Tag Archives: life

partial derailment

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This was a tough month. I started off with high hopes and lofty goals, but my motivation and my optimism have suffered a major hit. I did manage to post to my blog every day this month, as planned, but my idea to share a daily bit of gratitude was less successful.

Even though I posted *something* every day this month, I mostly haven’t written the posts I’ve wanted to. The unexpected election results and their aftermath have continued to have a big impact on my thoughts and to some extent on my actions. I would still like to write more about this. I hope to keep posting here regularly. I think in order to keep the momentum, I will continue to post assorted photos and lightweight things as I work to unpack my weightier thoughts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese two photos were among some I took back in 2010, when I was doing the daily photography project. I remembered the one of the “hope” train derailed, and went hunting for it. Funny as it was, it wasn’t actually a great photo, so I mucked with it a bit in a clumsy way.

For the record, I considered calling this post “hope derailed,” but my decision not to perhaps reflects that my hope has not entirely derailed. I am planning to get it back on track (as it were) in the coming months.

I’m putting up a post, but this post is down.

I have been sitting here struggling with what to put up for a post, and have had trouble coming up with one. Happily, my inspiration came in the form a photo. And while I am happy that I have a photo that I can post, I am not happy about the post in the photo. Because the post in the photo is definitely down. (The lamp post down here is in my front yard, and it is supposed to be upright. It was a bit on the wobbly side until some time on Monday, at which point a windy day fixed the wobbliness. Yay! It no longer wobbles.)

turkey feast

Our neighborhood flock of wild turkeys has been coming around frequently again lately. Their numbers seem to have increased, as well. About a week ago, I counted 35 turkeys in our back yard.

This morning, a few of them stopped by the bird feeders for their Thanksgiving Day feast. It’s fun to see them jumping to reach the bird feeders.

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My family’s Thanksgiving feast is also finished, and included fewer seeds, and much less jumping. We had family visiting from California, and a few local friends joined us as well for a total of 12 for dinner. It was another long day of cooking and such. Tomorrow morning, I have to drive my sister and nephews to the airport at around 4, so I am once more short on time to write.

shadow of a blog post

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At the end of another long day of household tasks and a house full of guests, I find myself without time or energy to write. I open my laptop, and get caught in a sequence of news articles about the election and its fallout. I follow trails of hope, trip over infuriating updates, and then stumble back into pits of gloom and doom.

I want to write more, but I think I really need to sleep in order to keep functioning. I can’t tell whether I am getting sick, or am merely sick with tiredness and worry. The gratitude will have to wait once again.

10 birthday candles

Remarkably, I started this blog 10 years ago today. 10 years of blogging. Over a thousand posts (this one is 1333), over a million views (1,156,038 at the time I’m writing this), over 3000 photos shared. It has been a wonderful creative outlet for me. Additionally, through this blog and by connecting with others on their own blogs, I have made strong friendships (haven’t really counted how many). In the process, I have grown in my worldview (which I also can’t quantify).

Tonight, I am grateful for blogging. Both for this blog, and for connecting with others. I am so grateful to the friendships I have made through blogging. I am very glad that I have returned to blogging after largely neglecting it the last few years. I appreciate having the creative outlet once more, and the place to share my thoughts. As current affairs have been stirring me to take action, I hope to use this blog as a sounding board, and a way to hold myself accountable.

In case you are wondering, I didn’t light candles for the blog. Conveniently, I have a daughter who is just a few months older than this blog, and so had easy access to photos of 10 birthday candles. In case you were wondering what happens when you put 10 birthday candles into a mini cupcake and light them, you get a tower of flame that threatens to light your daughter’s hair on fire, and melts the candles down to stubs in seconds. Happily, this blog is mostly flame retardant.

information overload

Today I finally decided to delete the Facebook app from my phone. It was using more and more space on my phone, until it was gradually crowding out everything else. It turned out that the version of the app I was using was caching every single thing I was reading. So each article I opened through app was taking up space on the phone. (I was using an older version so as to avoid some privacy issues that people had complained about with the introduction of a separate Facebook messaging app.) In the last few days, I was reading more and more articles, until my phone reached capacity. I couldn’t take new photos without deleting apps. And then I’d run out of space again, and delete more apps. Finally, I decided that I just needed to break from it, and delete the app.

I realize that this is a good allegory, as all the articles I’ve been reading have also been crowding my brain, and I may be effectively deleting other mental applications as I work to process all of the election news. (Of course, I can and do still check Facebook on my laptop, and have continued to read articles and follow links there, but it’s a bit less all-the-time-always-in-my-pocket-always-in-my-face.)

Now I can take photos with my phone again without regularly running out of space. And taking photos is one of the things that brings me enjoyment. I like it that I have a pretty decent camera always in my pocket. (I like taking photos with my big camera, too, but it isn’t generally as handy. Also, the hard drive on my laptop is so full that I can’t import the larger files the camera produces without deleting stuff from my laptop. Sigh.)

The photos in this post are some I took a few weeks ago at our local diner. (A few weeks ago, my phone still had room to take photos, and my head was still full of optimism about the election.)

 

And on to my daily-ish gratitude. This post reminds me that I am grateful for photography, and the accessibility of digital photography. I love being able to so easily capture moments from my life. And I especially love being able to document the beauty that I see in the details of the world around me.

And since I skipped my enumeration of gratitude yesterday, I will offer a second serving. I am grateful to be alive in this age when so much information is available at our fingertips. While it is a double-edged sword at times like this, which overload us with news and opinion, on the whole the web (or the internet, in all its incarnations and implementations) offers us the power of knowledge.

oxygen mask

Tonight, a wise friend sent me a message that I really appreciated: “I want to remind you that you should put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.” I have been spending a lot of hours the last couple of days thinking of ways that I can do more to help more people. So many people are hurting and scared right now. But I shouldn’t beat myself up for taking a bit of time to regroup and recoup. I can only help others if I have not passed out for lack of breath.

Tonight I am grateful for friends. It has been immensely helpful to me to talk with like-minded friends (and family members) in the shock of these election results. And I appreciate that friends, even those who don’t share my political views, have checked in with me to express their compassion and concern. I am very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life, near and far.