Where to Wander?

Wondering About 2019

Flashback 2006: “Cindy Blogs the Sierra.” This in’t my first rodeo.

Flashback 2006: “Cindy Blogs the Sierra.” This in’t my first rodeo.

When I worked for the Forest Service, one of my best friends was my list of goals.

If I was frustrated, lost, overwhelmed, or just a bit confused I would stop and look at my goal page. That one page in the back of my planner would remind me to find my purpose and it gave me focus.

But, now I don't work. I’m “retired.”

In my dreams, not my real job.

In my dreams, not my real job.

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." Lewis Carroll is correct. I don't want to go just anywhere. Even in my retirement, I want to go somewhere and not all roads lead where I want to go. So, I am going back to creating my annual list of goals.

Here are my Whelan on Walkabout Goals for 2019.

1. Visit Amazing Places. I want to do more of what makes me happy - travel. Being in a new place, learning, looking, seeing, and trying new things gives me energy. Traveling opens my mind and my heart. I am fortunate to have the time and the resources to travel far and wide. This year, I would like to spend half of this year in Olympia, Washington, and half of 2019 someplace else.

2. Create Better Content. I write to understand myself and share the stories associated with my photography. I know that “content is king” so I will continue to improve my skills in photography and writing. In 2019, I want to take two writing classes and write a blog post every two weeks. "Perfect practice makes for perfect performances." I'm not a good writer, but I can become a better blogger. I’m not a professional photographer, but I can work on making professional quality images.

Goal: create better images and write better stories.

Goal: create better images and write better stories.

3. Put It on a Wall. I like projects. In the last 12 years I averaged about one photo exhibit a year. Last year I had two individual exhibits, one at Fresno City Hall and a second at the Community Media Access Collaborative. This year I want to make an effort to find one juried show to enter and work to participate in one individual or group exhibit.

My Cone Collection  exhibit at M Street Gallery, August, 2018 in Fresno, Calif.

My Cone Collection exhibit at M Street Gallery, August, 2018 in Fresno, Calif.

I love to travel with my family. I love to travel without my family. It is all good.

I love to travel with my family. I love to travel without my family. It is all good.

4. Learn It All. In May, I will be attending the 3rd annual Yellowstone Photo Symposium, in West Yellowstone. Thank you Perfect Light Camera and the Nature Photographers of the Pacific North West. I won a gift certificate to cover the tuition and I plan to make the best of it. I love Yellowstone and I want to learn everything that are going to teach.

This is my ‘Be Fearless’ photo. “Alien” from the Museum of Popular Culture in Seattle.

This is my ‘Be Fearless’ photo. “Alien” from the Museum of Popular Culture in Seattle.

5. Be Fearless. This year I commit to being there, wherever I am. I am going to be present in the awesomeness of the world and I want to feel alive. Fear of failure is a roadblock to doing what I love. I will write and photograph without fear because life is too short. (This really isn’t a measurable goal, but I want to put it on the list.)

6. Attend OCC, NWCCC, NPPNW. Translation: I want to meet with other photographers to share, learn, and socialize. The Olympia Camera Club (Shout out to OCC! Love you guys.) is a great bunch of photographers and fun people. Maybe I will even make a few friends. I enjoyed the two conferences I attended last year, the North West Council of Camera Clubs (NWCCC) and the Nature Photographers of the Pacific North West (NPPNW), and if there is another photography or gathering of writers, I'm going to be there.

A portrait lighting demonstration at an Olympia Camera Club meeting.

A portrait lighting demonstration at an Olympia Camera Club meeting.

7. Back it Up. "A photo doesn't exist unless it is saved in three places." I use Carbonite backup cloud service, and I have an external hard drive, but my iMac computer can no longer work as a storage device for my photographs. All my photos and blogs are going onto a Drobo storage device that has the built-in redundancy to keep everything safe. I don't take pictures to lose them on a failed hard drive. I take pictures for keeps. I need to back that up.

You may ask, “Whelan on Walkabout, why are you sharing this on your blog?”

My point is: life needs purpose, even in “retirement.” I don't work, but I still have my goals. I'm going to wander, photograph, and wonder about what to blog about in 2019.

I ask, what are you going to do? What is your purpose this year? I hope you find it.

Winter Solstice, night photography in Tacoma, WA.

Winter Solstice, night photography in Tacoma, WA.