I’m Out Of Control, Are You?

My husband (I swear!) thinks I sit around and do nothing all day.

Maybe he thinks I play computer games (I don’t), or leisurely nibble on bon bons.

(Has anyone ever eaten a bon bon?  Do they even exist??)

Of course, I think he spends all of his days talking sports with his colleagues while standing around the water cooler in his office.

The grass is always greener, right?

When Briefcase and I went wine tasting last January, he glanced at my computer one day.  He was floored when he saw how many emails came in for me over one weekend.

“You get more emails a day than I do!” he exclaimed shocked.

Um … yes, I do Mr. Vice President Husband.

If you’ve been reading here for any length of time, you know Briefcase travels a lot.

That means, most of the time, I’m in charge of running our house, our lives, our kids needs, etc., etc.

I do this one-armed, which makes everything take a lot longer.

(If you question me on this even a tiny bit, please tie your dominant arm to your side for an entire day and see how your day goes.)

Add in high pain levels (which is my reality more often than not), and you’ll realize it takes an incredible amount of energy (and sheer willpower) to get everything done that needs to be done.

Routine stuff like grocery shopping (which is HARD one-armed), dishes (left hand only!), taking care of our dogs, sorting mail, laundry (drag the baskets because you can’t lift them), basic cleaning, blah, blah, blah – takes up a lot more time than it would if I had two working arms.

(Not to mention squeezing in kid stuff, exercising, cooking, physical therapy, pain management appointments, etc., etc., etc.)

Jealous of my life yet?

It takes pig-headed determination for me to do it all.

(Let’s be honest here, for me, being one-armed is less of a handicap than living with chronic pain.  Without question, continual pain is the harder obstacle to live with.)

The other day I was talking to a very nice woman who works for the city of Beverly Hills.

We were discussing photography jobs.

How do you do it? she asked.  (She was referring to photography in conjunction with my bum arm.)

I had an immediate flashback to the day I was told I would never hold a camera again.

My mind flashed back over the last several years, and all I’ve gone through.

I looked at her and sighed, wearily.

“I’m really a stubborn bitch,” I answered.

She smiled and nodded.

That’s a good thing, she said.

I nodded.

I know, in my case, it is.

In addition to running a house and a family one-armed,

My daily life includes blogging and photography.

Photo:  Pink fuchsia.  (This fuchsia plant is hanging in my backyard – I love it SO much!!)

For me, the blogging/photography work is never the same two days in a row – which is part of the appeal, and part of the problem.

Organization is difficult when the world throws chaos at you from every direction.

I get 200-400 emails per day.  I skim all of them, and only open some of them.

(But I always read every comment left here on 24!!)

I try to respond to all blog comments, all people seeking help with photography, and all people interested in hiring me now (or in the future) for a photography assignment.

The number of PR/Advertising pitches I get each week is staggering.

My name/email address is clearly on some monster list, somewhere.

I spend a portion of each day writing a post.

I spend time every day editing photos for those posts.

In addition, I edit several other photos each day for the community of people who follow my photography in places other than here.

Editing photos takes a lot of time because I have to do it one-armed.

(My method of working on a computer, in a manner that limits the discomfort it causes, would be funny if it wasn’t so awkward.  And SLOW.)

Of course, there are no photos to edit, to market, or to sell, if I don’t spend time shooting.

I take my camera with me (almost) everywhere I go.  I’ve learned to use it (for limited amounts of time) with my Wrong Arm.

I’m producing content constantly for one forum or another.

I know, due to my arm, I can’t take on all the photography work I’d like to.

In the past several months, I’ve been given some amazing opportunities in the photography world.

I pick the projects I think I’ll enjoy, or the ones that will provide a good paycheck, or the ones that will provide good blog fodder to entertain you with.

Getting photography work requires being VISIBLE.

(Hence, my ongoing participation in photowalks, and seminars, and photography conferences.)

I love everything photography related.  I’ve fought long and hard to hold a camera again post-accident.

Loving photography doesn’t mean it isn’t a very difficult challenge.

Everything photography-related I do is slower and more difficult than it would be for a “normal” person.

I want to do it, though.

In fact, I have to do it.

