Where Do Broken Blogs Go … Can They Find Their Way Home?

If I said I had been kidnapped by a monster to explain my lack of posting here over the last two weeks, it would not be far off from the truth. I took this photo at Eden Project over four years ago when I was in the process of relocating my life to Cornwall from the US. The monster in the background is made up of old electronic equipment, broken bits of televisions, washing machines, out-dated computers and other kinds of gadgets that can improve our lives or sometimes imprison us.

Held Hostage By My Indecision

Computer changes are at the top of the long list of distractions that have kept me from writing lately.  I’ve been getting updates from Apple for months letting me know that I needed to move to iCloud as Mobile Me was ending. Don’t worry if none of the details make sense to you, just know that over the last year I’ve known this was coming and put it off making a decision until now.

Keeping My Email

One of my chief concerns with not moving to iCloud had to do my email and I was only able to decide once I discovered I could leave it as it was and let some other significant parts of my online/connected life go. Even then, I waited until the last four days possible to do so and only after reading loads of confusing information. See what I mean about monsters and indecision.

No More iWeb

My first blog was through iWeb, which was a big part of the problem because it was affected by the discontinuation of Mobile Me and the required move to iCloud.  That blog became an archive for my earliest posts after I moved to WordPress in early 2009, a move necessitated by my lack of ability to moderate comments that were being left by a female stalker who did a variety of things to try to make my life miserable.

The early version of GOTJ no longer exists now. What you will see if you look for giftsofthejourney.com is this post as I mapped the domain name to my WordPress account knowing my iWeb version of the first GOTJ would disappear at the end of June.

I saved a copy of the first 80 or so posts and plan to move them over to this blog one post at a time, backdating them so they show up in the time period in which they were originally created. Even though it will take some work to republish them along with their comments, I think it will be worth the effort to have all of my posts since June 2008 finally in one place.

I’ve been wanting to use my domain name here without the addition of wordpress.com and hopefully this change to giftsofthejourney.com won’t create any problems for those of you who have subscribed to my blog. We’ll know after this post.

 

Speedy Evie Fairman Carries The Torch For The 2012 London Olympics

Evie Fairman, London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer with her proud Mom

There are times when I’m fortunate to be standing in just the right place to see and capture a moment that touches my heart. On Saturday I got a bit teary watching my friend, Julie greet her daughter, Evie as she arrived at the spot where we’d been waiting to cheer her on. Fifteen year-old Evie was one the special folks chosen to carry the Olympic flame through Cornwall and she did her family proud in her role as an Olympic Torchbearer.

The Olympic flame will pass through quite a few more hands before reaching London in time for the 2012 opening ceremony in 67 days and while I won’t be able to see any of the events live as I’ll be in the US for most of the Olympics, I won’t forget watching Evie run or the tender mother-daughter embrace on Evie’s big day.

I managed to get a few shots of Evie posing for pictures while she waited for the torchbearer before her, (#105) to arrive with the flame. You can see her with her torch as it looked before the big kiss … (the moment the flame is passed is called a kiss.)

I’ve lifted a bit of Evie’s nomination story from the Torchbearers site so you can read more about her, but let me just say having run along side her through the crowds yesterday with her dad, brother, and loads of other people all trying to get a photo, I learned that  … Speedy Evie Fairman can really run!

“Although Evie was born with only half a working heart (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome), she has always lived life to the full. From playing football and taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme to singing in the school choir and performing in musicals, she takes everything in her stride. She is an active member of the Youth Council of ‘Little Hearts Matter’, a national charity set up to provide support and information for children with single ventricular heart problems and their families, as well as raise awareness of the conditions and the care and attention these children need. As part of her Youth Council work, Evie spends a lot of her time mentoring other younger members, giving them advice and a chance to discuss their anxieties. By participating in major fund raising efforts and writing to celebrities for their help, she also works hard to help raise awareness which will only lead to more heart babies being treated swiftly soon after birth. Recently the City of Birmingham (where the charity’s offices are situated) recognised the extraordinary efforts of the Youth Council by giving each member the Freedom of the City. Evie may only have half a heart but she uses it to the full. She is an inspiration to all who come into contact with her and I feel honoured to be one of them.”  (Evie was nominated by one of her teachers at school)

Evie with her brother, Fred and her mom, Julie. (Sorry about the focus)

She posed for photos like a red carpet veteran.

