Tag Archives: photography

A challenge to myself!

I’m feeling lately like I have more going on than I do, maybe due to the personal and internal struggle involved in it all. In talking with a friend, I was forced to face once again how little emphasis I put on myself and what I want…how everything I do has a major focus on others in my life…how I don’t deal with my own immediate issues but help others stay on top of their own. In my life, I want certain things and a certain lifestyle. I find myself frustrated and disappointed in who I am, what I should be doing, and why it is I put off the things I love most in life – writing and photography.

I was asked, if knowing this, I had an explanation. The practical side of me says, I don’t NEED the new camera and computer to create more blog posts. I don’t NEED the fancy technology to do what I love. There are more pressing items that need repair or purchase ahead of my camera and computer. BUT – that money is not money going into my own household or life, so what makes it more important? I’ve spent countless hours lamenting the absence of writing and photography in my current life, pondering how my love of these two fields has been so quickly and easily pushed aside to cover the needs of others. Why is the absence of my passion okay?

Today I made the decision that I’m going to begin taking small steps to recover writing and photography in my life. I can use small bursts of time to get out there and take a picture or write a small piece. I can recapture a part of my soul that has been missing. I can rediscover a journey I stopped walking along to suit the needs of others in my life. And I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but right now…I need to get back to me and in doing so, stop focusing so much on everyone else.

That was my plan this summer…to buy the camera and to buy the computer I want. I don’t need to focus on photo editing but rather, getting back to having that camera with me at all times to capture a moment or image. It literally takes a few seconds to pull over on my drive home and capture that image…or, if a thought comes to me, to verbally capture it recorded on my phone so that I can get home and transpose the recording into writing. And in knowing that, it seems a little more realistic already to imagine integrating both writing and photography back into my life.

In accepting the challenge to write and photograph again, I’m going to need to commit time I tend to spend elsewhere, namely in front of my television. Being on the computer all day definitely crushes my will to get back online once I get home. Maybe, however, this will lift my spirit back to where it likes to be, instill the creativity to tear through me like it did a few years ago, give back the voice that I so willingly handed over, and provide an outlet and opportunity to grow my professional writing.

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The Wonders of Wandering

As I begin the next chapter of my life, in an effort to resume a sense of normality, I find the need to create something fresh and new. I can say it is selfishly just for myself, just a place to locate and situate and direct what I hope becomes a travel journal of some kind. My last post involved admitting that returning to work has various purposes, the biggest being the buy myself an RV of some kind …. a new camera … maybe even a new laptop though I admit, I love the one I am using right now. There are so many approaches to how I can complete the journal … writing, photos, utilizing new gadgets and speaking to/ tagging the product company or website or online advertisements. Or, it can be just another page for myself with a handful of followers. Clearly, there is still much planning to do and details to be defined and implemented.

That being said, my head reels as I think of the potential wonders of wandering. The Wonders of Wandering will be the home of my new site, assuming the title/site has not already been claimed here on WordPress. I can hope only that some of you will come with me…share my stories, share your own, and enjoy what is being shared.

What I have learned…

In the throes of unclouding and uncluttering my brain, I ended up figuring out something. As much as I want to overlook and give little value to my cancering process, it sits before me like an elephant in the room. It has slowed my life down to a fairly uncomfortable pace which is difficult for me to process…the slowing down has made me think a bit less of myself as I am currently not working…and in an effort to keep my spirits vibrant and fresh and strong, I began to examine where I am at.

As my story mentioned, my perspective has become very clear. I know that I am not satisfied with my current position or status in life. For a long time I have settled, played the game and done the right thing. I’ve been a good girl, a good do-bee, a good worker. However, at this point in my life there has to be something more, something bigger … bigger than just getting along, bigger than overcoming the cancer, bigger than my self worth being determined by a ticking clock (I mean working 8 hours a day, not a life clock.)

I return repeatedly to the life coach field, how that might look for me, what steps I can take now while I’m burning time at home. It means reconnecting with society, overcoming my own insecurities to get out and talk with people, finding the right certification programs to validate my services and direction, and being able to effectively navigate questions that I will be asked or situations that could use my skills, background, knowledge, etc.

To me, this is a valid and much needed field. It can provide guidance and direction, set goals and see incremental steps become success, and provide an outside voice/perspective to get someone through.

