happy new year

los ángeles photographers holiday and new year card ideasI’m hoping someone comes up with a cool beautiful option to share holiday cards online. But until then, I thought I’d post mine here. I always start out with the best intentions of getting a Christmas card out early and well, you can see it ended up being a new year’s card. Last year I didn’t even ever get my cards out at all! Every year I promise myself that I will get mine done in the Summer before all of the holiday madness happens. But it’s hard to get your Christmas groove on in July.

Speaking of intentions, With trepidation, I’m going discuss resolutions. I’ve never set real new year’s resolutions for myself. I think they are, by nature a set up for failure. I think it’s a bad idea for me to make any hard lined scheduled commitments that are going to stress me out. But there are some things I’d like to either do better, do more of or improve upon. So I’m throwing mine out there.

1) A 365 photo project. Patrina Odette, a photographer friend of mine was doing a gratitude photography project this year where she would post a photo a day all year of things she is grateful for. I believe it was in 2007 that she did a self portrait project. One self portrait a week for 52 weeks. You can see it here. She’s a super cool chick and I don’t think she knows how much I really appreciate her posts. I know I only have a day to figure this one out and what angle I want to take. But it’s something I’d really like to do. Keeps the juices flowing.

2) Give Blood. My sister Teresa and I used to give blood and platelets together on a regular basis towards the end of High School and the first couple years of college. Then we went to different schools and I took a trip to Thailand which precluded me from donating blood for a number of years. Then I got married, had a baby and blah blah blah, EXCUSES!!! Long story, short, I never went back. I’m O negative (the universal donor) and it’s been bugging me that I stopped. I made an appointment for Dave and I to go a couple of months ago and I got turned away for low iron. Dave went again yesterday and I really want to get back on track with it. It’s silly to wait for an earthquake to donate. It’s also good Karma and since I can only receive O neg blood, I suppose I better be on board with giving it while I can. It’s helpful that my donor center is 5 minutes away and I have zero fear of needles.

3) Yoga. I can almost hear some of my close friends choking on their diet cokes reading this one. Let’s just say I’m not the lover of exercise. I make a lot of fitness commitments and I always fizzle out. But Yoga was one form of fitness that I stuck with the longest and I really do love it. I let myself get busy and then got frustrated when my practice declined and so I have been avoiding it. I went from a beautiful handstand to a rather uncomfortable downward dog. Yoga is like church to me, and it’s pretty pathetic I let my ego get in the way of that. When I’m practicing, my body feels better, but my brain and my spirit are in a much better place too. I gotta shake my ass back in and get my Namaste back on!

4) Practice patience and compassion. This one is ongoing for me. I like to think of myself as a compassionate person, but there is a part of me that isn’t. I am always a supporter of the underdogs and the misfits. This isn’t the problem. But I find myself very judgy and intolerant of people I perceive as judgy and intolerant. Isn’t that ironic? I think my point is this. I’m trying to take a kinder, gentler approach towards the A-hole fellow who steals my parking spot and flips me off for no good reason. I’m going to continue to try and understand (not just tolerate) the people I generally want to choke. This does’t mean I’m having a dinner party for all of the haters in the world. But I think that really to be a truly compassionate person, you have to love your enemy. I’m not there yet and I have no idea if I ever will be. But I’m gonna keep on try’n.

5) Apologize. This is an important one, albeit difficult. So here goes. This last year has been a pretty challenging one on a personal level. It seemed that it was one thing after another until I found myself entirely backed up with calls and Emails I had to return. I never expected to be away for so long but it was as though I couldn’t catch my breath. I completely checked out. I’m still trying to fix what I broke. I know a lot of you had called or Emailed me and never heard back. For this, I am sincerely sorry. I handled it in the worst way, but at the time I just felt stuck in quicksand. I was overwhelmed. There is a level of insincerity implied by writing this in a blog post. But during this time, I lost some Emails and contact information and I can’t continue to blog and Facebook without owning it. I hope I get the chance this year to say it n person as well.

I just want to wrap this all up with a thought. I’m feeling very good about 2012. I wholeheartedly believe that this very difficult time in our history is changing us into a stronger and more thoughtful community of people. We’ve sort of been forced to simplify and with that I think we and our children are learning how to really cherish what is important. Our families. Our friends. Our health. I’ve never bought the gimmick that everything happens for a reason. But I do believe in the silver lining. Happy New Year, my friends.

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