Be Still

2015-01-18 Dove

In preparing for the onslaught of today, I opened up my computer and found this picture on my camera card from a few days ago. While walking to a window then, I had noticed this dove, holding as still as possible, soaking in every inch of the warm sunbeams blanketing the ground.

And I sighed.

No literally, I stood there at the window and just sighed. Immediate relaxation and quiet came over me and I took in the sight of this small creature just being….still.

See, this is why I created this blog in the first place. The occasional glance to the feeders or seeing birds and nature flitting about in the yard reminds of me pretty important stuff every once in a while.

Take yesterday for example. Yesterday was one of those days where stuff hit the fan at work. You don’t even try to take the opportunity to address the mis-steps. Nope. Doesn’t even register. You’re in full-on DEFCON 1 all day long, friend. You’re only potential victory is towing that boat back to the dock at the end of the day in whatever smoldering, crumpled heap it may be left in.

Yep, yesterday was one of those career-considering days we all have every so often.

Once I knew all were out of the woods though, I just slumped in my chair and became still. Sure, it was partly my adrenal glands likely shriveling into prunes and shutting down after the hours-long panic-driven rush. But I was grateful nonetheless to pull up the do-no-disturb status on my computer, hold my calls and just sit quietly for a moment to collect myself again. I recognized and needed the time to be still.

Don’t we all cherish and hold tightly to those moments when our only weapon against the world sometimes is to just step away and find our own mossy patch in the sun and take that one quiet minute? There’s power and necessity in these moments and sometimes it takes a little dove in the woods to remind me.

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The Photo Predicament

2013-04-26 Keyboard

My prior laptop had several issues going on and the time had come to find a new computer. So here I sit, fingers happily typing along on new keys and enjoying the love-fest my eyes are having with a crisp, new screen.

However, the issue I’m now having is what to do with the thousands of old photographs on my old laptop. With the prior 2 blogs I kept up before this one, I could easily find myself dumping hundreds of photos at a time onto my hard drive to pick and choose the best pictures from to post, but I was terrible at taking the time to remove those I didn’t use. These are all mixed in with family and personal photos and will take weeks to work through undoubtedly.

I love starting off with an empty computer rather than immediately moving over large amounts of data and taking up half the huge amount of storage right off the bat. I’ll have to figure something out as to my game plan to tidy up the old and new computers without deleting it all in a fit of frustration and impatience. Personally, I’m a big fan of if you don’t miss something after a certain amount of time, you probably wouldn’t miss it at all and should go ahead and just gift yourself some extra space.

Hopefully, the newness of this computer will continue to inspire me to simplify things going forward so that I don’t need to repeat this massive photo organization effort. Bring on the cappuccino and the ergonomic wrist supports!

Daily Prompt: Why Do You Blog?

Why do you blog?

Blogging is breathing fresh air for my brain.

After a long day of  mental computation and containing my thoughts to specific information, being able to throw together a fun post is a relief. I enjoy how I can draft up a thought or a recent photograph, and then its game on as to how I’d like to present it or position the content. I’m no writer – not by a very long stretch. I’m decent with the camera, but there are loads and loads of other folks out there who have real talent as actual photographers. But blogging still allows me to accomplish several things:

  • Convenience – The typical updates for friends and family far away. I share much more interesting information on a blog in addition to the conversations and emails. It adds things they can’t see or know in being far away and includes things that we can’t always cram into quick discussions.
  • Control – I prefer my own blog platform to communicating the same information on other forms of social media.  Granted, there’s always something outside of your control when you’re publishing things about yourself on the internet in any form. That said, I have more control and confidence in managing a blog than I do with other tools.
  • Community – There’s more opportunity to learn new things and see more ideas in visiting other blogs and this only helps you craft your own. I love happening onto a new blog and realizing I’ve found something really interesting to read or learning something new. You also occasionally establish connections between blogs every so often.
  • Checking Yourself – Once you’ve blogged for a while, take the time to review your old posts. Read your own content again once in a blue moon. Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s interesting how you see your old posts and think on why you published what you did and how you feel about it now.

As this is my third blog, it’s all still a lighthearted work in progress. I don’t take myself or my blog too seriously, but I do try to offer something worth your time if you stop by and take away a little something for myself to grow on.

The Daily Post: Share the Love

Tell us about another blogger who has influenced your own online journey.

Though its several days late to post on this prompt from, this suggested topic caught my attention when I ran through my inbox recently and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to express some blog gratitude. I began blogging a few years ago, and was inspired to make several important life changes, due to Elizabeth Harper and her blog Gifts of the Journey .

In discovering this blog a few years ago, I immediately found common ground. The author and I do not know one another personally, but I noticed that we shared similar professional background. That was my hook that got me interested in what the blog contained. As I followed Gifts of the Journey, I was encouraged to read on about Elizabeth’s daily adventures and perspective through her camera lens.

