Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Year of Us

Well here we are, at the beginning of a brand new year.  Can you believe that it's the first day of a new year?!  I truly can't wrap my mind around it quite yet.  Even as I packed up all of Christmas today, I kept thinking that someone must have hit the fast forward button because it seems as though it should still be July, not January.  Of course 60 degree temps may be causing me to think that way too!

But I've been thinking about 2012 for quite some time now.  I'm not sure why I felt that the beginning of one year seemed better than any other time to make some changes, but it just did.  So I've been plotting over November and December, not about resolutions per se, but about what I really want to do with my life.  Where I hope to be one year from now, or even one month from now.

Today, I wandered around my yard looking like the creature from the black lagoon...and I'm not exaggerating. I borrowed my son's ghillie suit (see the photo below) and I stealthily sat motionless waiting for birds to arrive so that I could take their picture.  I think the sight of me in the suit may have been more scary than just lil ole me slinking around.

See what I mean?!  I'm sure my neighbor thought that Sasquatch had moved in next door, but hey this was part of my grand plan, my new year, new me plan.  In my plan, I would fool all living creatures who inhabit our yard, and I would then be able to take my wildlife photography to the next level, you know, like National Geographic level.  I didn't say it was a good plan, but it was a plan!

What I discovered was that 

a.  Ghillie Suits kind of smell a mix of old fishing nets and kerosene.

b.  All those little string things that make you look like a bush...they don't mix well with a tripod.  In fact, they tend to get tangled up and it may or may not take you a lot of time getting them out of said tripod.

c.  Birds are smarter than they look, so camouflage is really only good for animals with bad eyesight.

d.  Even if you have on camouflage, the big honking camera spinning around on a tripod might just give you away.

So, back to my new year, new me plan, slightly amended to include some reality, ie. Nat Geo won't be knocking on my door anytime soon.

When I visited my friend Anna, who is an artist, yoga instructor, marketing genius, and all around great person, she told me that she was planning to focus on herself this year.  Before the words were even completely formed and out of her mouth I said..."YES!, this is the year of ME too!"

So after a walk, and some more chatting about what our vision will be for 2012, she and I decided that it will not be the year of me...or her...but it will be the year of US.  Us meaning, anyone who wants to move in the same direction.  Women just like us, or my friend J, or anyone really who wants to focus on doing the things we love, finding new things to love, taping into our talents, and really going after the things we want.

Not "going after" things in a Filene's Basement bridal dress sale sort of way, but in a way that helps us to reach our goals.  Because let's face it, when we are happy, satisfied, accomplished, well it overflows into every other aspect of our lives.

We are better people, mothers, children, siblings, workers, whatever, because happiness, calm, and focus are all contagious.

Now I haven't figured all of this out yet, but I do know a few things.  I will focus on my photography in a way I haven't ever done before.  Instead of taking pictures of things I think others might like, or processing them in ways I think might make them easier to sell, I will now create for me.

I will maybe even start a new blog, one that is more photography centered.  One that will chronicle this new journey I'm embarking on.  That may mean that this blog won't see as much action, though I can't imagine ever completely shutting it down because I still have a passion for design and decor, just not the same passion I used to have for such things.

I see this year of "US" as a chance to do what I want, be who I want.  Like the photos above, it will be one filled with realism some days, and others where I will create my own vision of how I want things to look.

I plan to use this year to reach deep within, clean out the clutter, both literally and figuratively, and find what remains.  And just like any good plan, I will remain flexible, open to possibilities, and ready to turn on a dime.

So who's with me?!  Are you ready for the Year of US?  You don't need a special membership card, or learn the secret handshake, as a matter of fact I suggest you keep it all to yourself so that others don't feel the need to give you any advice.  Just go out there and do it, whatever it is, climb that mountain, pull those clothes off the stair stepper and get moving, get rid of the people (and stuff) that are holding you back from being who you want to be, need to be, and can be!

I won't be giving motivational speeches, nope, I plan to take my cues from Nike...and Just Do It!

Happy New Year!


  1. I am with you, with me, with us {whatever!!}. It sounds fascinating. This is what amazes me about blogging...those silent thoughts I have that turn up on someone else's blog page. I spend a lot of time saying to myself, "What does he {she, they} think of me?" That HAS to stop. I am looking out for me this year and if I am happy with me it doesn't matter what others think. And that, my friend, leaves me wide open to pursue what makes me happy in the world around me.

    I thank you for the motivation, Kat. It seems we are always on the same page. I wish you all the best in your've already accomplished so much in your writing and photography, be proud!

    Here's to a wonderful and fulfilling new year of US!


  2. Kat:

    I loved reading your posts. Best of luck in your new endeavors with your photography....Yes your photos are amazing! Thanks for your inspirational blog!

  3. Sounds like a good plan - my plan is to try to bring everything to the next level and improve myself to the best of my ability. We'll have lots to brag about my friend! Happy 2012!

