Projects instead of resolutions

I didn’t make New Year’s resolutions this year, but I have been thinking about how I spend my time and recognize there are changes I want to make.

In my head I can plan all kinds of activities, or endlessly mull over some dream schedule configuration, but these things don’t get me very far in reality. Apparently neither to resolutions so I am trying something different this year: paying attention.

new glasses (week two)

I have this theory that mindfulness will help me be less stressed and anxious. (Not that I’m freaked out all the time, but more peace of mind is always a good thing.) I also think mindfulness means I will choose to spend time doing things I truly enjoy vs defaulting to “meh” stupid shit that leaves me wondering where those hours went.

What does paying attention look like? So far, I’m experimenting with a few different practices:

  • Keeping a log book. I 100% stole this idea from Austin Kleon, right down to the moleskine I bought. I pay attention better when I write things down, and this is simple and straightforward enough the dailiness doesn’t seem like a burden.
  • Doing a 52 weeks project. I think the more relaxed approach of one self portrait every week (instead of every day) will keep the project from being overwhelming, as well as give me the impetus to take more photos overall so my stream on flickr isn’t just my face. I also think it’s a good way to see how yeah, middle age is happening. The camera doesn’t lie; I look older than I did in 2007 because I am older. This is a good thing; here’s to hoping more wisdom comes with the years.
  • Drawing things. On my list of things to do before I turn fifty, this took the form of “Draw, even though I think I can’t. (I can’t as in “that does not look real, it looks malformed” not can’t “my fingers don’t function well enough to hold a pen”)” This means making time, at least once a week, to fill a page in a sketchbook. It forces me to slow down, stop looking at screens, and concentrate in a different way.

So far, so good 2013. Happy new year.

Cranky hermits with cameras

For those of you who remember my musing about another project, I did get smitten with an idea — and the new project has launched!

Monday/Thursday is a photographic collaboration with Krista. We choose a theme, we each go off and shoot it, and we don’t show each other the result until it’s time to post the images as a diptych on the project site.

When Krista posted about the project, she said, “I’m looking forward to the next year of this, both for the reminder to play and for the mystery.” It makes me sound terribly like an eight year old to go “me, too!” at this point, but, well, me too! Pushing myself to make the time for this project, and pushing my creative boundaries as we make it happen is going is to be more fun than a giant box of Legos. Which I’ll have you know I own. Probably in greater numbers than I had when I was eight.

Go take a look at what we’ve done so far, the first two posts are up.

[Because I’m geeky and it’s my way, I’ll also be posting more about the collaborative nature of the project and the tools we used to make it happen. For now, just go enjoy our fabulous toys.]