Fade-free nostalgia…

What is it about nostalgia that some of us cannot jettison? A valid concern is that the yearning makes a mess of being-in-the-moment.  That same yearning can deny future possibilities when it turns to ruminating.  For some, nostalgia can magnify preoccupation.  Not good.

Kodachrome~Epson Scanner

Yet there are fragments of nostalgia that remain fade-free. Like writing/journaling and photography, riding a sport bike can be solitary, well, a choice by many, including myself. Certainly some of my own experience aboard two wheels can be marked as memorable [and mostly positive].

Kodachrome~Epson Scanner

As is fitting this time of year, nostalgia tends to swell, though more specifically with auld lang syne, those days of fond remembrance, of days spent from far-off times or even those more recent. It matters none because an experience that generates a fondness or even a light-hearted sense of joy is timeless. The decades can sometimes feel “like only yesterday.”

The distinction I’m trying to make is that auld lang syne speaks of a heart-felt time devoid of regret and rumination. Isn’t that what probes our memory at year’s end?  What have we forgotten? Whom have we forgotten?

My school of thought is that these fade-free capsules of nostalgia are not containers of events that could’ve or should’ve been. No, auld lang syne is more about preserving good things which matter: lessons learned, people who’ve made a difference, the unconditional, enduring quality of gratitude and love.

Before I make a mess of this post, I’ll let the poet Robert Burns weigh in. He’s the Scot who made this poem, this inimitable song, about as timeless as anything found in life. Click here.

 

 

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Planning Overload

Okay, the end of the year, the last month of the calendar if you will, is chock full of messages hitting us from all kinds of channels.  I’m referring to advertising & marketing messages. I’m overwhelmed with it all.

“For a limited time, you can own this…..enjoy the 10 for only 1 dollar/euro at your local…..make this the holiday to remember with special offers from….common reactions are allergies to the active ingredient, cramps, blurred vision, moodiness, sleepiness and in some cases, death….”  WTF!?

However, what I find even more overwhelming is the myriad of marketing tactics, strategies, resources, research et al, that are available to each of us [the marketing professionals]. Ms. Cook’s comment, naturally, is taken with a grain of salt, but it makes you stop and think about “planning.”  And for the most part, I’m convinced that we’re all over planned. Coupled to the planning are the actions deemed necessary for said plan to be successful. I translate that to, being “overscheduled” and thus feeling more overwhelmed.

Whether it’s marketing communications and strategies,  or making plans for your children’s activities, a vacation, an addition to a home, etc. etc., I’m convinced that there’s much to champion in the less-is-more school of thought. To wit:

  • I’ll stick with Plan A because creating a Plan B or C is going to take even more time, more minutiae, workbooks, versions, hotlinks, B-rolls, post-production, trips to the copier, make more PDFs….OMG!
  • Regarding Plan A, I prefer to make smaller mods to line and action items. My options are: edit or delete. So what I have is still my original plan, but with tweaks
  • When my daughters were growing up, after-school activities were encouraged, but within reason. There was none of the practice/games after school followed by Key Club, music lessons, etc. that seem to be the norm for each school day, week in/week out
  • Less is more when it comes to time on hand. I didn’t drive to the ends-of-the-earth just to get them from one activity to another, then back home
  • Less is more: I pull into the garage with more gas in the tank; we eat dinner together; limit perfunctory questions and remarks wherever possible [what was the most interesting thing that happened today? vs. so, how was your day?]
  • Less is more: a lot less time in front of a screen [TV, computer, vid game, e.g.] and more reading, you know, a book

The end game is something I relish. I envision a plan not to plan anything at all.

Light Chaser-2

Because I’m more of a “night-owl” it’s somewhat easier for me to take photos towards the end of the day. Actually, the later part of a day is when my brain starts to ramp up. Most of my images are serendipitous, which by the way is, how a lot of photographs become interesting.

The space between me and the street below stands 25 floors. All the views I see are through a thick piece of window glass. None of our windows open, not even a crack. That’s a good thing because if these large windows were to open, I suspect we would see more bugs and some birds in our work space.

Dealing with glass not quite crystal clear and uniform is far better than trying to deal with insects and pigeons…well, for me anyway.

 

Light Chaser

Am I the only one–if not one of the very few–that doesn’t object to the return of “Eastern Standard Time” in New England?

I refer to this change as back to “real time” much to the chagrin of most everyone around me. There are plusses and minuses–like everything else–but for me, this is not a big deal and I for one like that extra hour of sleep.

Chasing the light with a camera in hand is very therapeutic for me.  The time of day, whether early or late, contains a salve that takes the edge off my depression.

Light can be a fantastic muse. It’s never exactly the same yet it can provide similar if not familiar feelings for one person to the next.  I love chasing the light…

 

 

It is what it isn’t…

Contrary to the expression, “it is what it is,” I’m reminded that many things in our day-to-day lives aren’t what they appear to be.  What it is, is often isn’t.

It comes in many forms, but this spectre of self-doubt, worth, value, meaning, purpose,etc. is more apparent now than ever. We may not say or admit to it, but I sense many from all walks of life are experiencing an existential crisis.

We may not feel smart enough. Or attractive enough. We may think, “why don’t I have more of what he/she has?”  The forces of social media, the rise of celebrity status, the persistent beat of consumption, the increasingly divisive discourse of “I’m right, you’re wrong” all contribute to this hunger for meaning and purpose.

But the larger question shouldn’t be, “why are so many things messed up?” Ask yourself, “what can I do to make life a little easier for someone else?” At the end of every spinning class, our instructor encourages us with these directives: believe that you can do what you plan to do and if you want to feel good about yourself, do something good for someone else.