The Best Laid Plans …

article image

I wonder how many New Year’s Resolutions begin as great ideas that almost work out. I’m guessing at least as many as the resolutions that don’t make it 12 days, let alone 12 months. Resolutions are a lot easier to make than to keep; I think most people can attest to that.

For years, I kept one resolution. Only one, and one that I renewed from year to year. I must have kept that resolution going for 15 years. By now, I’m sure you want to know what could be so important a resolution that it could last a decade and a half. It’s not what you think. For 15 years, I resolved not to make any New Year’s Resolutions. Yeah, I know, it’s a cheat. But I kept it.

Two years ago, I tried something else: monthly goals. Each month, I selected one or two goals to work towards in the next four weeks. These were simple things, small goals like writing a page a day in a notebook or skipping that second cup of coffee each morning. Goals seemed more concrete, more attainable, more accessible. The proof was in the pudding, as they say. I kept those goals up for about 14 months. That’s right, the goals lasted into last year — not too bad.

This year, I’m trying a hybrid of a resolution and a goal. I resolve to take at least five pictures each week in 2017. I have two reasons for that. First, I want to explore my camera more. It’s a digital SLR with lots of features for shooting great photographs, features I haven’t explored for far too long. I even bought a copy of the Dummy’s Guide to my particular camera model.

Second, I had a great idea for an end-of-year review: I wanted to share twelve pictures I had taken in 2016, one for each month. That’s the idea that almost worked out. I had some great shots, at least in my estimation. There was the long exposure of a waterfall at Ricketts Glen State Park, and the bald eagle that flew over my car as I drove home from work one day. Another time, I snapped a shot of an Amish family planting tobacco. One morning, Canada geese swam across a cold March pond as mists rose from the waters, a maple blooming on the far shore. There were others, which I’m sharing here. I’m sure you’d rather see them than read about them.

What I didn’t have was twelve photos, one for each month; my photo shoots happened in clusters; they just were not evenly spread across the calendar.

But this won’t happen next year, not if I keep my resolution and make my goal. We’ll see what I can share in December 2017. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the photos from 2016.