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Hiking – As Good As It Gets

It’s Friday and all I can say is – FINALLY!  I’m one of those folks who lives for the weekend.  And when the weekend comes, I try to make the most of it.

Last weekend, my brother and I went hiking.  Hiking has become one of my favorite activities.  After being cooped up in an office all week, being out on the trails is quite restorative.  

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Being 51 years old, I can remember the time before cellphones and the internet.  I gotta say – those were some good days.  We didn’t have crap being shoved in our faces 24/7.   Living in a rural area, we had an antenna for our television.  We could count on ABC, CBS and NBC and when the weather was good, we might get PBS.  We knew our neighbors and we looked out for each other.  

I spent my childhood playing in the woods, floating on inner-tubes in the river and hanging out at the fish house where I got my first “job” heading shrimp.  I was in second grade.  That job gave me spending money and later helped buy my school clothes.  It taught me the value of honest work.

I look at the world now and realize that we (my generation) were the lucky ones.  Our parents weren’t hovering over us every moment.  Seriously, it never occurred to my folks that it might not be safe for my sister and I to be floating on inner-tubes in a river by ourselves.  They told us where we could float and they expected us to listen.  And we did.

I see kids now – still in elementary school carrying cellphones.  Their little faces glued to the screens.  I can’t help but wish that I could wave a magic wand and drop them in the middle of 1976.  No cellphones or video games to occupy their time/mind. Instead, they’d have the opportunity to explore the world around them, to build forts, walk the woods, catch clams and chew on sour weed.  

The world wasn’t perfect then.  It’s not perfect now.  But for a kid – growing up “unplugged” was about as perfect as we could get. 

Maybe that’s why I like hiking so much.  For a few hours, I’m on an adventure, exploring new paths with no unwanted interruptions.  I’m unplugged and I’m lucky.

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photography magic

I loved Harry Potter.  Still do.  There’s something about the story that speaks to the possibilities – escaping the humdrum and finding that bit more…

Photography, in its own way, is magic.  We can capture moments in time and create images that inspire our imagination.

These images were from my latest light painting effort.

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Wishing you a magical weekend.

-Deb

 

Putting a Little More Life in my Daily Living

This past month has been a busy one.  I turned fifty-one.  Somehow, I thought it would take longer to reach middle age than what it has.  I celebrated my last day being 50 by target shooting and going for a 5 mile hike.  All in all – it was a good day!

My spare time has been spent playing with my camera.  I’ve given light painting a try and I’ve found it to be a fun, creative outlet for ridding myself of the day’s stress.  Below are a couple of the photos I’ve taken.

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Loved the reptilian feel of this one. Is it me or can you see a snake too?

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Light painting with a crystal ball

Back in January, I started an exercise program through work.  Tomorrow begins week 13 of the 14 week challenge.  At the beginning of the program, I had to choose some motivational quotes that would inspire me along my journey.   One of the motivational quotes I chose was:

                       Three months from now, you will thank yourself.   

(I looked but couldn’t find the author of the quote.)

It’s been 3 months – and I’m so thankful for the changes in my life.  Life is so much more fulfilling when you are taking advantage of your time instead of letting it drift away.

There’s more hiking, target practice and camera time on the calendar and much less time in front of the television.

Here’s wishing you lots of living!  Have a great week!

-Deb

P.S.  Less television also means more reading time.  I’m a huge fan of YA novels.  Recently finished John Mantooth’s – The Year of the Storm.   It’s got a bit of a Southern Gothic feel.  A little different from my usual reads but really good.         

 

My Little Victory

I came across this quote the other day:

The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. 

                                                                                                                                                 -Bill Phillips

I’ve adopted this as my mantra.

When I turned 50, I promised myself that I’d make an effort to get in shape, to be a healthier me.  Only, the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months and 2017 became 2018.   I could see my fifty-first year on the horizon and I was quite disappointed with myself.  After all, I have a goal of living to be at least 103 years old.  But, poor health choices were sending me down an entirely different road.

Today begins week six of the health and wellness challenge that I promised myself I would complete.  After five weeks of making healthier food choices and doing some strength and cardio training, I’m happy to say that I’m on my way to becoming the person I want to be.   I’ve lost weight and inches and have more energy.

Making progress feels so much better than making excuses.

So – this is me having a little victory moment!

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I hope you experience a victory of your own this week!

Take care.

-Deb

reflection and change

As you all know – I took a break from writing, blogging, and twitter.  I’d stop by occasionally but for the most part – I didn’t bother.  I can’t say that about Instagram.  While I might not have posted too often, I would visit daily and I found a lot of beauty on my feed.  I loved that.  

I turned fifty in 2017.  It wasn’t traumatic.  It was in many ways, just another birthday.  But for a person who has a goal of being a centenarian, fifty is a possible midway point.   And that was cause for reflection.

My life has been blessed.  Oh, I’ve suffered my share of bumps and bruises along the way but the good has outweighed the bad.  That is something for which to be grateful.

Changes, however, needed to happen.

I embraced a more minimalist approach to life.  Don’t get me wrong – I still like my stuff – but it’s amazing how much you can part with.  There’s less clutter in my closets.  There’s more room in my cabinets.  After all, most of the time stuff is just stuff.  

My health has become more important.  Getting up thirty minutes earlier to exercise isn’t the sacrifice I thought it would be.  It’s more of a gift to myself.  It’s me telling myself that I am worth the effort.

I took photography classes at the local community college.  

I decided to start writing in my journal again.  Journaling has never lasted because quite honestly, I’d get bored with the whole “my day was”…   This time I invested in a book of weekly prompts.  It’s helping! 

I knew that writing would again be in my future so I carried my laptop in to be serviced.  I had saved the two stories I was working on along with a ton of pictures I’d taken to a thumb drive.  I told the computer tech to wipe my computer.    A couple of days later, I was up and running.

The time came.  I felt like I was ready, that the fountain within had started trickling once more.  I inserted my thumb drive and nothing.  I tried another – no books – no pictures.  And a third thumb drive revealed the same.

Frustrating – yes.  That’s a lot of work gone.

The end of the world – nope. 

I’m not sure what happened.  Did I misplace the thumb drive or did something go wrong when I saved?  I just don’t know.  Fortunately, I had printed off most of one story so over the next few weeks, I’ll be retyping and making some much-needed changes as I go.

I guess that’s life – It doesn’t always go the way we plan and that’s okay.  It’s still good!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful week!

-Deb