One of the things I kept meaning to do in the last couple of months was talk about the things I committed to doing each and every day of last year.
They weren't resolutions, I've talked before
about how resolutions don't really work for me, or perhaps, that I don't work for them.
Last year, I told myself that I'd try to exercise every day
and that I'd try to take a photo every day
. Every day for the entire year.
And I did both
The daily exercise was easy enough because I allowed myself an "at the least" that I could reach even if it meant I had to walk around the block (or few blocks) at the end of a long day or at the start of a travel day.
What I didn't expect was that going for at least a walk around the block every day for a year would lead to me being willing to join a run clinic and then to me running a 10K.
I'm not sure I'd have joined the clinic if I hadn't been committed to daily exercise. (I also wouldn't have joined it if C-Dawg hadn't joined hers on her side of the country or if S hadn't signed up and gone with me. Funny how these things all work out, isn't it.)
As for daily photos, well, that one was tougher. Tougher because I love to take photos outdoors and, well, there's only so much light in a day. This made it difficult because some days there wasn't a lot of time between work and appointments and clinics or classes before dark and sometimes it felt like a lot of pressure to get a photo taken.
Sometimes too, I was frustrated when I'd rush to get one taken and then not like what I took.
I learned that I had to go easy on myself and that the best I did that day was good enough. And that good enough was more than ok because really? At least I was out there doing it and challenging myself.
I'm not sure what I expected from the 365 photo project, perhaps that I'd suddenly become an amazing photographer or that me shooting every day would mean... I don't know...something.
What I did discover, or re-affirm is more like it, is that I love taking pictures. Love it. Love the process of seeing the world and seeing images in it and wanting to capture that beauty to look at over and over and to share the beauty around me with others.
I've enjoyed looking back at the photos I've taken because with many of them I can remember the moment or the day or the situation and I get to replay that story when I see the photo.
I've also certainly grown as a photographer. I think it's hard not to when you're doing something so regularly and I'm happy with that.
I've also learned to be gentler with myself and to be kind about my creative side. There's no point in finding the flaws in something you create if it's going to make you not want to do it anymore.
I took a photography class with a friend this year too and I learned about the nitty gritty and technical aspect of things and I'm glad I did. It was also good to get some feedback about my photos and to be reminded that while I'm not as good as I could be, I'm also not so bad at it either.
Many times the two combined and I would get a walk in with my camera, making it around the block or further taking shots. The photo walk became one of my favourite things to do, but on some days, it was an added thing to fit in and sometimes stressful.
Sometimes I'd combine a photo walk with grocery shopping and would wander down the road with bags and my camera slung across my back.
This only became tricky on rainy days when adding an umbrella to the mix made taking a photo a balancing act.
On rainy days, the umbrella tended to stay home so I could take shots more easily.
So, would I do them again?
Yes and no.
I will most definitely be continuing with daily exercise, even if it's only a walk around the block. I'm also planning on running the TC10K
this year and, well, I guess I'm hoping to improve on the time I made at the 10K I ran last month
I will also be taking a photo every day this year. But I may not be uploading every one of them and if I don't manage to get out and take a photo occasionally, that's going to be ok too. So it's like I'm doing it, but I'm not committing to it, so it's just something a little less pressurefull (no, not a word, I know.)
What else am I going to commit to doing every day this year?
Nothing that's as measurable as a photo a day or daily exercise, but I'm working on my eating habits. More protein, less salt, no sugar til 11 (C-Dawg picked the time for me, I told her to) and to generally watch what I'm eating more. Partly for my weight, partly for my health (it's almost impossible to have a good run on no protein or water let me tell you) and partly because of my Dad's heart attack and wanting to make positive changes for myself in that area too.
I know it's not a good idea to make goals that aren't measurable, but I feel like I can stick to the 11 am sugar one and I feel like I'll know if I'm doing the others. I kind of feel like the same attitude and commitment I started out last year with towards exercise and photography I want to apply to my eating this year. (And my writing too, but I haven't wrapped my mind around how to do that quite yet, I'm working on it.)
I suspect that wanting to improve my eating habits will also have an affect on my cooking, so we'll see how that goes. (So far so good, I just used the slow cooker that up until now has been gathering dust and now have an enormous amount of soup. Chicken noodle anyone?)
Exercise every day.
Eat more protein and less salt every day.
Not eat sweets before 11am every day.
Take photos every day.
Write. Something that could be called a book. Maybe.
(And, push myself out of my comfort zone more.) (But that one goes in brackets because it's scary, so I'm not admitting to it.)
That's what I'm going to try to do this year.
Two of them I know I can do.
The rest, I can only try, right?
(Damn it. I hate it when I write them down like that, because it means I'm going to have to carry through and then the panic sets in. Breathe, Victoria, breathe!)