Living in this new stage…

Living in this new stage of life, I don’t blog as much, but I am healthier (exercised more) and happier (don’t really know why).

The other day, I woke up around 8 am, ironed some clothes, vacuumed the floor, and baked a zucchini bread. I felt peaceful and content and happy. The old me would think I had not accomplished much in that morning, but the new me don’t care. It was at least 10 years ago that I baked my last zucchini bread. I just want to bake one!

Maple tree
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This time of the year is the only time that we would open our vertical blinds in the kitchen. Every day I stand by the window staring at our beautiful maple tree. The beauty is unbelievably stunning.

Goals and an update on my 1000 photos project

For many years, my life was built on goals. Even on weekends, I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish before Monday. “No goal, no life”, it was as simple as that. So you can easily understand why I had set a goal of taking 1000 photos and gave them back to the people.

When I first started the project, I kept track of each photo I had taken and numbered each one of them so I knew how many more I had to take to reach my goal. In my mind, at the end of this project, I would share my experience and maybe even give some speeches about the project and hopefully I would inspire others one way or the other. That was what I wa thinking before I reached my current stage of life 😉

In this new stage, I no longer need goals to know where I am going. Every moment is important and I treasure it very much. I no longer worry about if it should be 1000 or 900. I’ll do what I can in however long it will take and I’m ok with that. Although I continue taking photos for people I think they would appreciate them, I don’t log each one anymore.

For example, our friend Troy invited us to a long-distance-shooting event that he participated in Duluth. My husband and I drove to Duluth (3 or 4 hour drive) and took many photos of several participators. Later we gave the photos to each of them and we were told that they were so happy with the photos that each one of them had changed their FB profile with the photo we took. YEAH!

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Another example… my neighbor asked me if I could take some photos of her family when they raked leaves. They had never had a family photo and she would like to have one. OF COURSE, I LOVE to take their photos! 😉

neighbor

I am happy that I could give something to others in a way that I enjoy of doing 😉

Duluth

Duluth is a very special place for me. My husband took me there when we were still dating. Till now, I consider Lake Superior is my friend. I shouted “Hey, I love you!” whenever I see the lake. And I really love it!
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duluth1

Thanks for visiting my blog! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this blog community!!!

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo, photo and thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Living in this new stage…

  1. Thank you for sharing your winds of change. Xoxo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mabel Kwong says:

    Great to hear that you are used to your new lifestyle, Helen. It sounds relaxing, taking things at your own pace instead of go, go, go. I still thought you packed a punch that morning. Usually I don’t even get that much done in the morning to be honest 🙂 That is amazing to hear that the participants like your shots. You must have had a good eye, and I’m sure you had a lot of fun while you were at it too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Mabel. I learned a lot on that shooting day. Couldn’t see the target with my eyes!!! It would be fun to try it one of these days. Ha… If my friend trusts me with his equipment.
      Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. loisajay says:

    Helen, I have not stopped smiling the entire time I read (and reread) this! Your happiness just shines through. The maple tree is beautiful and your photos are as wonderful as ever. If this is enjoying life, then you, my friend, are having the time of your life and I could not be happier for you. XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Lois, your comment made me smile! Thank you, my dear friend.
      I think I have taken 5 photos of that maple tree every day 🙂 just can’t take my eyes of it!
      On my way to Taiwan. Will check your blog whenever I can. Your sense of humor is deeply appreciated here 🙂
      Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Are you at Minneapolis / St. Paul areas? If so would you like to meet during some weekends for photo shooting? 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good afternoon, Yan. Another gray day, eh? I live in Rochester. I think you live in Bloomingdale, right? We can meet for coffee for start 😉 I would definitely say yes for photo-shooting 6 months ago. Now I am getting lazier (have fully adjusted my retirement life 😉 and don’t usually plan any activity. I simply let things happen by themselves. Wing Huie in Minneapolis has a photo Salon on Dec. 10. You may find it interesting. Check his web site (google his name, you will see it). Even if you don’t want to attend the photo salon, it is a good resource. Feel free to email me.
      Have a wonderful day.

      Like

  5. Whichever stage of life you are in, if you are happy and content, what more you need, right?

    I think most of us ignores this simple philosophy and runs behind goals set by themselves and by others…

    Beautiful post and I could very well relate to your views on life 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      I agree! 🙂 I think we have to live in a certain way in order to survive… Most of us anyway. Been there, done that, now is time to relax and be happy! 🙂
      Thanks for your comment. I do believe our cultures have a lot of similarities.
      Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Cee Neuner says:

    Oh Helen, I so appreciated reading your post. I’ve learned myself not to live by goals, they take up way to much energy for me. Sounds like you are living very much on purpose without the goals. My hat is off to you. Have a lot of fun. I miss you and think of you a lot. I’m glad to hear you are well….I’d say extremely well. I adore Lake Superior too. But for so many other reasons than you. You photos are beautiful as always. You are a precious person and deserve to happy and content.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Cee. I miss you too! Your comment warms me! I am on my way to Taiwan. And have to get of the Internet now 😦 talk to you later!
      Have a great day!

