Sea Blue Lens


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My Life in Pictures: 2016

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the calendar of photos I post at the end of each month. I’ve been using the Project 365 Pro iPhone app for over two years now. At the end of last year, I collected all twelve months into one blog post that summed up my whole year — my daily visual diary. I enjoyed seeing them together that way so much that I decided to do it again.

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What I especially like about this gathering of the parts into a whole is being able to scroll through the year, observing how the subjects, weather, activities, and colors change as the seasons roll by.

2016 was a difficult year in many respects, and I realize these photos don’t really reflect that. Instead they are my attempt to find moments of beauty, curiosity, and joy in my own small world despite often feeling overwhelmed and in despair about the happenings in the larger world around us all.

And last, when I revisited last year’s calendar post, I noticed that I’d ended with a selfie to start the new year. Hm, I’d forgotten about that. But a tradition is a tradition, so here you go, the current me, or at least me as of 20 minutes ago:

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I had a birthday in December, one of those big round numbers that make you stop and say, “NO, that can’t be right.” But it is right, and there’s no time to waste. I’d better go get out of my pajamas!

My Word for 2017 is Hope. I need it. The world needs it. I’m so grateful to have all of you in my life – whether we know each other in person or through this amazing online community that reaches around the world. Your kindness, love and friendship bring me joy – and hope – every single day.

Happy New Year, my friends. May it be a good one!


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Finding Focus

The warmer, longer days seem to have switched on a surge of energy in me, and I find myself wanting to Get Things Done. There are so many projects on my to-do list — where do I start? Also, it’s summer, and I want to have fun!

IMG_1904-2Summer Dreams

One of the problems with retirement, though it’s a delightful problem to have, is that you can have too much free time on your hands. In fact, it’s all free time. I’m a person who prefers spontaneity, who doesn’t like being regimented and scheduled. There’s always tomorrow, right? But recently I came across a line in a book I’m reading, Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, about establishing good habits and breaking bad ones. She wrote, “Something that can be done at any time often happens at no time.”

That line pierced me to the heart. I have always been a terrible procrastinator, and I suddenly, vividly, realized that I could easily spend the rest of my life doing, basically, nothing. Waiting until “tomorrow.” And while I hope and expect that I still have lots of tomorrows ahead of me, I don’t want to waste any of them!

IMG_0844-2Making Plans

So . . . I’ve bought a calendar/diary, the kind that shows a week at a time, that I plan to use to give my days a bit of structure and routine. I’m editing my Need-to-do list, prioritizing projects and breaking them down into steps. I’m making Want-to-do lists, too, of places to go and things to do for pleasure and adventure, of books to read, of photography classes, photo walks and projects to complete. All those things are going into the calendar.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Right now it’s time for…hm, let me check my calendar for Sunday.

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Oh, well. Baby steps! Enjoy the day, my friends. 🙂


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My Year in Pictures: 2015

I recently completed a 365 project (my second), and it’s been one of my favorite activities over the past year. In November of 2014 I downloaded an app called Project 365 Pro onto my iPhone. I take/choose one photo every day, which the app puts into a calendar format. It’s been fun, and on many days over the past year has been my saving grace. It’s the fact that it is so casual, so not serious, that makes it so therapeutic.

No matter my mood — happy or sad, energetic or tired, optimistic or discouraged — I remember I need a photo for my calendar. So I go outside and take a walk, or look around the house with fresh eyes, and find something to photograph. The activity itself is refreshing, and there’s something I find very satisfying about the small accomplishment of filling that day’s calendar square with an image. Other things might have gone wrong, but at least I did that!

At the end of each month, I’ve saved the calendar page and shared it on Facebook. And now I have a brief visual diary of the past year. Each image is a reminder of something that happened, or that I did or saw. And there’s a record of me as part of my own life, too, since I’ve included at least one self-portrait each month.

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably seen these already. But here it is, my year collected in one place. It’s not necessarily Art, it’s just life.

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I learned about the Project 365 Pro app from the lovely Carol Hart after seeing her post her own months of photos on Facebook. There are a number of similar apps, some with more features, available for iPhone and probably for Android phones, too. I like this one for its simplicity and ease of use.

Scrolling through all of these months, I’m shocked at how fast each one has gone by, how quickly one season rolls into the next. It reminds me that I want to be present in my life every day, no matter what that day may bring. I’m starting my new calendar right now  — with a new selfie for the New Year.

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Someone in a Facebook group I’m a member of referred to 2016 as “Sweet Sixteen.” I love that thought! I wish you all a happy, healthy, fulfilling, sweet new year!