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My birthday is a gift in that it falls in the middle of the year. I use it to re-assess not so much what I have accomplished, but rather, where to steer life’s trajectory. With this framework, we look on the bright side of things while avoiding the guilt of not being where we thought we were meant to be. We are always where we’re meant to be. We just need the occasional shift in perspective, is all.
Retrospection is one of those practices that can be likened to a double-edged sword. In one respect, we need to be wary of the tendency to live in the past, the mulling of our histories which prevents us from living out the joys of today. When the retrospecting is on something not entirely good, it can put us in quite a rut. A reminder hence that sometimes, the best course of action is to live and let go. On the other side of the coin, however, is a warning against racing haphazardly onwards without direction. As freeing as that may feel, perhaps a moment’s pause would be beneficial, and also, necessary. As always, striking balance is just the stuff. Myself, I lean towards retrospection partnered with a ridiculous will for chasing what I want, so in that way, I suppose I find balance. Retrospection to me doesn’t require so much the mulling, but more so a switching of the lens.
In this re-assessment, I make a list of actionable steps. Minor tweaking of daily life practices, with deeper intentionality behind each one. For example, a desire to physically switch my camera lens from the standard one to a fixed 50 mm lens for the rest of the year. Reason being…? Reason being that the 50 mm lens forces me to switch my camera to a manual setting, thus avoiding the automatic point-and-shoot capturing of daily life. In this single action, I am inserting a forced habit of creativity. I make photographing a bit more difficult. I slow the process. I make the framing more intentional. I have to take the time to focus the lens on what I want to see. A method of mindfulness.
This and others. Here, a short list.
- Switching the camera lens and turning the manual switch on (to instill mindfulness in creativity).
- Spending the first thirty minutes of being awake writing, reading, or creating (for better mental health).
- Applying moisturizer and sunscreen daily (as an act of self-care)
- Plugging the cell-phone in once I enter the home (and leaving it there).
- Keeping the lights turned off as far into the evening as possible (and substituting candles in its wake).
- Read more (mindfully).
- Sleep 8 hours every night, uninterrupted (like I used to).
- Keeping clear surfaces around the house (for more clarity).
- Switching to decaf … or no caff … during the week (now that I’ve cut the midnight shifts).
- Carrying around a notebook (in the hopes of jotting down more introspections such as these).
How about you guys? Birthdays not required, what are some ways you hope to change trajectories for the rest of 2019?