about my camera.
~ Marc Riboud
I know, I know. New Year’s resolutions don’t really work. There’s nothing about January 1st that makes it any better a date to stop our old bad habits or start establishing new good ones, but we put so much stock into the whole “new year = clean slate” mindset that it’s like a Pavlovian response. By the time “Auld Lang Syne” stops ringing in our ears, we just have to have some resolutions in place.
Since it’s 2013, my daughter and I decided to each set 13 goals for the year. Now it’s a mere three days into the New Year, and I’ve already blown a couple of my resolutions (“Eat something green every day,” for example, was intended to help me increase my vegetable consumption. On the first day, the only relatively green edibles I had in the house were pistachios. It’s just gone downhill from there.)
But other goals are faring better. One of my resolutions (my daughter’s idea) was to take a photo each day of something that makes me happy or gives me pleasure. It’s a good way to remind me to look for the positives in my everyday life, and not just dwell on what isn’t right.
I started a photo journal. I put up a simple (and free) website through Weebly.com on which I am posting a photo each day of something that gives me pleasure.
I was so excited about the concept that I didn’t wait until New Year’s Day to begin, so I actually have six photos already. My “gratitude” photo subjects to date include my daughter (of course) and her doggy, the snow that started falling on New Year’s Eve (although with my poor photography skills, it looks more like the fall out of an overhead flock of seagulls), the sparkling pear juice that I enjoyed while ringing in the New Year, and the dulcimer that hangs on my living room wall (even though I rarely play it, it still brings me pleasure).
I’m not a great photographer and I don’t have the greatest camera. Nor do I know how to use the camera much beyond the “Auto” setting where I can just point and click. But producing great works of art isn’t the goal here. The goal is to savor life, as the above quote suggests.
This is basically the concept of photo journaling, which I have mentioned in previous posts. It doesn’t need to get complicated. I am incorporating my photos into a website because I enjoy doing that kind of thing, and it is a way to preserve the positive moments in a way that I can go back and revisit them easily. But it’s the act of taking the photos that gives me the opportunity to spend a few minutes out of the day to acknowledge my appreciation of the little things. And that’s the real goal here.
Since it is something I am enjoying, chances are this practice might last beyond the typical New Year’s resolution fall-out time period (which ends in February, give or take a month). I hope so. Maybe by the end of the year, I’ll have even learned how to take decent enough photos that I won’t have to rely on the captions to explain what they’re of. We’ll see.
What makes you happy? Find something, and take a picture.