Epicurus— We must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed without attaining it.
I have decided to take action after having read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, especially because I am unemployed and six months pregnant and less and less confident that I will find something part time to keep me in the work groove In other words, I have time to kill. What better way to use my time than to work on my happiness!
I have not figured out how exactly I’m going to work out my personal happiness project, but one thing is for sure: the inspirations that I had while reading the book continue to percolate in my head, and I need to start getting them down and working them out. From what I’ve learned about influence and persuasion from Professor Kelton Rhoads, if you make a pledge to do something, you are more likely to do it.
I dream of one day being considered an excellent photographer by excellent photographers like I dream of being considered a great writer by other great writers. Now I merely drool over the skills of other bloggers such as Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things and Ryan of Pacing the Panic Room. I read clever bloggers like Mrs. Odie of Mrs. Odie2 and Tom Philpott of Grist.com and authors such as Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan and hope that by practicing I can rise to their level.
Alas, I understand that it takes more than mere practice. I need to get out there, take a class and form a writing group. My dilemma is the same dilemma I had when running and hoping to find running partners. I need to find people who are in a similar enough pace group (or skill level) that we can keep up with each other but still offer practical and insightful advice. I always hated running with people who were totally too fast for me because I felt that I was holding them back in the same way that running with people who are too slow can be frustrating.
Not having been formally trained in either photography or writing beyond compulsory writing courses in college and one black and white photography course in middle school, I know I need the help! So if you live in the Bay Area, near Redwood City, and are looking for something similar, let me know.
Otherwise, this is my public pledge to make sure that I get out there and start doing what it takes to get better at these two aspirations of mine. I know I want it. When my dad told me that he was taking a photography class where they would cover lighting, my jealousy was palpable. Yesterday, as I was contemplating my post, Week 25, I felt the heat of fear rise into my cheeks, and I wished that I had somebody besides my extremely helpful but sometimes gratuitous husband to run my writing by.
I’m guessing that every writer and photographer wonders if their post hit the spot with someone and if someone looked at the picture and thought, “Wow, amazing.”
Here’s to making my photographs and writing more satisfying to me and exercising my happiness muscles!