motorcycle on an open road in fall
Intentionality,  Photography

Find Your Passion, Find Your Peace | Bret’s Motorcycle Session, Appleton, Wis. (Plus other reflections.)

In October, as Bret and I were parked on the side of a busy street talking about how long he has been a motorcycle enthusiast, he said something that truly struck me. His statement has been a lesson that has been popping up in my life ever since.

He told me that riding and taking care of his motorcycle is one of his life-long passions that he always devoted time to. This seems simple, but it really is more complex than I thought, especially for someone who has a lot of different interests.

It really made me think to what had just happened in the last hour. Picture this: me hanging out of the passenger seat window of our car as Eli drove in tandem with Bret on his Harley. Bret was all suited up in his leathers, feeling the wind through his hair enjoying ever single golden yellow leaf adorning the trees along a stretch of road in Appleton, Wis.

I had the privilege of photographing Bret enjoying something he has appreciated, cared for and treasured for decades. If I hadn’t thought about it, I don’t think I would have realized just how special it is to see someone doing something they love. (Bret, I bet you didn’t realize I took so much away from our experience!)

While I came down from my high of photographing something so cool, and let’s be honest, epic (AKA motorcycles are awesome!)… I started thinking about what really matters to me and what I really wanted to cherish in this life.

I did not figure this out for quite a while. I did realize I have a lot of interests, a lot of places I want to see, and I have a lot of people I love and want to create deeper connections with. It actually became stressful to pick something that I wanted to devote more time to, even going so far as to say I had too many interests to give them all adequate attention.

OK, I promise to get on with my little revelation, but you first need to see the photos from Bret’s session. I worked my little creative heart to pieces photographing and editing this session, so I truly hope you enjoy it!

Anyways, que a time later in October where I came across PowerSheets. I had heard about this goal setting planner in the past and jumped in. The tagline is perfect, “Cultivate What Matters.” Ok, gardening reference and simplifying… exactly what I needed.

As I waited for my planner and the holidays approached I got more and more excited to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. The planner arrived, but I waited until after Jan. 1 to start the work. (This thing has like 40 pages of “prep” before you even get to January pages!) I wanted my heart to be ready to start and I think I did on Jan. 2, and it still took me a few days to get to the meat of it! Through prompts and pages of ideas, PowerSheets had me write down everything I was passionate about, and then narrow it down into groups of what I wanted to work on this year. I came up with my Faith, my Family and Work. Plus other hobbies.

In the meantime, Marie Kondo’s netflix show came out and I was inspired to declutter. Then I checked out an audiobook, “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders where she talks through a year of not buying anything non-essential. Watching the show and listening to the book were random. I was not seeking to “start” my life anew with sorting through my things or intentionally start buying only what I needed.

Pair all of these things together and you will find me alone in my room puzzling over a daily morning and evening routine that would ensure I had time for working out, reading and spending time with Jesus. Plus I developed a roadmap of how I could make time for my family/friends and blog/business each week. As the year progresses I’ll be scheduling in as many hikes, creative pursuits, garden visits and farm days as I can! (Like I said… I have a lot of interests!)

Well, I’m one week in, and I’m off to a good start.

girl taking a photo in a rear view mirror on a car in black and white
Let’s get out there and have a little fun doing what we love!

I’m not perfect. Not by a long shot. Examples include: I haven’t picked up my camera since Christmas. I missed the weekly blogging day (yesterday) and I did go back to sleep last Wednesday after my alarm went off. Oh, and I didn’t walk the dogs a few days I wanted to. But another thing I am learning is that I need to give myself some gosh darn grace. I’ll never be perfect. The routines I put together are not easy to adapt to. I don’t know how I’ll need to adjust when summer rolls around and we are going to be going to more events and vacations. These aren’t my 2019 resolutions, they aren’t even “big dream goals” they are things I care about and it feels really good to try and get myself to a happy place where I feel like I’m giving the things I love my time.

A few tips if you want to get a little more organized with your days:

  1. Write down everything that you love and why. The why is important.
  2. Circle the things you want to devote more time to this year.
  3. Write a list for each thing on how you can get started on each one.
  4. Put those things on your to-do list for this week or next week or next month. Soon!
  5. Make up a routine with the things you need/want to do daily. (Tip: If you see you need to wake up earlier, get the app Alarmy. It’s annoying but effective. I use the photo setting and force myself to go to the kitchen each morning to photograph my refrigerator. Perfect timing for that glass of water!)
  6. Schedule in things you need to do each week.
  7. Enjoy making the life you want, and don’t feel pressure to keep your routine/schedule the same! It can change with absolutely no guilt!

I’ll be working on finding my passions and therefor my peace for forever, and I hope you will join me on this ride! And thanks to my buddy Bret for sparking this whole thing by showing me how cool it is to put time into the things you love!

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