The Kiss
I love the look on her face in this shot and the energy of the crowd scrambling to get a photograph. There were people in trees and hanging out of windows along the way.
This one looks as if she’s getting some last-minute advice before she takes off.
Security was tight with loads of police officers along the route.
In addition to the police, Evie had Olympic escorts who ran with her and kept the crowd from getting in her way. She was just about to begin running in this photograph. Notice the van in front with the camera crew in the back. There was point when the van driver had to speed up because Evie was running so fast.
And then she was off!
I was running along with her dad, Ben while he was trying to hang on to her brother, Fred and shoot video at the same time. People were running all around us so it was a bit hectic, but very exciting.
I stopped briefly for the dog shot below. It had come off its leash somehow and was frightened by all the bodies running past. I was going to try to help catch it, but the dog’s owner grabbed it right after I took the photo.
I got behind them after slowing down for the dogs and it was about here that I realized my friend Nicola Mitchell was there too when I saw her just above Fred’s head. She’s holding the cell photo with the pink stripe around it.
Fred couldn’t see a thing as was the case with me in the next minute and then he was lifted up for a better view. This was the moment where Evie passed the flame on to the next torchbearer, but I couldn’t get a shot of it. You can see the flame and torch just behind the police officer’s head.
On the far right you can see the last bit of the flame. Evie’s dad, Ben is right in front of me with the video camera and her brother, Fred has the best view of the exchange.
The was a party afterwards at the pub with family and friends making a great finish to a fun afternoon and evening. Well done, Evie!

Kitchen Renovation Week 2 – Is that Dust In My Soup?

I have to be really honest with you. Aside from emptying some cabinets of their contents, taking a few pictures and helping with the design decisions, I haven’t done any of the real work involved in our kitchen renovation. John’s the workhorse here. After Bob and Brian packed up and went home late last week, John got out his tools and went to work. Here’s a bit of what he’s been working on over the last few days.

I know the ceiling looks as if we’re making a dubious color choice, but have no fear … we are not going with a milk chocolate-colored ceiling. It  turns light pink as the plaster dries and then we’ll paint it white. Remember the door that was on the other side of the wall? If you look below you can see where it used to lead to before John closed it for good.

The master bedroom and my studio space were until a few days ago only accessed through a door at the top of the stairs that no longer exists. After John sealed it up, my feet kept wanting to walk the same way out of habit so I stuck a note on the wall to remind me. It’s only a few steps beyond the remaining door, but I got tired of having to back up. The “Closed” sign made John laugh when he saw it and later when I went into the kitchen I noticed he’d posted a sign of his own.

I thought his “Open” sign was pretty cute, but I was really impressed with how he reused the old doorway to close in the new opening from the kitchen to the hallway. 

This photo should have been before the last one as he hadn’t completed the door frame yet, but it gives you a good look at the wall to the right where he closed off the old doorway. The dark boards against the wall are from the hallway. It’s the same wood flooring that runs through the master bedroom and my bathroom and studio space.

Here’s what the space looked like today. Didn’t John do a great job? I’ll be painting the door white over the next few days so it blends in better with the wall and we’re getting rid of all the brass wall plates too. We’re leaving the half-glass door as it is with its natural wood finish.

We’re thinking of oak planks for the kitchen floor, but we’ve got to live with it kind of patchy (like the spot above) while the rest of the kitchen is being finished. John said it’s going to be a few months (more like August) before we’re through with the kitchen/dining room renovation so if you’re coming to see us this summer consider yourself warned. It’s pretty dusty here.

Pillow Talk

You wouldn’t believe what I went through to find these little darlings. I’ve been searching for months and it was not without some amusing misunderstandings along the way. John had no idea why I kept saying I was looking for pillows for the sofa and one for our bed.

Because I wasn’t very descriptive as in, “We need more color in those two parts of the house,” and we weren’t shopping for them together, he never had a clear idea of what I was looking for until recently.

Here in the UK, a pillow is something that goes on the bed and under your head at night. After seeing that the term “pillows” seemed confusing, I moved on to words like, “throw pillows and decorative pillows” which produced a few more strange looks before he said. “Oh, cushions, you want cushions!”

To which I replied, “Nooo … cushions are what we sit on, not put behind the small of our back for support or use to provide an accent color.” When I asked him if he knew about accent colors he said, “Accent colors … not really no.”

In the end it all worked out fine once he discovered what I wanted and why it was important to me. I say again important to me, because he didn’t see the need for them. I know I looked at hundreds of “cushions” online and spent months physically looking in various stores here and in the US when I happened to be someplace that sold them, but last week I finally decided that I would just have to make my own and asked John to take a trip to Truro which has a great fabric store.

