341: WanderingPosted: August 30, 2011
Several posts ago (maybe more than several), Kathy, the fabulous woman who inspired me to take on the challenge of getting outside every single day for a year, asked in the comments if I’d given any thought to what I was going to do when this commitment ended. I’ve gotten behind in answering comments and didn’t answer her question there, but I have been giving it a lot of thought since she asked. Those of you who have been blogging for a while understand that giving something in the comments a lot of thought often means a blog post because it’s a) just too long to answer in the comments section, and b) too good to pass up when you get an idea for a blog post. When you are blogging every single blessed day, an idea for a blog post is a gift from the gods.
My first thoughts about what I would do were related more to the blogging aspect of the commitment than the outdoors part. I gave some consideration to taking a nice long break from blogging. But it has become such a habit now that I expect I’ll keep going until I reach a point where I either need, want, or am forced to take a break.
It is said that a habit is formed in 21 days. Or is it 28? No matter. Three or four weeks, give or take. But I have learned there is a world of difference between a habit and a lifestyle change. Quitting smoking taught me that it takes at least a year to adjust to the New State of Normal. A full turn of the wheel of the year is needed to learn what it is to be comfortable in this new normality. One must pass through each of the seasons and the things associated with the seasons. Vacations, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, busy days, lazy days, stressful days, every day.
The wonderful thing (I have learned) about this year-long commitment to get outside every day is that it is now more than a habit. It is a lifestyle change. I cannot imagine letting a day go by without getting outside.
So when I think about what I’m going to do next, I also think about what I might want to change. Exploring “what next?” has brought up many possibilities, not all of them realistic. That’s okay. It’s fun to explore, no matter how outrageous that exploration may be. Sometimes those outrageous expeditions result in the seeds of sensible goals.
One of the what-ifs involved giving up photography for a full year. Whoa! Where did that come from? I love photography. It is something I’m very passionate about. Give it up? For a full year? Ridiculous.
But hold on a minute. It’s worth looking into this idea. What if I put down the camera for an entire year? Where would that lead? It would certainly free up some time for me. Hours and hours and hours of time would become available for me to spend reading and writing, two aspects of my life that I have been neglecting during this past year. My blogging methods would change. I would have to rely on words to form the images I’m no longer capturing with a camera, something I used to do before I held a digital camera in my hot little hands.
To be honest, I find that idea somewhat frightening. Like stepping into the woods on a moonless night, I also find it enticing and exciting.
A full year for such an experiment might not be the best of ideas, but I could start taking days off. Or a week off here and there. Pretend I don’t have a camera and live life without framing and capturing it. Knowing myself as I do, I would find other ways to frame and capture some of the moments. Mostly through writing, I suspect, but there is always the possibility I might take up learning to draw again.
There are other possibilities, changes, I’m exploring. I’m not sure where they will lead, if anywhere, just yet. But I do think one of them will lead to another commitment, one that will help me with some needed change.
Today’s Outdoor Adventures
Summer is back, all very warm and fuzzy. The temperature will be steadily climbing throughout the week until we get near 90 on Friday. Then it looks like there’s another cool down arriving in time for the weekend.
There are all kinds of flowers blooming now, many I’ve never seen before. I’m having a tough time identifying them. That’s okay. I’ll just enjoy them. Or maybe I’ll start making up my own names for them.
It seems quiet around the pond today. The birds are not as vocal as they have been throughout the summer. The chorus of the cicadas continues, but even their noise seems to have lessened. Perhaps it’s the heat.
That’s about it from the Bogs for today. Thanks for dropping by and joining me in my rambles.