      Like

  7. Amy says:

    How wonderful to hear from you, Helen. Thank you for sharing your new life stage, a stage you are doing what you enjoy and appreciate what you have. Happy travel! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Amy. Just got back from Taiwan, still trying to adjust the temperature differences 😉
      I wonder if everyone is going to reach this stage one way or the other… It’s peaceful and nice. Ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Adhika says:

    Long time Helen! It’s great to see your updates! I am so happy to see your post because it reminds me of Minnesota. Fall is my favorite time of the year and looking at your maple tree makes me miss Minnesota so much.

    I have not blogged much lately either but I still make pictures. 🙂 Maybe it’s just me, but I feel the blogging part burdensome. I still update my portfolio at http://adhika.photoshelter.com. And I still post stuff on my Flickr. I just came back from a trip to Wyoming and I am still working on the photos there. There is an album I put up on Flickr that host some of the pictures I have finished working if you are interested.

    I hope you are having a great time in Taiwan. Keep shooting, drop me an email some time, I would love to talk to you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Sorry for the late reply. Had a terrible jet-lag. It seems that the older you get, the worse je-lag would become!!!
      I know what you mean that the blogging part burdensome. I had struggled. But on the other hand, because of it, I got to meet you, Lois, Randall, Amy, Cee… so I wouldn’t complain about it.
      We definitely will keep in touch! You are one of my teachers!!! And I want to learn more!!!
      I love your portfolio!!! The first thought came to my mind was: maybe I should copy (I mean make one for myself). But then the second thought was: “hey you are in this new stage now. You don’t need a portfolio!” Ha. Is that page is something we can subscribe?
      I would still encourage you to blog. Maybe not so often… How about once a month? I like how you share your thoughts on taking photos. I always enjoy reading them and have leaned a lot from you. Count it as a good deed for people like me 😉
      Had a wonderful time in Taiwan. Now not only I have to readjust the time, but also the temperature. It was almost 90 degree there!
      Have a great day!

      Like

  9. joannesisco says:

    Oh Helen, I just love your photos. The lighthouse is stunning and the rifleman is such a great portrait. I can see why everyone loved to have one of your photos for their profile pic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Joanne. I know why I like to take photos of those who seldom have a chance to have their photo taken now… they are easier to please. Ha ha…
      I wish I had more “skills”. I am still in “wish me luck” phrase and count on post-process a lot, which I wish I don’t have to. But on the other hand, I am pleased that a lot of my photos can be saved by post-processing. That is an improvement from before 😉
      Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. carol1945 says:

    HI Helen, Your maple tree is gorgeous, as are the other photos. As usual, your writing resonates with me. I, too, was very goal oriented,and I even have several notebooks with all these goals written down. I am trying to sort out my junk room and I am finding all these old diaries, goal lists, quotations I thought were important at the time, and I see how I have changed. Actually, I still keep a notebook. Rather than goals, they are more guidelines just for the day. Thank you so much for the update. Carol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Hello, Carol. Sorry for the late reply. Jet-lag is my excuse.;-)
      The way you keep a notebook is very interesting! I guess I am sneakier. I seldom wrote down my goals, didn’t want give anyone a chance to see it and hold it against me. Ha. But I always repeated my goals in my mind several times so I knew exactly what they were.
      Come to think about it, it may have something to do with I don’t type well. I used to write my story in my head. I even revised it a couple of times in my head. It was faster that way 😉
      Have a wonderful day.

      Like

  11. Dalo 2013 says:

    This is a beautiful post – full of great photos, but more your words and thoughts of your happiness. There are times in life I get overwhelmed with “goals” so stepping back the way you are and I suppose really following a “goal” of simply enjoying life without this need of ‘checking off the box/goal” is very admirable. A better chance to feel and enjoy life I imagine. Wish you well ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Randall. For some reason, I knew you would understand what I meant… even at your young age (maybe you just look young??? Ha.)
      Aging is wonderful. It brings me to different places, gives me different perspective on everything. If and only if I have a stronger knees and back and… 😉
      Can’t wait for your next post! (No pressure though.) I don’t write as often, but I enjoy reading as much as before.
      Have a wonderful day!

      Like

  12. prior2001 says:

    Love the gun guy!! And really enjoyed your reflections on growth 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you! You are so kind… reflections on growth… you mean aging, right? 😉
      Seriously, I love every day that I am having, and it’s about time 😉
      Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • prior2001 says:

        Hope u have a good day and too – and I was thinking of you again today (before your reply came) because I grabbed some people photos this month and remember earlier this year when we were talking about checking in on our photo goals?’well I have evolved since then too – and so it looks like we have something else in common – which has to do with keeping a balanced approach to life’s ebb and flow – or trying to at least – and I feel like as a blogger I have gone through two stages so far – and I like my new stage too. Anyhow – thx for your reply and sending a blog hug your way ❤️💗

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I completely agree with you that without goal, things are so unorganized and meaningless. Glad to know more about you.

    I liked your shot of maple tree. It’s very nicely composed. Not to mention that I loved your shots of Duluth lighthouse. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Suyash. I’d sent my maple tree photo to a couple friends in Taiwan before going there because there weren’t too many maple trees there. When I was there, one day when we were traveling, the tour guide commented how beautiful those maple leaves were. My friend told me to show him my maple tree photo. “This is nothing comparing to your tree,” she said. 😉
      Have you been to Duluth? Every MN photographer has to take a photo of that lighthouse, I think. 😉
      Have a wonderful day!

      Like

  14. restlessjo says:

    Love that first lighthouse shot! So stopped me in my tracks, Helen. 🙂 Really glad things are working out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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