Of course, it was the same thing … loads of choices and none of them right. It was only after I went into a little market area nearby that I narrowed my search and found the perfect and lovely pillows below. House of Rugs was the store where I snapped these up and put an end to a long hunt.

The sweetest part of it was when I took John into the store to show him the pillow, he took one look and said, “Right then, let’s get it.” He didn’t even pause at the price although I had a few minutes earlier which was 33 BPS or the equivalent of $51 for my American readers.

I was pretty surprised because even I thought they were a bit pricey, but we paid for the one we took with us, ordered a second one, and I walked out of there all giggly that I had found the perfect pillow.

I asked him later why he didn’t even hesitate over the cost as he’s usually fairly frugal and he said, “I could see they made you happy.”

What a sweetie, huh?

Now if I can just convince him that we need a new rug to go with the cushions … or maybe even a blue comfy chair for me … I have just the spot in mind.

I’m holding this up at a funny angle so you can see the colors I was trying to add to the room. The colors I wanted are in the artwork around the room with some right behind it in this photo. These are just two that have the blues and greens I was hoping to duplicate in my pillows.

Here’s a look when we just had the one cushion and later with both after we picked up the second one yesterday. I can imagine a blue chair off to the left side of the fireplace … can you?

The coffee table is not as bright white as it looks here and it usually has something on it such as flowers or a plant. John made it 42 years ago mostly from driftwood he picked up on the beach in Ireland. I like how it provides some lightness with so much dark furniture and the pillows help as well.

I pulled the oil painting above the sofa out of the attic when we were decorating the living room a couple of years ago and I’m thinking it may be time for a change to something else now.

It’s funny how you begin by thinking that adding a throw cushion or two will complete the picture and suddenly see that there’s more to do.

Suggestions anyone?

Bookend Love – Walton & Wylly

Wylly and Walton were brother and sister, they were also my great-aunt and my maternal grandfather. Wylly, christened William Michael, was two years older than her brother Walton. Linked by more than blood they shared a love of books and the written word. Wylly grew up to be a writer and journalist and Walton owned a book business, selling rare books and civil war reprints.

I have copies of the books my aunt wrote and the gifts she gave me over the years, but I have nothing except a few photographs of my grandfather who died when I was two. That changed the other day when my cousin, McKenzie surprised me by sending a set of bookends my grandfather, Walton made for his sister, Wylly.

They arrived in a small box that had a familiar smell even before I had it opened.

You may remember this post where I wrote about gifts from Aunt Wylly over the years and how much my sister Margaret and I loved the smell when we would open our presents at birthdays and Christmas. Seeing the package of mothballs and thinking about why McKenzie had gone to the trouble to put some into my package made me smile.

Here are the bookends my grandfather made for his sister, Wylly Folk St. John. It feels right that they should be tucked in tight around the books she wrote. I’m not sure how old he was when he built them for her, but I have a feeling it may have been a task for one of his boy scout merit badges. I’ve placed them in a slightly different way than they were intended, but I can see them more clearly from where I sit and write.

I moved this particular book to the side so you could see a bookend next to one of my favorite books my aunt wrote called, ‘The Ghost Next Door.’ It’s the book I took my daughter Miranda’s name from to honor my aunt. Her parents named her William Michael even though she surprised them when she was born by being a girl. Everyone called her Willie growing up which she later changed to Wylly and I never heard her complain about her unusual name. She was like a dear grandmother to me, but I couldn’t bring myself to give my daughter a boy’s name and Miranda seemed like both a perfect fit for baby girl and a sweet way to honor my connection to my great-aunt.

I like how the initials ‘WF’ could be Walton or Willie ‘Wylly’ Folk. The style of the initials makes me think of the Art deco period in the 1920s. My grandfather was born in 1910 and would have been in his teen years as the style was becoming popular. I don’t remember ever hearing stories about him being handy with tools or doing any woodcarving as an adult so I think I may be right in assuming these were made by a young Walton.

The University of Georgia has all of my aunt’s letters, manuscripts, and personal correspondence in its rare books and special collections library and I’m hoping a bit of research the next time I’m home will give me more details about the history of the bookends.

