Keeping Perspective With Gratitude

Today I am grateful for those who made sacrifices for our country and our freedom and I pray for the families they leave behind. When my husband was on the road all the time the military families were what kept things in perspective for me. Spouses, sons and daughters...not knowing when or if they will come home. At least I knew when John was coming home. I knew he was not in immediate danger, and that I could say goodnight to him on the phone most nights.

Convenience vs Creativity: Holistic & Inspired: Blogs for Artists

I am excited to have shot the personal "picks" of my friend Mike Wolfe American Picker from American Pickers on History this week! Mike and I share a love of history, texture, rust and stories. I love incorporating antique items as props in my images. This time, however the props were the subject. I wanted to so a series of fine art prints that told a story simply with the objects in a symbolic way. This first image is about learning from our history to value simplicity in our entertainment. The timeless joy of playing a banjo around a campfire with good friends... Simple toys for our children that require imagination and effort. The little scattered items around on the floor are small children's toys, clickers, mini spinning tops, etc. At my daughter's preschool here in Franklin TN, their toys are not plastic or high tech. They are mostly little wooden pieces the children have to build things from on their own. They also have dried gourds, bark and other things from nature as toys for the children to do whatever their little creative minds can come up with. Instead of dress up clothes, they simply have fabric and clothes pins. The children have to use their imaginations, create things on their own.  I have fears of the consequences of us always in search of more comfort, more convenience. The result I believe is less gratitude, less motivation and endurance of inevitable hardships and disappointments. I hope I can pass on to my daughter a work ethic, a love of getting dirty and sore from hard rewarding work whether it be mental or physical or even spiritual.

 

Follow my journey to learn from the past for the sake of our future, and live holistic & inspired everyday...more images of Mike's "picks" to come!

EDITED WITH LIGHTROOM PRESETS FROM THE SHOPPE DESIGNS

 

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Learning from the Children & Learning from the past

You may have noticed, that I have been writing lately about how much I am learning from my child. As a first time parent it is fascinating to me how much they change your perspective on life and yourself. Living in the country of middle Tennessee is also an inspiration for me. Surrounded by history and dilapidated texture of a very different time. In my experience, the values here in the south are ever so slightly more reminiscent of the values of the past than they are on the 2 coasts where I have lived before. As I go forward I will be talking more about what I we can learn from the children in our lives, as well as from history. So often these days I feel like we are not learning from the past. It is almost as if our progress in technology and the like has made us somewhat arrogant; thinking that we are invincible as a species and a planet.

That we can overcome any medical issue with a vaccine or surgery, that we can outsmart nature. It is not working. One in every three people will develop cancer in their lifetime. Our planet's resources will not last much longer with the way we abuse them. We need change. I believe we can learn from our history, and from our children. I believe if we choose everyday to acknowledge the things that innocence, imagination and history can teach us, and to make one small change in how we do our daily life, we can work together toward a better, more holistic life of wellness, inspiration and progress. I hope you will join me as I stumble through a journey of change.

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Confessions of a Recovering Workaholic: Blogs for Photographers, Blogs for Artists

I have been a Workaholic most of my adult life. It started in college with a double major and 2 jobs and just never stopped. Part of it is in my nature, something I was born with, I am a Capricorn, a mountain goat, always pushing up and up. I also know I am a product of my western environment and our addition to productivity. It is all around us, coming from so many different directions. There is even this sense of guilt when we try and be still, to the point that for a very long time I didn’t know how to simply relax. I forgot how to enjoy something simple, to feel the joy in the little things in life. And you know what? Maybe they really are not the little things in life, maybe they really are the big things, the important things. Sitting and talking with each other, having coffee and listening to the stories, the laughter, the pain and the everyday life of those around us. Being with others, helping others, loving them really well. This is made up of all of those “little things”. But us productivity addicts tend to put those things below the work, below accomplishing things, and building things.

 

Enter Motherhood...

 Children make you slow down in this way. On so many other levels they make you much busier than you have ever been, but in this way, they slow things down. They are learning the most basic of things, and you have to be in that moment with them. I am no longer able to work constantly the way I used to; no longer able to make work the main priority in my life. Gone are the days I could put in 16 hours a day on a regular basis. Part of it is that I have a new very important job helping to shape another human being. The rest of it is that I know that eventually, you burn out, it is not a sustainable way to live. If you think about it, it ends up not being the most productive option if you get burnt out and are not producing your best work anymore anyway.

 

My Progress...

I have come a long way in the last 3 years since my daughter was born, and since we moved from the coasts to the south where there is a different pace of life. The addiction is still there in many ways. It is something I fight almost every day. When Fiona wants me to watch her jump on one foot over and over again, and I struggle not to pick up my phone and check my email. I really do. But other times I am actually able to sit and play with Playdough and actually enjoy it. I have found some things that we can do together that don't make me crazy. Stay tuned for part two of Confessions of a Recovering Work-A-Holic where I will tell you about some of these activities if you are struggling with the same thing!

 

Just a few years ago I couldn't even sit on a beach without thinking what is the point of this, and now I cherish the few moments I can relax watching my daughter dig in the sand. So only God knows the progress I will make in a few more years. Maybe I will even leave my phone at home sometimes...maybe. ;)

 

Look at that face! Play with me mommy she says. Well I suppose work can wait...

 

 

Edited with Hot Air Balloon from the Americana Lightroom Presets Collection

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