There are no words to describe how terrible it was to lose everything I loved doing in those first 3-4 years post-accident.

No words.


Thank you for listening.

It’s time for me to go take a nap on the couch.

(You know, right after I eat a few bon bons and play some computer games.)

19 Responses to “I’m Out Of Control, Are You?”

  1. Suzanne Y.

    Wow! After reading this post I feel especially honored that you have answered my emails in the past. AND I am doubly impressed with all that you do, manage, participate in, etc. As I’ve told you in past missives, I too am astounded by how much I love photography which has certainly goaded me into the path of continued improvement.

    (Took photos at a baseball game last night – the lowlight ones are my nemesis – but I keep on plugging away) You truly serve as an inspiration. I can’t/don’t get half as much accomplished as you do with two arms, and less on my plate.

    Keep on doing what you love. I think it makes all the BS “bearable.”


  2. Gaelyn

    Handicapped or not, one still has to follow their passions. I’m glad you are able to deal with the pain. A good reminder for me who is having trouble with my non-dominant shoulder.

    Do they make a left handed camera?

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I’ve looked into a lot of options, and there isn’t anything great out there. Wish I could get Canon to work with me to invent something …!

  3. Denise

    I think of you often and wonder how you hold your camera so steady when you are using a heavy lens. I love the fuschia…I think I might need one if I can find a spot where it will thrive.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I use a monopod or a tripod whenever I can – particularly for bigger lenses. I’ve also been known to use all sorts of random things to prop up the camera wherever I am. It makes for some interesting conversations …!! : )

  4. Jan's Sushi Bar

    The photo of the fuchsia is exquisite; I’d never seen one before I moved to Ohio (too darn hot for ’em in Texas), and they’ve become one of my favorite flowering plants. I just wish I could keep one without killing it. *sigh*

    Husbands are amusing critters, aren’t they?

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I kill fuchsias regularly myself. They do great by the beaches here. My canyon gets too hot in the late summer. We’ll get a heat wave eventually and it will die. For right now, it’s happy living in the shade under my deck …

  5. karen

    I’ve got the PRESIDENT husband who is the bread winner in the family… his company is local and so it the contracted work, however, not travel. I hear the same thing when we might be arguing over something stupid…. While I WORK ALL DAY AND YOU’RE SITTING HERE EATING BON BON’s….

    I don’t think I’ve ever had one (bonbon) .. and I, too, have been the home-keeper, the cook, the maid, the nanny, The laundry service, the errand runner, the chauffer..with part time jobs outside the home thrown in. Really, I don’t think they understand fully the work involved or the true value of what we do.

    So, in honor of this, I think we should have bon bons while we sit by the fire or the pool or the television and toast our hard working husbands. Now where they heck do you find them? Ofcourse I suppose I could make them if I knew what they were…lol…

  6. karen

    Just looked it up…lol..

    The name bonbon (or bon-bons ) refers to any of several types of sweets, especially small candies enrobed in chocolate.

    The first reports of bonbons come from the 17th century, when they were made at the French royal court. Their name arose from infantile reduplication of the word bon, meaning ‘good’. In modern French and several other European languages, the term simply refers to any type of candy or small confection.

    • karen

      …and now that I know exactly what they are, I’ve had many many 🙂

  7. Sandra

    I have a fuschia plant on top of my retaining wall but it’s hidden now behind a huge other plant. It’s barely visible. Gardening is not my talent. I plant things and am never sure just how big they’ll get (doesn’t matter that the plastic stick inserted in the pot tells how how big/wide they’ll be).

    Silly husbands.

    I love your photos. I look forward to seeing your photo each day. 🙂 And have on MANY occasions almost bought one.
    Keep up the great work!!

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Thank you.
      I like gardening, but I’ve never had any great gardening talent. I used to love to fill all our planters and pots with flowers though …. Something I can’t do since the accident. When my kids are little we grew a vegetable garden for a few years, more as a fun learning thing for them than anything else. I really do love flowers though!

  8. Pam

    I’ve always admired your determination and what you achieve with your (excuse the term) handicaps, but never more so than now, having dislocated my right shoulder yesterday in the middle of a long working trip with a heavy suitcase and lots of photos to take. I’m using you as inspiration now!


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