Lacking the real story, the writer in me has already created several versions of when and how my grandfather made them which will have to do until I can discover more. I feel sure both my aunt and grandfather would be pleased to know how valued and well-loved they still are and I’m terribly grateful to my cousin McKenzie for giving them to me. They’ve had a special place on her bookshelf for many years and it’s a sweet gift of family connection that she has shared with me by passing them on.

Defining Moments – Giving Up The Gold

Defining Moments

Having found a box and bought packing supplies, I found it slightly ironic that when I began to pack up most of my photography equipment to send off to sell, ‘Defining Moments,’ were the words that came to mind.

Perhaps it was a subtle whisper from the ghost of Alfred Eisenstadet.

While not a picture perfect moment, it was a defining one for me. I’ve been holding on to an idea of who I am that no longer fits me. I wrote about this in detail a few weeks ago when I gave you a look at some of the images from weddings I’ve photographed in the past.

Wedding photography as a career no longer suits my lifestyle. That doesn’t mean leaving it behind is painless and it’s about more than the just the idea of losing money on expensive equipment.

I love the energy of a wedding day shoot and the private access it gives me to the stories of the people involved. There’s a thrill that comes from knowing you have an almost open invitation to discreetly document the moments they might not remember until later when they see your work.

I may miss the excitement of wedding day drama, but the business side of it leaves me cold and life passes too quickly to waste time doing things that don’t give back enough to support your passion. I always hated when potential clients wanted haggle over my fees as if we were at the corner market buying and selling fruit. It felt demeaning to us both.

As I was going through my camera gear making decisions about what needed to go, I had everything laid out on a low table in our living room and could see just how much I’d invested over the years. I mentally added up the cost of certain pieces as I picked up a camera with my favorite lens still attached, but it was the weighty feel of it in my hands rather than the money that made me pause as I considered how once it was gone, I was unlikely to ever hold one so substantial again.

I took off the lens cap and looked through the viewfinder and had a serious heart pang at the thought of letting it all go. It’s a lot of money I thought, maybe I should just hang on to this one camera and lens, maybe I could use it for …

After loads of internal dialogue, I replayed the logical reasons why I didn’t need this equipment if I wasn’t doing professional work, but it was the memory of a story I’d heard that reassured me that I was doing the right thing by selling it all now.

Hoarding Your Gold

Most of us have things like this in our lives, they hang around taking up space long after we’ve moved on. I told John that seeing the money-making tools my photography life laid out for me to touch felt a bit like the story of the miser who kept his gold under the floorboards of his house. I can’t remember the details, but what came to mind was the image of the miser up late at night when everyone was asleep, taking out his gold and counting it while admiring its beauty and imagining all the things he could buy with his fortune.

The problem was he never spent it, never shared it, and died with it still hidden under floor.

My camera equipment has been like that for a while … safely tucked away, but not being used. While it was here, there was room for ambiguity about the future, at least with regard to one area of my life. Giving up ‘my gold’ may seem like I’m closing a door on photography, but I’ve got another idea more suited to the life I’m constantly creating.

I’ve been using a camera for over forty years and that’s not going to change. I like shooting on the fly so my gear will likely stay small from now on. It’s funny to see echos of my current style in this playground snap taken when I was ten. It’s one of the few pictures I still have taken with my first camera.

I do love the action shot!

Speaking of action shots, I took this one a few minutes ago. With the exception of a few items, that’s my professional photo life all wrapped up tight and tidy in a box … next stop MPB Photographic. Here’s hoping someone out there finds a good use for my gear.

I’ve still got what I need for now.

“The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE “

Ernst Haas

Ditching A Plan That No Longer Works

How many times have you made a decision and after investing time and serious money to support your plans, later changed your mind? Did you let go and move on with ease or was it a struggle?

I’ve been wrestling with one that I couldn’t seem to make. For more than three years, I’ve let my indecision suck energy from me and felt loads of remorse over my apathetic attitude towards what I once considered a perfect career.

When I lived in the US, this vision of my future fit well into my business plan for a creative life. I invested in equipment and training designed to cover both the technical and business aspects and paid for quality in both areas.

When I felt ready to deliver a good product, I put myself into situations to prove to myself that this was a good fit. I photographed weddings, PR events, family portraits, and even a red carpet event in Times Square while in New York.

And it was good, for a while.

After a weekend workshop with Denis Reggie, who the New York Times called ” A Storyteller with a Camera,” and who Oprah Winfrey said was ” The Best in the Business, ” I set up my Linked In account and identified myself as the owner of Elizabeth Harper Photographers.

