Do you consistently over commit yourself personally and professionally?
Are you usually late for appointments?
Do you repeatedly check your voice mail or e-mail throughout the day?
Do you put things off until the last minute or use tight deadlines to get things done?
Does it seem like your car’s fuel gauge is always on or near empty?
Do you live on the edge financially?
Do you put off making decisions or taking action in spite of the anxiety it causes?Do you juggle several projects at once?
Are you constantly coming up with new ideas to pursue?
This is not the whole list. Just the ones I said yes to.
In fact, right after reading about using adrenaline as fuel, I headed out the door to an appointment. I was late, and on the way there, I looked down at my fuel gauge and it was on empty. And yes, I had that distinct vibration in my chest…that little rushing feeling…
So what does it mean? As I understand it, these recurring behaviors stimulate the body which wakes it up and puts it into a fight or flight response. Gets it ready for action. Like many things, it’s not inherently bad. It’s the repetitions and lack of balance that eventually tires the body.
But I’m not sure I want to give it up.
Yesterday morning, I woke early and the light was perfect for some moody photography. There was a slight haze in the air, heavy grey clouds with the rising sun casting a warm glow beneath them. Like this:
The ducks were cruising the temporary lake, and I headed out with my camera to get some closeups of them. Only one problem. I shake too much and when I have the telephoto lens fully extended, I feel like I’m on an ocean going ship on rough seas. And my photos look like it.
After a few blurry images, I decided that I needed to get a tripod. It was Sunday, and I really didn’t feel like getting in my car, but I did anyway and raced over to my beloved who has all of the best photography equipment. On the way there, I knew exactly what was fueling me. The fluttering in my chest felt good and I noted that. After grabbing the tripod, I was anxious to get back while the light was still new. More rapid heartbeat.
By the time I got home, the sun was fully up and the clouds were dissipating, but I was fully fueled and ready to get at least one good photo. Back to the ducks, I got some OK pictures, but they really were too far away for what I had in mind and too fast moving. About to give up, I heard a small bird nearby and turned the camera to see if I could find it. Of course, the bird flitted away and I picked up the tripod, disappointed. Then it came back and, with the little adrenaline this chase provided, I set the tripod down and focused.
And I got the shot.