On time wasting

Christmas Tree in Bacau, Romania

Time wasting must be the biggest thing holding you back from improving your life dramatically. Excuse me… Time wasting must be the biggest thing holding me back from improving my life dramatically. I know it, I am aware of it, and I seldom do anything regarding it.

Here’s an example: in 2013 I quit adding content on my blog (over at blogger.com back then). It’s been four years since I’ve written something, made a photograph or did anything close to photography. 4 years! That’s a lot of time wasting.

Example number two: I’ve started this blog on the 1st of December 2016 and it has been almost two weeks since I’ve posted anything. And no, i’m not a business mogul and/or have 3 kids waiting at home.

I have several “keepers” photographs in my camera roll in Lightroom that are just sitting there, waiting to get polished. I have ideas about what and how to photograph certain things and places. I have a short film idea I’ve been dying to jump start. And I also have that new PS 4 game I have to finish.

Audit yourself. Take a step back and take a look at how you’re spending your 10-12 hour day. I guarantee that 25% of it is spent doing dumb sh*t. Gary Vaynerchuk

Yes, dumb sh*t. Just consider how many times you’ve procrastinated and, instead of doing real work, you’ve spend time online on useless browsing. Social media, Youtube, TV shows, blogs like this. And it’s not that anyone really cares about what you do with your life. But usually, anyone has that one thing that complains about in their life, that one thing that might be better, faster, more of. No money? Too fat? You’re not happy with your photography (aimed at me, obviously)? Then stop wasting time and do something!

The thing that prompted me to write this post is the Holidays, of course. Why the Holidays, you ask? Well, because everyone wastes a lot of time during the Christmas holidays. Everyone has time off. You go see your family, you cook traditional dishes, you drink (a lot) and you make awkward conversations with long lost relatives.

Don’t get me wrong, time spend with family is time well spend (most of it, anyway). I’m not THAT anti-social. But we tend to go overboard. I tend to do that. I get into vacay mode. Everything is rescheduled for “after”. Dinners take longer, conversations drag, drinks pop open like it’s… well, the holidays. But you get my point.

And what’s really ironic is that this could be an excellent time for self improving because now you really “have” time.. Time for picking up the slack once you’ve got your boss off your back and you can finally work for yourself. Now you can finally start that Illustrator tutorial on lynda.com. Or set up you shop on Etsy and sell your embroidery, like you’ve always dreamed of. Or publish your first blog post. Seth Godin puts it clearly:

The week between Christmas and New Years is notoriously quiet. Your phone buzzes less often, there are no client meetings, no deadlines. If you work for yourself, this might be the perfect week to take my freelancer course. Seth Godin

Or forget his course and set up your freelancer profile on Upwork and start working for yourself. Whatever creams your biscuit.

I had a lot of time off for holidays. I didn’t do sh*t. I could’ve go out and shoot more pictures. I could’ve start working on that little coffee book I have been planning for some time. I should’ve worked out more, start a spinning class and pick up swimming like I planned last summer. No sir. We tend to gather a lot of “could’ve’s” along the years. We start with a good intention and stumble along the way. Take a short break here and there, have a glass of wine (more than one, admit it), watch a show, sleep an hour more. And then it’s Christmas again.

Time is and asset and we I should start treating it like one.

Happy late Holidays!

Christmas Tree in Bacau, Romania

Christmas Tree in Bacau, Romania


A word about pollution

image showing plastic pollution near a river in Bacau, Romania

I run.

I’m biologist, a photographer, an environmentalist, and sometimes a runner. I don’t like putting tags on people, but that’s who I am. Sometimes I’m just one of those things, sometimes I’m all of them combined. When the latter happens, you can most certainly find me wandering the “wild areas” surrounding my town. Usually, with a camera in my tiny running backpack. Although I don’t make a habit in running in the golden hours of the day, ideal for landscape photography, I usually take my camera with me just to force me squeeze something out of that plastic light trap. The good old iPhone camera will do if I feel to slothful. The thing is, since I started running off road (pardon, trail running), I became much more aware of the environment around me.

One thing about trail running

Trail running is very different than… well, usual city running. It might seem like I’m exaggerating, cause running is still running, right? But trust me, it’s a whole nother world. Different shoes, different technique; you need to know your way around so you won’t get lost. Maybe bring a hydration pack cause you spend 1+ hours in the field, dog spray in my case (lots of stray dogs in Romania, packs in the woods), fully charged mobile phone, etc, etc. I could go on with the list. If you’d like to learn more about trail running, there are tons of info online. I’d start here.
The most important part about trail running is the environmental awareness I was mentioning previously. You learn to to be aware of what’s around you. You see the environment you’re running in. You feel it; you thread lightly or you twist your ankle. If you’re not aware, you get eaten by the bear.
What I’ve learned though is just how much we really do impact the environment around us.
imagine showing a hydroelectric dam build on a river

A hydroelectric dam built on a river near my town, Bacau, Romania. @bogdabo

Anthropogenic impact is everywhere

The areas I run in are not far away from human establishments. Be it a patchy forest, a hilly trail or a path down by the river, I’m never to far away from my fellow humans. Small towns and villages, housing mostly lower class families, with little to no education, they leave their impact wherever they happen to settle. Wherever humans work or gather socially, their impact is visible. Every place you go, you have to try really hard not to find a piece of plastic, a discarded gadget or tool, degradation caused by livestock or plain and simple littering.
I’m not sure how things are in other countries, but from what I can see, there’s a a correlation between the level of education and the level of environmental pollution in a community. I might be wrong though, as I’ve seen rough places in developed countries from the western side of Europe, so don’t take my word for granted.
Lately, I’ve been working with Adventure Scientists Worldwide and, from their map here you can clearly see that plastic is everywhere. Scientists call the times we live in as Anthropocence, as we humans have “caused mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluted the oceans and altered the atmosphere, among other lasting impacts.”
image showing plastic pollution near a river in Bacau, Romania

Same place, diferent perspective. @bogdabo

We’ve lost connection with the environment

And this is funny to me. As I progress into running and my trails get longer and longer, I get more connected to the land I run on. But in the same time, everywhere I look I see signs of people loosing this connection. They treat the environment like a service one can use with unlimited prescription. And what’s more ironic is that in Romania, there are still lots of communities that depend on the land for their food and income. Some people still use the same techniques their grandparents used to farm the land and cater the livestock.
And I guess I’m just selfish. I don’t like running in garbage.
Stop fucking littering.