Denis Reggie advised that by using the word photographers instead of photographer or photography, I would leave room to include other photographers who might shoot weddings with me.

During a workshop with Liana Lehman Hall that focused on the business of photography, we did a bit of writing as well and Liana told me that she could see me doing something similar to Jasmine Star, a photographer who incorporates words and story into her blog posts and client images. I knew then that I could write and that I was good at encouraging people to share their stories and after a look at Jasmine Star’s website, I thought it was indeed the kind of thing I had thought of doing to use both skills. The combination seemed as if it might satisfy my desire to write while earning a living as a wedding photographer.

This might have worked had I stayed in Georgia and not met John. Moving to the UK changed many things for me one of which was my desire to work as a wedding photographer. I still love weddings and I enjoy getting the shot that defines the day or a documents a special moment, I’ve just decided that I don’t want to do it for a living.

The rhythm of days spent writing has the strongest pull now and after worrying that I was throwing away money spent on training and camera equipment by not building a career in the UK as a photographer, I decided to end my ambiguity and sell my gear.

My decision to close the door on one career path is an opportunity for someone else who may have been dreaming of something as big as a new direction, or just adding more equipment to their camera bag.

Here are few images from some of the weddings I’ve photographed along with two of a mother and child.

    

 

 

Now that I’ve made peace with redefining how I see myself, I’ll be heading over to “Linked In” to change how the Linked In community sees me.

I’ve contacted a business in the UK that is well-regarded for buying and selling used photography equipment and they’ve given me a quote. As is the way with companies like this one, the price is a good bit lower than can be gained by selling it myself.

Before I decide to sell it on Ebay or Amazon or make use of the company I contacted, I wanted to share it here. I am including a list of the items in case any of my readers wish to add to their gear.

Please consider forwarding this post on to anyone you know who might be interested in well cared for camera equipment.

(2) Nikon D200 Bodies
Nikon Lens ED AF-S VR-NIKKOr 70-200 2.8,
Nikon Lens AF 50 1.4,
Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 18-200 3.5-5.6 ED,
Nikon DX ED Fisheye,
Nikon DX AF-S 17-55 2.8 G ED
(2) Nikon Speedlights SB-600,
Nikon Speedlight SB-800
Manfrotto 3021BPRO
Manfrotto Head 3265
Quantum Turbo 2×2 Battery Pack,
4 camera batteries
1 Extreme IV Sandisk 8.0GB
1 Extreme IV Sandisk 4.0GB
(3) 4.0 Sandisk
(2) Sandisk Ultra II 1.0GB
(2) Sandisk 1.0 GB
1 Sandisk Ultra II 2.0 GB
Never Used
UV 77mm Crystal Optics Filter
C PL 77mm Crystal Optics Filter
DIgital Circular PLD 77mm
USED
Quantaray 72mm C-PL
Quantaray 77mm QMC-UV
FLD 77mm Crystal Optics

I’m happy to provide photos of the items and answer any questions. Thanks for helping me move on and I hope this ending is a new beginning for you or someone you know.   

The Cat, The Turkey Neck, & A Change In My Direction

Alfie, is a neighbor’s cat who comes over almost daily to have his ears scratched and to see what food he can scrounge. At Christmas he found his way up to the temporary bird table John built to feed the birds over the winter after an older one fell apart.

It always amazes me what John thinks the birds will enjoy and I’m surprised to see them eat things at times that I thought they would never go for. Take for instance, the cooked turkey neck hanging in the top right of the photograph.

The birds would not touch it, but Alfie … he seemed to really want it!

I photographed him through the sliding glass door while standing behind the Christmas tree thinking I might see him leap into action.

He came back for several days. He’d leap up three feet onto the bird table and then he stare at at the turkey neck and look around like he was thinking about the best way to reach it.

I really wanted him to take a chance and go after it, but he never did. I waited, hiding behind the tree with my camera hoping to see him jump to get it or climb up and reach down from the boards above, but he always seemed a bit unsure and afterwards I labeled his hesitation and lack of follow through as a failure.

After a few days, John took the turkey neck down and threw it out.

Seeing these photos made me consider a big decision I made the other day. It was something I had thought about for a while, but just could not move forward for a number of reasons. I was kind of like Alfie, part way there but not all the way and I had to wonder what was holding me back.

My biggest obstacle was me and my sometimes screwy way of thinking that things can only be seen one of two ways such as good or bad, black or white, and almost always, as a success or failure. This kind of thinking leaves no room for changing your mind or choosing another path which is clearly what I have needed to do for a while.