As someone who, at the time, was struggling to find an appropriate harmony between my profession and my personal life, I was hooked. Don’t get me wrong, I have a terrific marriage, a happy home and a successful career; but I was beginning to feel that something else was missing in the category of what I did with my downtime for me. To be able to balance the required amount of input I threw into my job each day, I needed more to counter that in what I did with my free time – I was searching for what defined me beyond the 9-to-5. In Elizabeth’s blog, I found the best example I’ve seen yet of someone who fills every available minute with the important things and who has re-focused her life on the things that truly bring personal joy – not fillers. For me, this blog was a sorely needed guidebook to get started in finding my own life balance and fulfillment of self.

Personal blogs, much like art, can speak to people in different ways; Gifts of the Journey can be a reminder to all that there is so much more to life than what we may think. Even when things are going well in general, your dreams and desires are always possible and worth pursuing.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

In addition to the many interesting posts made at The Daily Post each day, they share photo challenges that results in WordPress bloggers posting about inspiring and thoughtful photographs. A recent challenge was to post a photo “that invites the viewer to look beyond” to see “hidden depths in the background”.

This photo was taken at the North Shore of Hawaii where we were waiting to board a boat to take us cage diving with sharks. At the time, I took this just as a quick snap to remind me of what the marina looked like. It was serene here in the early morning with just a gentle lapping of water audible.

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Later when I saw the picture on my computer, I was struck by how many different details jumped out at me. The boat in the foreground stands out first. But then you notice the stillness of the water and the detail of the structure in the background along with its reflection. The wood grain texture of the aging storage cabinet in front with peeling paint adds something too. Finally, the foreboding presence of dark clouds approaching in the background provides a background for it all.

As a footnote, we should have thought better of our trip with those clouds rolling in, as the cold, pitching seas that we dove in that day resulted in my husband and I being the most seasick we’ve both ever been. But we managed to suffer through it and still got to dive with the sharks in the beautiful azure Pacific ocean.

Daily Prompt: Apply Yourself

One of the many things I love about WordPress is that they provide this nifty site call The Daily Post . This is a site bloggers like myself can receive an extra shot of creativity from in order to consider new and different perspectives to use in blogging. I subscribe to it and receive a daily email that includes a brief question or description designed to spur an interesting topic to consider.

Yesterday’s email entitled “Apply Yourself” asked, “Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you”. This stood out to me from the many Daily Post mails I’ve collected as it sums up the entirety of 2012 for me.

I spent all of last year assigned to a new project for work that required me to lead a team of professionals in performing work I was not expert in (but they were) and report directly to a very important customer as being the role responsible for that team’s work. 2012 combined both the steepest learning curve I’ve ever been on with the most stress I’ve ever experienced. For a year. No joke – during work hours, weekends, and in my personal time I worked and worried over this assignment for the entire year.

In order to not only survive in the role and yet still produce quality work, I had to apply myself at a tempo and effort I’ve never known. For weeks at a time, I would work well beyond 12 hr days. Being home-based, it’s really saying something that I’d find myself wandering into our family room some weekend and realizing I’d not sat on my own sofa for days at a time. Television, news and surfing the net were things I simply gave up for small spurts. Once I would wrap up late at night, I’d simply not have the energy or the interest to stare at another glowing screen if I didn’t absolutely have to.

This wasn’t a case of losing myself to my work, it was truly a situation where if I did not put that much work into things, I would not be able to understand the work and thus lose the ability to oversee it. Once a task was needed, I’d not only have to train up on what needed to be done with a mentor or on my own, but then I’d also have to have a team do that work and ensure they did it correctly per timelines (and lead others without letting on that I was learning too). It was not the most desirable methodology, but at the time it was what was needed and I had to forge on.

When I look back on the last year, I feel an enormous sense of pride at what I accomplished and humbly accept the lessons learned as valuable experience to apply going forward. Truly, there were so many positive outcomes that resulted from working so hard at something I initially knew so little about. And while I hope I never have to work that hard for that long of a period of time ever again, if I do, I’ll remember this experience and know I’m capable of much more than I previously thought.

Smell the New Blog Space

A lot of thought has been put into starting a new blog again. For nearly three years I blogged with zero organization or aim; having a slightly disorganized blog wasn’t a bad thing per se. It’s what worked well at the time.

Coming home after work and quickly pounding out a few paragraphs each day without any preparation was enjoyable, and somewhat therapeutic.  I was soon living in a new state, having gone from office to home-based and being newly-married, there was a lot to share with people and blogging was a new trend to try.

As I learned about blogging and starting looking around the web, I quickly found favorite blogs that I followed with interest and admiration. I checked these blogs daily and I realized I was hooked on reading them – I was genuinely curious about these authors and the journeys they took me on with each post. There is so much to learn from those who write well.

And this is what led to today’s new start. As aspects of my life have morphed and changed over the last few years, I want to start with a new blog that reflect this. I want to make the effort to identify and achieve purpose in each day.  I do have at least some wisdom to offer at this point and surely I have a few things to say that the occasional random reader might find entertaining.

I may throw the occasional random commentary in, but I would like to consider my own thoughts more. I would also like to glean purpose from my personal interests that I enjoy documenting to teach me a little more about myself and hopefully have a few things to say that someone may find helpful.