There has to be more … whether it is working with cancer patients, coaching new patients, providing information, serving as a life coach or a cancering coach, writing about all this or just creating newsletters for local events and charities and facilities, volunteering as a writer and photographer, or my dream job of opening a bookstore there has to be more. I know…perspective and focus are strong but details still need to be ironed out.

Contrast…

I’ve slacked a bit in getting these assignments done, but decided that contrast is an easy topic for me. A little fun and yes, I admit, I’m cheating on this one!! There are two dimensions in which I have lived my life, the North and the South. Being a true Mainah, there are so many elements about Maine and New England that I truly love. However, having spent time in North Carolina, there are too many elements of that lifestyle that truly overpower the Mainah in this country gal. The only way to describe it is with pictures…two pictures, that is all it will take.

Picture 1 is taken at Carolina Beach, North Carolina, about three miles down the road from my cute little condo that sadly, I had to leave when my family refused to adjust and transition (yes, still a bitter pill that I choke on from time to time!)

nc beach bar

Picture 2 is taken in Berwick, Maine in my front yard after 1 snowstorm that was thirty two inches of the horrid white stuff! Mind you, I have grown up in cold weather but never, at any point in my life, have I been a fan of this cold weather! My family, ie boys, on the other hand love it and were in the throes of building a huge fort.

snow

The contrast is that my heart and soul love and need the warmth and energy that the sun brought to me on a daily basis. I was literally warmed to the core while taking leisurely strolls daily along the beach. I miss the south immensely but understand my family never feeling it could be considered home. At the same time, with snow abundant in our part of southern Maine, I would not trade a second of seeing my boys happy and active again, getting out of the house, rounding up the crew and building a snow fort or lighting a bonfire or heading to someone’s house for a pool party.

They say home is where the heart is, and when it is in two places at once, contrast is the perfect word I would use to explain it. As a mother, my heart loves the warmth and sunshine and crashing waves and year round lifestyle I was able to live in North Carolina…and at the same time, none of that is worth it if my boys are not right there with me! All the warmth and color in the world mean nothing without their laughter and smiles, hearing them whisper in brother code behind a closed door, or watching them walk out each morning and hearing them greet me. Contrast …  yup, this is mine!!!

 

 

HI to the neighbors…

As with any endeavor or new career choice, networking is a huge part of the process. Not only do you meet your local owners, businesses, etc, you meet the local market and culture. Having spent five years in staffing and recruiting, networking was a regular part of my position…bonus points that I got paid to go and mingle, attend after hour dinner parties and speaking engagements, meet the local companies and business owners. Bonus that in meeting those folks, I was building relationships, finding common ground, sharing stories, hearing how companies had been done wrong by other agencies and having the opportunity to fix those errors…I did well in this field and loved every minute of it!

Writing and blogging for me has become much the same. I follow blogs that seem to be like minded, and when I find photography sites or blogs with random eccentric ideas, I tune into those as well. I’m noticing my field of view isn’t quite as wide as it once was and needs retuning from time to time, and there’s nothing like being caught totally off guard and finding oneself smiling! There are so many options out there, so many amazing people and writers, and I’ve been blessed to find other like minded writers…photographers, musicians, writers, mothers, successful business women. It’s like the gathering of an orchestra…melodies, harmonies, sharps and flats, racing tempos, and beats that make me want to tap/sing along. I forgot…TRAVELERS!!! There is one blog in particular I recommend to everyone…it’s called LiveLaughRV.net. It’s the lifestyle I dream one day will be my own…fantastic, well written, photographs, humor, television references and just  smile after smile. If you have a minute, take a look. I’ve told the writer, Ingrid, that reading her blog daily is like a mental vacation/getaway…too much fun.l

I didn’t reminisce about songs…music was such a huge part of my life and still is. Whether its classic rock, country, classical, some hip hop, or whatever, I have a silly memory or some sappy romantic moment that flashes through my mind. My favorite music memories just to be brief…dancing with my little boy to Always be my baby…jumping in circles on my bed with both boys to Montel Jordan and Blackstreet…dancing with my husband at our wedding to More than Words…watching my sister dance at her wedding with my nieces to You are beautiful by Christina Aguilera…hearing my father sing along with Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Marty Robbins, George Jones, Randy Travis…. hearing my own boys sing along, or rap along to whatever song is storming through the radio…being in a car full of boys dancing and singing out loud on my oldest son’s 16th birthday  (though they were really hoping they could sell my husband on a trip to Hooters to celebrate!)

