Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 183 of 365

It's half over.

I am now six months into my year-long plan of taking a picture a day. My, how far I've come. Yet, ...

The other day I wrote about how posting on the blog early in the day relieves pressure from me. How after I post it feels like the important part of the day is done and I can relax.

Yes and no.

After 183 days you'd think I would have exhausted the picture-taking possibilities. Sometimes it feels that way.  I want every picture to mean something to me. Just like when I started writing here, my goal was to take a picture every day to show I had lived.

But sometimes it feels that my life isn't exciting enough to document. I'm just an average person living an average (or in most cases, a below-average) kind of life. While we traveled extensively in the past, we're not doing that anymore.

I have thousands of pictures I've taken all over this country. The White House, nighttime fireworks over Disney World, The Space Needle in Seattle, taxis in New York City, Graceland, Florida beaches, the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. But that seems such a long time ago, a different life.

Nowadays it's so much simpler. Just looking at the categories of pictures tells the story. Sewing, gardening, charity.

It occurred to me this blog has allowed me to focus on a simpler life. It gives me a reason to look for something important in each and every day. While occasionally I might feel guilty I'm not posting pictures of exciting things like trips and parties and celebrations, the pictures are a genuine representation of the person I am.

I am a homebody. I like to cook and sew and garden. And who knew I would be someone who likes to make things for charity? (Certainly not me.)

Even though I sometimes feel pressure to find a picture, I always come up with something. Something unique, or important to me, something I've made, or something that fits in with how I'm feeling. I guess the universe is on my side, cheering me along.

Looking back to six months ago, I could never have predicted where I'd be now.

Back on Day 1 I had blinders on. It was dark and I couldn't see anything around me but the pain. In that first post I even struggled coming up with things I was thankful for. But over the course of the last six months, having a purpose - taking a picture and writing about it - forced me to get myself out of bed every day. Getting out of bed for many of those days (and still some days now) was/is an impossible feat. Getting out of bed and having to do something was even more impossible.

But I've done it. For half a year.

I'm still taking pictures and writing every single day. My charity work continues. I do weekly how-to videos now. I committed to an exercise program for four months, and now I'm at it again. I'm back to work doing a new job I enjoy. My confidence which was so sorely missed over the last 18 months is returning.

Although, the pain relief I was hoping for never came to be. It's as bad as before, but I'm developing better ways (mentally and physically) to cope with it. I still have my same frustrations with pain and fatigue, but I'm managing.

A couple people have asked me if I would continue this past the 365 day mark. Maybe. I am absolutely certain that if it wasn't for this "project", I wouldn't have made the growth I've had. I can't imagine I'm halfway to where I want to be. How long does it take people to be where they want to be?

At this six month anniversary, I didn't celebrate. But it just so happens this is the day my mom came to my house for the first time since she moved back from California. My daughter was here, too, so we spent some time today in the kitchen and with some garden produce. All of us now have plenty of food to take to work, home, and freeze.

Our table at the end of the day told the story:
  • 71 tomatoes, 30 jalapenos, and 5 bell peppers picked from the garden.
  • 1 batch of salsa made (from the garden produce).
  • 9 loaves of zucchini bread baked (from garden zucchini).
  • 6 jumbo sized banana muffins (from leftover bananas).
  • 10 fried peach pies (from dehydrated peaches brought back from California).

Three generations of women baking. Probably a celebration in its own right.