All the how should we remember Joe Paterno discussion is getting a little old. It is simple. You remember the whole story. You celebrate the great man he was and all his good works. But you also remember that despite all that he was just a man. And as a man he was falable as we all are, and he made mistakes. So don’t rush to put men on pedastals as we are all human and fall short. I would also say when remembering a man’s mistakes “Judge not lest ye be judged”. How would any of us feel if no matter what we did in our lives, upon our deaths we would only be remembered for our biggest mistake or wrongdoing?
Today I watched a very good movie. My wife and I went to see “We Bought a Zoo”. It was the perfect movie for me to see at this point in my life. I found it pretty inspirational and moving. As my favorite photographer Moose Peterson often says about photography, this movie pulled all the right heartstrings for me. It was about love and passion and doing what you believe is right. It is about having that “20 seconds of courage”. If you believe in something and believe it is worth putting every ounce of effort into doing and you have passion for it you can make it part of your life.
For me this is a very personally relevant message. I have been pursuing my education my entire adult life and I am reaching the culmination of that dream. I have been doing it because I believe in my heart it is the right thing to do and it is what I want out of life. I am about to begin my comprehensive exam for my PhD program and after that the final step will be to write my dissertation. Then I will have achieved all my educational pursuits. But leading up to this point I have been having doubts about my abilities and my self confidence has been lacking. Seeing this movie has helped me just regain focus and know that if I put myself fully into this I can do it.
I have also been pursuing a career in photography. I have been making modest gains each year. I try to expand into something new each year. But at times I wonder if this will ever be something I can do on a regular basis as a professional. I love my photography and I feel like I learn something new in the field of photography and its business aspects on a regular basis. I know that if I keep trying and I am not afraid to make mistakes I can do it. I just need to take on the challenges and do what is needed to push through it.
On top of all these things I have a regular full time job that pays the bills. This is part of doing what is necessary to make this all work out. I am just glad that movies with such positive themes are still being made. I don’t know if this movie had as mush an impact on anybody else, but I am thankful it connected with me. Now just to read the book.
As 2012 begins I want to take a moment to reflect on 2011. I want to focus on some of the positive things that happened in my life in 2011.
1. I celebrated being in love with my wife for 11 years and being married for the last 7 of them.
2. Thanks to my wife I began volunteering at the local SPCA.
3. I became a member of a local arts association and started showing my photography in their art gallery on a regular basis.
4. Completed my final course in my PhD program.
5. Several newborn babies born into our family. (None of them mine, whew.)
6. Flew by myself for the first time.
7. Went out and took photos of nature on numerous occasions and experienced the wonders of this world.
8. Lost 50 lbs.
9. Began eating healthier and exercising more.
I completely fail to understand the psychology of people who choose to drive recklessly. I have a 1 hr commute each way to work. I leave my house at 6 AM to head to work. This time of year the sun is just begining to rise as I drive to work. Visibility is an issue. Headlights are still necessary and often in this area there is significant fog causing visibility to be minimal. Due to construction on our main 2 lane highway I have been choosing to take our more rural routes that are single lane highways until I am past the construction area. Often deer are present along the road. Yesterday as I am driving to work along this rural route I am going the speed limit but 2 cars continue to tailgate me. I see a deer run across the road ahead of me. I also see another deer on the left side of the road begining to cross the road as well. I slam on my brakes to avoid a collission. What do the cars behind me do? Not slow down. They passed me on the left side of the road in an area where there isn’t even passing allowed. People do not generally slam on there brakes in the middle of a highway without warning for no reason other than some type of road hazard. Why would these people think it is safe to pass me? I am often left wondering what these drivers must be thinking to make this type of decision. Then this morning on the 2 lane highway the same thing occured. At least on this road passing is allowed, but the deer was so close that you could clearly see it was a large buck and see its antlers. Why would a driver choose not to slow down? I simply fail to comprehend the thoughts and actions of many drivers around me.
So I am going to try a little bit of an experiment. Below is a very short very rough draft of an excerpt from a very long term project I have been working on. I am in the process of writing a book about my life with dogs. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments, critiques, or suggestions. I am also including a few photos of the subjects of the book.
I had a fun morning today. I threw on some sweats and a sweatshirt to go out into the yard and play with my four dogs and maybe work on some training. I grabbed the treat bag and figured I’d take my camera just in case I decided I wanted to take some photos of the dogs while we were outside. I also decided I’d put some bird food out since the feeders were empty.