Saturday, January 4, 2014

Let's Take a Walk

Finding warmth and bright pops of color here and there can soften even the harshest winter landscape. I won't lie though, we've had crazy cold days (like 30 degrees below normal, and it's going to get even colder next week), and all that arctic air has kept me mostly indoors lately. I love to walk, especially with my camera, but I don't enjoy numb icy toes and fingers that sting with cold.

I took these photos right before the temperature dropped. I was thinking a lot about my goals for 2014 as I walked. I know most people probably have their goal list ready and hit the ground running on Jan 1st. But not me. I'm easing into my resolutions, taking my time to really think about what it is I want my life to be and how best to get there, what I want to share with others and the difference I'd like to make in my small corner of the world. It's serious business, this life stuff. And I don't think I'll ever get to an age where I don't have lots of things to work on.

I'll probably write more on these ideas in the future. One thing I know for sure is that I don't want it to boil down to a "to do" list with boxes to check; I have enough lists in my life already, and I certainly don't need more tasks to complete. I definitely want to keep it more "big picture" and something I reevaluate as the year goes on.

My pal Kate wrote about her resolution to spread kindness, which I think is awesome and exactly how I'd like to approach my own goals. I think so many people focus primarily on accomplishing the next big thing, whether it's a degree they're after, a promotion, a bigger house, a baby, etc., all the while checking to make sure their peers aren't too far ahead of them. I honestly think living that way leads to a lot of unhappiness. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't still strive to get an education, do well at work, or start a family if that's important to you. But instead of measuring progress and self-worth by what you've attained or achieved, why not measure by what you've given?

I don't mean specifically donating money or time to a charity, though that's awesome too. There are a million ways we can be more open, positive, generous, caring, and giving of our abilities and talents, in our own ways and in our own time. Ok, maybe not a million, but at least several, right? Anyway, it's just something I've been thinking about. xo, Mary


  1. You really have such a great eye for getting the perfect shot. Love your blog.

  2. love the red themed photos. I have a short personal list this year and I usually don't do any but this year I felt I needed to. One of my goals is actually not worrying about what other people's goals are or where they are in life. I was definitely bothered by that last year so this year I'm trying to not let that affect me as much.

  3. A nice, thoughtful post--you seem to have a very good sense of who you are and what's important! AND your photos are beautiful!

  4. Fab photo's! I love how they make a mini collection all together.

  5. Your photos are always so pretty! How are you guys holding up in DC today with this arctic blast coming through?

    I didn't have my goals ready to go on the 1st, either. Actually, I just put them up today. I have fewer than I have the last few years, but I'm fine with that. Trying to do too much at once means you won't do anything well.

  6. Beautiful photos!
    I'm still putting the finishing touches on my goals for 2014 as well. Spreading kindness sounds like a pretty great place to start :)

  7. I like your idea of easing into a resolution. Taking time to discover what you need and also what you would like to provide to the world. I've been kind of the same way this year. Originally, I had a list of things I wanted to do in order to be a better me. A resolution list, a checklist, a schedule of things. But, really, after looking at it for awhile, it felt like a burden. An obligation. I felt a bit stressed. So, I'm doing what I actually need: time for myself. Last year was incredibly taxing, emotionally, and I also spent a lot of time in the office. (And, when I wasn't working, I was freelancing for multiple entities.) This year, I just want some time to be me. Some people I know choose a word to define the New Year. "Health" over "lose 10 pounds." "Conviction" over "finish 5 projects." And me? I'd probably chose the word "relax." And like your friend Kate, I'd love to make people happy in any way I can. That's far more important, really, than writing an article every week, or making sure I don't skip a meal. Thanks for this, Mary. A happy new year to you.