Act II

Why hello there old blog! It’s been a while. You’re looking… not so great really. I thought that I was going to do something about that? One of those things I’ve not gotten around to I guess. My list of things I’ve not quite gotten around to seems to be growing. And lately I’ve been thinking about that more and more.

It’s that time of year where millions of people reflect on their past and resolve to make changes in the year to come. And perhaps it’s for that reason, or because I’ve recently turned forty, or for no particular reason at all, that I’ve been thinking about some changes in the year to come. Not the usual sort of resolutions that you hear about, losing weight, exercising, quitting smoking, and so forth. Although those are things I should probably look into. Rather, I’d like, very much, to be able to balance all the various interests I have along with my obligations as a employee, father, son, brother, husband.

For example, whatever the thing is that has my attention at the moment, be it woodworking, genealogy, golf, or my current obsession (again) World of Warcraft, whatever it is, can dominate my thoughts during my free time and often during times when I really should be focusing on something completely unrelated, like work, or my family, or why the room is filing with smoke.

In the case of WoW, I could, like a friend of mine, quit the game completely, but something else would likely fill the void, and it might be an expensive something (see above: golf). What’s more, I enjoy not only the game, but more importantly the company of some good friends that play along side me. So, I want to stay active in game, but I want to make time for other things as well. What I need is a bit of self discipline.

Of course I don’t expect I’ll wake up tomorrow and suddenly discover a that somewhere within me is a heretofore undiscovered reserve of self discipline. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a thing I could do to every day not only to try and become more disciplined, but also something that I would enjoy. A thing that would help me to learn something new and, hopefully, at the end look back and be proud of my accomplishment. I think that would be worth a stab anyway.

Sometime back in October I bought a new camera in anticipation of a family vacation to Disney World. I’ve since taken a few photos and, in many cases, found myself not entirely happy with the results, wishing I knew a little more about creating good photos. Not great, mind you… well okay, an occasional great picture would be nice. But I’d be satisfied, for now, with good. I’ve thought about maybe some classes, read a book or two, but it seems experience really counts for so much more than you can learn from a class or a book. At some point I wondered: what if I attempted to take at least one photo every single day for a year? This, I discovered, was not an original idea. But whatever. Could I do that? Is there anything at all (apart from involuntary biological functions) that I have the discipline to do for 365 consecutive days?

The more I thought about the idea, the more I thought this could have far more profound benefits besides simply making me a better photographer. First, that whole discipline thing I went on about earlier. Assuming I could do this, something that seems pretty simple on the surface, perhaps it would pave the way for less appealing tasks. While I could start the new year off resolved to do something like walk at least a mile every single day, it’s the sort of thing I could (and have) very easily talk myself out of. Especially on those days when it’s cold, or rainy, or windy, or sunny…

A photo a day would also be a nice supplement to my notoriously porous memory. It could take me off my well worn path between work and home to see and experience new things. I can even imagine situations where might be help me overcome my acute introversion. And of course, help me learn to allocate time for those things that are important, if only for a few minutes a day.

Some of you who know me well, most likely, groaned at some point while you were reading this and I can’t say as I blame you. I mean, when I asked my wife what she thought the prospects were of me completing this little project, she immediately said It wouldn’t happen and I told her she was probably right. But, I’m going to try. And hopefully, at the end of it, I’ll have learned something more than just how to take a better picture.

Note: I’ll be posting my photos on flickr in a set called Project 365.