…or goals, but the passing of another year inspires all of us to think of the things we might like to change, do or make. So, Little a. and J. and Charlotte – this goes out to you…..
In 2010 I found myself at a crossroads. As life progresses and you figure out how to make a living at your passions, you can come to a juncture where you forget what you loved about them in the first place. This is one of the reasons that I love watching bands like U2 or the Rolling Stones. They have been rocking it for a very long time (Did anyone else love the movie Rolling Stones in Hyde Park?)….I am a big believer that you can have anything you want, but you can’t have it all. For me, 2010 was a time for reconnecting to my passions and for finding new ones.
The link above to an article from the NY Times certainly outlines how to keep your resolutions but I find it just important to go back and understand if you kept them and why….
At the turn of the year, I was doing some file management (being paperless and all) and came across my resolutions from 2010 – which, following the guidance from the NY times, I had written and filed away. It was an interesting convergence – as at precisely the same time, I crossed the 1000th post on the PJ Charles blog. Something 3 years ago I hadn’t even considered.
My resolutions were the result of wanting to structure my life to find greater personal balance and build more intimate relationships with my friends and family.
I vowed to use my home as a more satisfying foundation for those relationships. As a result we remodeled parts of our home in Laguna giving both Dallas and Laguna the facelift and attention they deserved.
I wanted to spend more time with people I enjoyed – the outcome of which was Project Mimi – a way for me to honor my amazing Grandmother, record family recipes, begin to understand photography and blogging and build those more intimate Dallas relationships I craved. Last year Mimi passed away, but before she did, she saw the site. It was a bit too painful for me last year to continue what I started, but this year I am recommitting if for no other reason than I miss her. What I loved about the project as well, is that my Grandmother affected my life up until the day she died. Such a gift.
I wanted more outside interests – and listed blogging, charitable work, participating in a more artistic community. Ironically it was trying to understand blogging that brought me to photography – that and the first camera CF bought me. Three years later, the passion for photography is as strong as any passion I have ever had. It not only taught me to blog, but has helped me understand my point of view beyond visual journalism. I am much more confident with technology which has had huge benefits for me in my work. And I have found greater balance as I make time to shoot and to learn. An interesting output of this is a developing belief that as we grow older, we forget how to learn and are more unwilling to put ourselves in that vulnerable position. I am certainly glad I did. Today, I am humbled by the people who like my work and have asked me to shoot, or teach them. It appears so easy to some – and yet, I know that this has been a three-year journey with a big investment to just get to this place. My aspirations are still for so much more, and I am humbled in seeing the work of my teacher and mentor and other notable photographers.
It has made me a more open person.
And last year I committed to Strive for College an amazing organization led by the inspiring Michael Carter.
I wanted to stop confusing relaxing with shutting down. I still have this issue…. pushing myself to do more and more in the time I have, until I just stop and can’t do any more. But I find on balance that I enjoy myself more, and have stopped taking things too seriously.
I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get from standing back and saying “I made this”.. whether a picture, planting a garden, cooking a meal, or writing a post – and in a collaborative world, that sense of personal achievement has been important for me.
And lastly – to pay it forward by simply adding one-act of unacknowledged kindness a day. It’s my little savings bank of sorts and I find the more I give, the more I want to give.
In closing – I am a big believer in the power of goals – setting objectives for your life and measuring the distance travelled. It has been my approach to my life – not just 2010 – and I have seen and achieved things I never thought possible.