  4. WOW! You HAVE motivated me! I'm going to bring my journal in here and write down some of what you've said! I'm IN!!! I need to focus on being the best that I can whatever I undertake this year! I'm excited and ready to write down my goals! Thanks for the motivation! And thanks for asking about my photos on my old computer. We had just done a back up...WHEW! And we still hope we can retrieve more from it! Happy New year! ♥♥♥

  5. Your posts always inspire Kat, but this one more than most. Here's to all of 'Us' in the New Year!

  6. LOL. That suit looks like it smells bad! I agree...somehow 2011 started as the year of me and that got derailed quicly...maybe because I was trying to go it alone and didn't have any other woman along the way to fist bump with and cheer me on! So, yes, I am on board. My major project is getting my website up and running. Finding time is my biggest challenge!

  7. You are welcome to give motivational speeches any ol' time you like! I feel like putting my sneakers on at 10:40pm and going for a run after reading this!!! I particularly like the line "We are better people, mothers, children, siblings, workers, whatever, because happiness, calm, and focus are all contagious." You have such a beautiful heart and it shines right through in your writing. Best wishes on the future and everything that it holds for you. Go get it!
    Happy new year to you and your family, Kat!

  8. Me Too Year...yeah I could get on board with that since I find myself nodding my head at the monitor in agreement with everything you expressed.
    That shot of Woody is quite remarkable and IMHO definitely Nat Geo worthy.
    P.S. weren't lurking around my cabin this past fall show at Warrenton by any chance were you. Sure thought I saw ol' Sasquatch out in the woods there.

  9. Sounds like a plan, Kat!
    I've branched out a bit already, but have more dreams to pursue this year as well. I have no idea where it might lead, but I'm ready to head on down the road anyway!

  10. Oh I love it, "The Year Of 'Us'"! Can't believe you did that suit thing. You are seriously serious about your craft... I am so impressed! A-M xx

  11. Kat, I always enjoy stopping by your blog and reading it, reflecting on what you said, enjoying your photos and just catching up with what you are doing in your life! I am IN for the Year of Us!!! I think your photos are just beautiful and this post gave us some beauties!! Keep on being you and I'm glad you won't give up this blog-I would miss you!! Look out 2012!!!

  12. Kat, 2011 was the WORST year of my life!! I am so happy it's over. I have to work on finding the "new me" in 2012. It's going to be a lot of work, but having people like you to look to for inspiration will help. I have my dragonfly photo to inspire as well. One good thing I have to look forward to in 2012 is a trip to Italy in June! Cross one thing off my bucket list! If you offer a photo class, sign me up. God bless you and thanks for being a huge inspiration to me. Also, thanks for your kindness...

  13. Count me in!

    And good luck to everybody for being YOUR TRUE SELF

    Kat, cant wait for your new blog! Keep up with your creative energy and follow your heart.

  14. Oh girl I am SO with you!!!! Good for you! Kat you are one of the most unselfish souls that I know, always putting others before you and it is time that you mix in some 'you' with everything. You deserve 'YOU' time, 'US' time! You know how much I love your photography and I can't wait to see where you go with everything, just remember, do what makes you happy. :)
    Hugs to you!!

  15. Oh yeah, did anyone happen to get a photo of you in your "suit"! I would have loved to have seen that. ;)

  16. You have taken the thoughts right out of my head and solidified them here. I just found you a week or so ago and I believe it is a God thing. You have written down what is on my heart and mind and I move forward in this much lived in life. Blessings to US! xo Diana

  17. The Ghillie suit looks.. ahem :0) You take fantastic pictures anyway Kat. The little bird pics are gorgeous

  18. That sounds like a plan - and I'm very glad that the Ghillie suit isn't required dress!

  19. Girl you have got me all fired up. I'm ready to face the year and focus a little more on me!

    Thanks for the encouragement and of course, the beautiful photos.


  20. Oh, I am so "in" on the US year!

    Happy new year!


  21. I love this post. I'm all for what you want to do. It will be fun for you!

  22. Kat,
    Sign me up! I know what you mean about 2012, I was telling my husband I just constantly feel like I'm on fast forward, but not always in a good or meaningful sort of way. And, when I looked at my hair this morning and realized how overdue I am for a cut and highlights? A sober reality check I need to focus on myself. STAT!
    Happy New Year!

  23. Kat, you have such a way with words - and photography. I'm truly inspired by reading your post. Since I won't be galavanting off this year, I feel it is the year to get some things done.

  24. Sign me up too Kat! I'm right there with you, although on a much smaller scale. Your birdie pics ROCK. You made me laugh picturing you wearing that suit with your camera and tripod. But my oh my if I were Nat Geo, you would be the one to watch. You have a wonderful combination of talent, accomplishment and motivation and I so admire your photography and your resolve for continual evolvement. YOU inspire me! xoxo ~Lili

  25. Great post, Kat! My grandkids would love that suit...or be scarred for life lol!


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