So there it is … Hello to my neighbors. I’ve read and continue to read your blogs. I can relate as a mom, wife, sister, woman, person, coworker, writer…whether it is shared music, shared ideas, shared feelings, my world is expanding and blogging has been a big piece of that.

Winter Wonderland Pt. 2

FrostedWell after a near miss with my computer having to visit the shop, a friend of ours was able to reset a date and reactivate my laptop. (Insert long deep breath of relief) Here are some photos I was hoping to include in my initial post! I hope that you enjoy a fresh snowy Maine morning…I know that my friend and I certainly did! The Field

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Winter Wonderland!

While the title of this one is Winter Wonderland, the truth of the matter is that I’m Wondering just when it’s going to be over! Maine has been hit with storm after storm, one on top of the other. We’ve gotten about fifteen inches in just a few days time, and believe me, if I was watching the storm through my living room picture window I would find it’s silence and strength beautiful and wintery. However my office doesn’t close, EVER, and the storms are starting mid-day. We drive home in a sheet of whiteness and as of late, whiteout conditions. We’ve been fighting the Polar Vortex, I believe that is what it was called, and when that lifted, storms collided to create the perfect blizzard conditions. It’s on the news…on the radio…plaguing several parts of the nation with ice and snow. Sounds dramatic doesn’t it? It isn’t really, and despite the frustrations of digging out and waiting for the plow man to arrive each evening, mornings like today absolutely take my breath away. The sky is a crisp blue, the air is fresh and a little warmer in its blanket of snow, and even the non snow fans like myself cannot help but respect Mother Nature and her choice of crisp white decoration of our landscape.

Last night I could not fall asleep so I grabbed my camera in preparation for my drive across Rte. 91 which runs from South Berwick to York, and if you know the side roads, will also take one to Kittery. This is the road I take every day with my Best girl Jeanne, who also works in my office. Each day we admire the natural beauty of the drive, and I repeatedly say “Boy, I really wish I had my camera.” It’s a standing joke at this point, but today, I had my camera. With my arm hanging out the window for our 9 mile run across 91, I caught a handful of beautiful pictures. Likewise, we were finally able to stop on the little bridge for down river shots. It’s just a lovely ride to work. (I’m the passenger by the way as no one in their right mind, after these last few storms, would be driving one handed, even WITH four wheel drive.)

Because the snow has been sticky snow, it clings tenderly to the limbs of our trees, light and dark wood. The contrast this year has been wonderful. Even at work, we go out with our phones and try to capture the best images. My phone is a tad older than the other phones so I don’t often win our little inhouse challenge, but it’s fun just the same. When I came in today with my camera, the ladies were excited, and picking out images they want photos of, possibly including inhouse candids for an office collage. (I am NOT in charge of that project!) So I am anxious to give the camera a turn with each lady and see where her creativity takes her, what images she captures that my eye has missed. It should be interesting.

It really is beautiful though, the snow against the various colored wood and crisp blue sky. It’s the kind of morning that reminds you how a slate can be wiped clean, how a dark cold night can generate a stunning and colorful morning, how the weight of whatever can be lifted. My friend used to tell me “Everything is better after it snows.” He was a skier, so of course it was better for him. But it’s true. This morning, stunning in all its glory, found my mood lightened. I cannot wait to get home and post photos, add them to my growing collection of pictures, and maybe email a few to my mother in Florida. My mood improved dramatically during my ride, taking pictures on a sunny morning, blue skies, stunning visuals, and cruising along the route with my best friend. We laughed and joked, she couldn’t believe how many pictures I was taking. She asked me about the camera, how hard it is to operate, did I think she can still buy this model, and then on to “OH That was a good one Kath…i can’t believe we are driving 40 mph and your camera is just capturing image after image!”

All this excitement and enthusiasm generated simply by the Winter Wonderland and my camera. So, I’m thinking, after writing this piece, I don’t wonder when it will be over so much as I just wonder when it will be warmer. I wonder when the daffodils will poke their lazy heads through the snow and demand to be heard. I wonder when the robins will return. I wonder how long before 27 degrees becomes 72, which brings up a whole new series of photographs and breathtaking sunsets and beach photos. And I wonder, will I ever get over having my camera bag as my companion to capture image after image, story after story, storm after storm, sunset after sunset. I wonder if I will ever have enough shots of the Maine coast, rolling hills, marshy landscapes, crashing surf, snow blanketed fields, crisp fall leaves, and freshly sprung Spring flowers. I wonder will I ever feel as lost in anything as I feel when I’m writing and taking pictures…I wonder!