Friday, August 23, 2013

I'm Still Here...

I apologize for not posting for over a week.  My new job is starting up and, we have a new little addition to our pet family that I can't wait to update on soon!  I should be back to a regular posting schedule in a few weeks.  As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week #32: In Motion

In 2013 I am participating in a weekly themed photo project on flickr. Here are my photos so far. The theme for 8/5 - 8/11 was "In Motion".

Last night, coming back across town from dinner with my parents, I knew I wanted to try and get a shot of the Boardwalk at night for my "in motion" shot. I took this one from the bluffs overlooking Seabright beach. It was much harder than I thought to get a good, long exposure shot of the lights on all the rides because I forgot my tripod and I was shooting at a significant distance, but this is the best of the bunch. I like how it has a kind of abstract quality to it and captures the motion the lights, the rides, and the riders.

To give you an idea of how far away I was from the Boardwalk, here's a long shot from the same session. Again, no tripod so not as sharp as I'd like:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Inspiration Points

This week I've been thinking about patience and perseverance.  I injured my foot and had to take a break from working out, which was really frustrating for me.  I had to take a step back and just accept the situation and wait until my foot was ready to run and Zumba again.  Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that the situation is not ideal but temporary, that you have been through worse things before, and that it is just a bump in the road on a much longer journey.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Week # 31: DOF

In 2013 I am participating in a weekly themed photo project on flickr. Here are my photos so far. The theme for 7/29-8/4 was "DOF" which stands for depth of field.

I upgraded to a new phone this week, after getting fed up with my old brick from 2010.  I got a Nokia Lumina 822, and along with 4G (wow!  my apps actually work!) I have a significantly better camera in this phone.  I'm excited about using it for more weekly and scavenger hunt photos, and exploring the burgeoning world of phone photography.

So far I like the features of this phone, and I felt I was able to capture the concept I had for this week's theme.  These are "sweet 100" cherry tomatoes in our garden, yum!  I was hoping to use the graduating size and of the tomatoes to enhance the shallow depth of frame.  I think I got surprisingly good results from my new little camera.

Tomato DoF

Saturday, August 3, 2013

2013 Resolutions: July & August Goals

This year, I am working on new resolutions each month and am using Gretchen Rubin's monthly resolution system to create and track behaviors that I hope will increase my overall happiness. I updated me June goals in a separate post.

Summer has reached that turning point where I am finally getting a productive vacation routine going, just in time to start getting ready to go back to work!  I have an extra long vacation this year since my old district got out in early June and my new district does not go back until the end of this month, so I really can't complain.  For the first time in a long time I feel relaxed and ready to return to work which, in my profession, is priceless.

I originally planned to focus my goals for July on "family" and for August on "friends" but at the end of June I decided to combine the two and just focus for two months on the same set of goals.  So, for July and August I am trying to visit and spend time with friends and family as much as possible.  This is a big change for me from even two years ago, when I was working intensely on changing my diet, getting fit, and really discovering the keys to a more stress-free life and preferred to spend time alone working on my own projects and ideas.  I would consider myself a much happier person today, and one of the benefits of that is more clearly recognizing the value of time spent with others.

In order to accomplish my goal over these two months, I have tried to say "yes" to attending as many social engagements as I can, which is also a change for me.  Again, where I once craved time alone, I am learning to recognize just how spending time with other people contributes to my overall happiness and also helps me to find a greater clarity of purpose and focus in the larger community outside myself.  It is as though I have done a great deal of internal, introspective work over the past few years and am now ready to turn outward and use what I have learned to help others along their journey.

The best way for me to help others that I care about is to reach out, connect, and spend time together.  The more that I do this, even though it is sometimes out of my comfort zone, the happier I am in the long run. Fortunately, my parents and I now live in the same town and my brothers and their families are both visiting this summer so I will get a chance to see my whole extended family before I return to work.  Even though there are only a few weeks of summer left, there are still plenty of fun adventures ahead!