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“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control; now.”  Denis Waitley

It’s the New Year – 2013 – a time when people set new goals and resolutions to be better and do better in the coming year.  

I’ve never been good at setting or keeping New Years resolutions.  

I see too many people make them and break them, so I decided a long time ago not to join that bandwagon.  Why set myself up for failure – right?  Little did I realize that even though I wasn’t setting those goals and resolutions with each new year . . . I was setting goals and resolutions throughout the year.  Over the years I’ve said I was going to do something many times over, but I usually end up not finishing what I started.  When I don’t finish what I say I want to do, I get mad at myself, get depressed and my self esteem goes in the tank.  That’s when I need to look in the mirror and have a good chat with myself.  I don’t get the results I want if I don’t follow through on what I say I want.  I’m only letting one person down – myself.

I’m quite an expert at not finishing what I say I want to do.  I’ve got a closet full of unfinished craft projects, and a calendar full of broken weight loss deadlines.  One of the reason’s I decided to do this 365 Project is because I wanted to start something big, and finish something big . . .  Posting a picture a day, of myself, and blogging about it every day – huge commitment!  

And I’ve done it.  I am 11 days (I’m actually doing 366 days) away from completing this challenge.  

I’m in the home stretch.  It’s been an awesome, life changing journey.

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“I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else.  I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.”  Ken Venturi

Today is the last day of our 365 Vegas Meetup.  Most are leaving today, or have left already this morning.    My husband and I have decided to stay for a couple more days, as we would like to go back to a couple of the places we didn’t feel like we got enough time in . . . such as the Valley of Fire.  A group of us decided to get our picture taken and the Las Vegas sign at one end of the Strip.  There was quite a line up of people waiting to take pictures, as well as an Elvis personality and two Vegas Showgirls with whom you could get your photo taken if you wanted to pay them for it.  We ended up standing in the lineup for quite some time waiting for all of our people to show up.  I took this shot of Frank (a fellow 365’er) as we waited.  I was so pleasantly surprised when I opened this up on my computer to see this amazing sunburst and the great reflection in his glasses!  Score!  He kind of reminds me of one of those Secret Agent types in this shot.  Or a movie star!  

I also love the quote I found for today that seems to totally fit the mood of this photo.  Be the absolute best that you can be and you will shine beyond measure.  You can certainly use what others have done to inspire and motivate, but don’t compete with others to be the best of the best . . . compete against yourself.    Your beautiful aura will then leave a positive impact on everyone who passes through your experience of life.  And YOU are the only one who can make it  happen . . . GO FOR IT!

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“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”  L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

I am reveling in the blessing of having my Daughter and Grand Daughter visiting from California for the week.  Today we spent some time in Vancouver at Stanley Park.  I have great memories visiting here as a child, and as well, bringing my own kids here when they were little.  So it was with great joy that I was able to share this experience with my Grand Daughter, and share the memories with my Daughter.

Moments like these are priceless . . . 

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“Some days I think I look kind of cute, but other days I try to avoid the mirror.” David Alan Grier

This is one of my favorite spots in my house.  My Bathroom.  Yup – maybe a bit strange you say?  Well, we renovated it a couple of years ago.  It was a very small bathroom with a tiny shower and a tub.  We expanded in to some closet space to almost double the space, added a large shower at one end, and a soaker tub under this window.  It’s a nice bright space during the day, and a wonderfully quiet and serene place to soak away the day, at night.  I caught this reflection in my makeup mirror.

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“I don’t care about my looks but I wish people will see my soul and it appears more clearly in these photographs than in others.” – August Strindberg- said about a series of self-portraits. 

I continue to be supremely challenged to put myself fully before the camera.  It’s so easy to capture a shadow or reflection that gives a suggestion, but not the real image.  Every once in awhile though, I surprise myself and actually capture something I like.  I like this image.  I look content, I look happy.  I am content, and I am happy.  I’m in a great place in my life, with few of the worries, stresses, illnesses of so many people I know.  Unfortunately, I have lost too many dear, close loved ones to cancer or other illness/tragedy way before their time.  

I am not a “religious” person, so therefore I believe that life happens . . . some things we have control over and some things we do not.  In no way is my life perfect, and I’m certainly not perfect.  However, I do believe it’s up to me to live my life to the best of my ability, physically and emotionally.  I am responsible for my own results, and if “life happens”, I have choice in how I deal with it.  If I die tomorrow, it’s the impact and influence I’ve made on the people around me, the ones I leave behind, that carry my spirit forward.  I live on in the energy I create and put out in the world.  That energy can be positive or negative . . . my choice.  

I choose positive energy, as it is the basis of harmony, happiness and love.  

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“A shadow of a reflection of an image of an illusion.”  Chuck Palahniuk, Haunted

What do your eyes see in this photo?  What is real . . . what is imagined?  I am fascinated that my husband saw something completely different in this shot – as he did not know what I had taken a picture of.  I really enjoy taking abstract photos but find myself getting caught up in trying to capture what is real.  I am challenging myself to look beyond the literal translation of what I am seeing, and capture something that makes the viewer stop and think about what they are seeing.   

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“Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.”  George Eliot
 

I’ve spent a fair bit of time in my car driving over the last few weeks(Canada to Oregon to California, with lots of sightseeing in between).  Today I was able to sit back and relax while my husband did the driving, as he had flown down to California to spend a bit of time with the grandkids, and drive home with me.   I caught this reflection in the car’s mirror as we were driving along. I was feeling quite satisfied with the past 6 weeks of activities since my Grandson had flown out from Maryland to spend time with me.  I am so incredibly blessed in my life, and am so happy to be able to create value in the lives of those around me.  Today though, I was really enjoying having someone else take the wheel!  

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“A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”  Henry David Thoreau

I snapped this shot off the end of the dock with my point and shoot camera.  I’m amazed at the clear reflection of the blue sky and clouds . . . it’s processed with a mosaic texture in Photo Shop.

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“A true friend is one soul in two bodies”  Aristotle

My guy has been out on the lake in the boat with the boys fishing for the last two days.  Finally, I get my few minutes with him alone in the boat.  Ahhh . . . peacefulness!  I love it when he turns off the motor and we just float in the quiet bay . . .disconnected from life as we know it . . . just us and the loons.

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“It’s practically impossible to look at a penquin and feel angry.”  Joe Moore

There is a new act in town!  My grandson was really excited to go see the new African Penquin Exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium.  They are behind glass and well protected from us humans, but cute they are!  I’m reflected in the glass, taking a picture of him taking a picture of the penquins.  We had a very fun day . . . and he came away with a Penquin back pack . . . 

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