Choosing ‘Daily’ as my word for 2012 felt big when I did it and loaded with practicality. I did not imagine it would help me make such a big decision so soon, but when I used the daily five to break it down, the answer was simple and instead of angst, I felt relief.

I need a day or two to get a photograph together and I’ll be happy to share this change in direction with you then.

Smoke And Fire – Letting Go And Staying Open

A few days ago I wrote a piece called ‘ Up In Smoke ‘ if you missed it, take a minute and go back for a quick read through. What follows will make more sense if you do.

Now that you’ve caught up, take a look the beach bonfire where the ceramic containers went into fire on New Year’s Day so the strips of paper inside could be turned to ash and the wishes and burdens released.

Here’s shot from a distance to give you some scale for the rockiness of the area.

Remember when I said there would be sausages roasted over the fire … well, that is Tina’s brother in the foreground with a sausage on a stick. He was there with his wife and daughter and wrote about his bonfire experience in the comment section here. I’ve included it below as well. (Thanks, Pablo)

” Ari, Amber and I really enjoyed the wonderful new years day bonfire on Baby Bay, watching the urns get hotter and hotter as we cooked hot dogs and sausages. After about an hour the urns got so hot that the wishes and burdens caught flame and made a whooshing sound as they exhaled fire and smoke from the egg like urns. It reminded me of the celebration of lights that signal the coming of longer days and rests at the heart of our solstice inspired christian midwinter festivals.”

Ahhh … Cornish sausages over an open fire. I have to eat them with American mustard though. I carry it with me when I know I’ll be eating some especially at our village pub. Nothing says American like pulling a BIG bottle of French’s mustard from your handbag.

Big thanks to Amyra Bunyard who documented the process and gave me permission to use her images here.

One Word With Mixed Meaning For 2012: My Daily Five

For the last few years I have chosen a word at the beginning of January designed to keep me honest and on track with my goals. I’m honest by nature so that wasn’t very challenging on it’s own and when it comes to accomplishing certain goals, I’m not sure they worked as well as I’d hoped.

So I’ve decided for 2012 that I need to get more specific and slightly boring about it.

I need a workhorse of a word to slog through the details that I hate. I need a better plan, one with more details and end dates otherwise I drift a bit too much in whatever direction I want to go for the day. Too many projects and nothing gets completed so I need a way to break it down.

Being naturally tangential can be great for ‘big picture’ people like me, but bad if you don’t have a team to share the detail work with. It’s all up to me what happens this year and I’d like to get a few more things done.

There’s nothing glamorous about this year’s word. It’s fairly boring like brushing your teeth or paying your bills on time … two areas that can’t be neglected without some obvious consequences.

The word I’ve chosen for 2012 is : DAILY - occurring, made, or acted upon every day

Because I tend to use mnemonic devices to remember things, I thought of a way to make my word ‘Daily’ even more useful to me. By breaking it down into the five letters that make up the word, I can assign a letter to each digit on my hand.

Here’s an example of why I need a little more help staying focused. When I looked at my hands and counted out D-A-I-L-Y, I was reminded of how rough my hands look most days. Due to loads of hand washing, (I’m germ conscious, but not obsessed) and not enough hand lotion use, I’ve always thought that my age was more obvious on the backs of my hands than on my face.

That belief may be changing soon as my face seems to be catching up, but I’m okay with that. I’ve got more important things to focus on than worrying about getting older, something that I’ve considered a privilege since my early 30s and even more so now as I see more people my age and younger dying too soon.

See what I mean about my tangential thinking needing help to focused … I started with a simple task assignment beginning with my thumb and the letter D and the next thing you know, my mind has moved on to aging and early death. That’s how it happens for me, one minute I’m here and the next I’m on to something else.

Which leads me to the DAILY five.

Here’s the short version.

D – Diet: My daily diet needs to be better, less sugar and more fruit & veg.

A – Appreciate: This one’s not usually an issue for me, but I want to be sure others in my
life feel it by being less distracted when I’m with them.

I – Imagine: I want to keep dreaming the big dreams. I love living with possibility.

L – Listen:  I have got to get better with this. I still talk way too much sometimes.

Y – Yield: The return on my investment of time, energy, and emotion, and is it worth it?

I’m keeping it simple to stay focused and hopefully it will be as easy as a DAILY wave of my hand.

How about you … any words or links to words of your own for 2012?