Update To The Update – East Coast Bound(hopefully)

Writing or posting much has certainly taken a hit over the past year or so. I can say with great certainty the lacking of “new stuff” posting can be found anywhere along the spectrum from no motivation; nothing new is happening at the “old homestead”; to no desire to “click” the log-in button.

Nevertheless, I do have an update from the post back at the beginning of April – “Missing In Action – Yet Again – Update(Sort of…i think)”.

After diligently searching across Nova Scotia for a place that would meet both our needs and be within our price range – we put an offer in on a home located in Parrsboro a small community of about 1200 people on the shore of the Bay of Fundy.

The offer went in yesterday(Wednesday, the 4th) and hopefully, we’ll hear back today if the sellers will accept it with the conditions we need to make this work.

All of this is happening at nothing less than “lightspeed.” But, it has taught us this lesson over the past couple of weeks. And it is a lesson that many should ponder very, very carefully.

If you keep waiting to get all your “ducks lined up” before doing or attempting something – chances are you’ll never do it or attempt it. Often you gotta go with what your gut says – regardless of even whether you have ducks or not – let alone having them in any sort of line. If you keep waiting for the perfect time – you’ll wait for ever.

At this stage, we have nothing in terms of “the plans or how this will all work – the nitty-gritty stuff” AT ALL.

Our planning for the most part extends 4 to 5 hours ahead or if things are “clicking along well” – perhaps the next day.

So, there ya have it.

And with any amount of luck – the planets will align and the universe will work in our favour and hopefully, by mid-summer, we’ll be walking the coastline of Nova Scotia.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt Week 40 – Reblog From Sadje

The second in on our Week 40 post comes to us from Sadje.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sadje always send us top notch poetry or short works of prose for our “Tuesday Prompts.”

This week, her poem takes us out into the forest to see things that often others have real trouble believing in. Doesn’t mean that it wasn’t or isn’t real through.

You can check out her entry here.

Thanks Sadje for taking part again this week. Your poem reminds us that sometimes we simply need to believe.

Our next “Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt” is scheduled for next Tuesday, March 23.

Thanks.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt Week 39 – Reblog From Sadje

First in on our Week 39 post comes to us from Sadje.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sadje always send us top notch poetry or short works of prose for our “Tuesday Prompts.” This time is no different – a wonderful short story.

Her short story takes us down the road of coming home. What will be the same; what will be different or changed.

You can check out her entry here.

Thanks Sadje for taking part again this week. Your short story is so powerful and poignant.

Our next “Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt” is scheduled for next Tuesday, March 16.

Thanks.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – 360 Degrees of Change

Well, here in Canada, it is Labour Day Monday. Traditionally, the last day of the three day long weekend before everyone heads back to work and school.

This year the “traditional” bit has a slight caveat attached to it – COVID_19 protocols for heading back into the classroom. We don’t have children heading back to school anymore, so making the decision whether to spend them into the classroom or at-home learning isn’t an issue for Lynn and I.

But, we get and understand the anxiety and fear that many parents are going through.

But, this post isn’t about the issues or concerns heading back into our classrooms this fall. And from what I’ve read, there are plenty of them.

COVID_19 has changed our lives and way of living it, in so many ways. For many that I know, including myself, it has caused us whether we want to or not, to examine or perhaps re-examine our lives.

Since the start of this back in the winters, we’ve asked ourselves questions along the lines of: What are the most important things to me? Where do I want to be in five years? How do I see the world?

Change and the thought of it for many, can be akin to a terrible nightmare. That change is bad.

Change can certainly be a challenge. I’ll give you that.

For many, the nightmare that the story that gets played out in our heads, is change must happen or occur in one huge leap. We’re here at Point A and achieving our destination Point B has to be completed in one massive giant like step.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Change can be good.

One tiny course correction, followed over time can bring us to new and wonderful places in our lives, but without the fear we often associate with change.

There is much change happening right now. A lot of it is focussed on the ongoing global pandemic. And I guess rightly so. But, our lives are moving along as well.

If change is blowing across the face of the earth, perhaps this is the perfect time for change in your life? In my life?

From September 2019
360

Often as we bump and grind along in life, new and exciting opportunities will from time to time seemingly and magically present themselves out of nowhere. Or we may on the other hand, diligently pursue a new direction or change(s) in our life.

These new paths, whether it be a big change or a minor one always require us to deviate from the current heading we may be on.

Change always requires a course correction.

Nevertheless, whether big or small, minor or major, we all have the opportunity for 360 degrees of change in front of us.

DSC_0170-Edit

This should come as no surprise, but change can be difficult and often seems insurmountable by many. Within my circle of influence, there aren’t many who run towards change with reckless abandon.

We tend to accept change reluctantly when forced upon us. And take ourselves to the brink of mental collapse when taking on change of our own accord.

Perhaps the last bit about mental collapse isn’t fair. Nevertheless, implementing change in our lives does tend to put us on edge.

All change, however, doesn’t have to be earth-shattering and momentous in scope.

Change in your life of that magnitude may certainly be necessary. Your journey may be going in one direction and within a split second whether of your own accord or through circumstances, life, as you know and have experienced, is changed and altered 180 degrees.

But putting aside changes in direction that we have no control over such as serious illness, or the passing of a spouse or loved one, what about when changes WE decide to implement in our lives.

360 Degrees of Change

This morning you woke up and decided to change something in your life. Not your socks or underwear, although those are wonderful changes, especially to those around you, but a real change in your life.

So, the question might be – how big of a change are you making or contemplating?

For the sake of this illustration, if we assume that the direction we’re currently on is zero degrees, deciding to move your life in a direction change of 45 degrees seems pretty major. A course correction in our life of 90 degrees is like heading north, then changing directions and heading east. A much bigger change, usually fraught with more challenges and issues.

Moving 180 degrees is akin to dramatically altering your life and going in completely an opposite direction. Need I say more?

Big changes at times require much resolve to make them. Major changes have fear, the unknown, the expectations of others and a whole host of other items churning around in some cauldron and thus forming the recipe of the change.

Which is why for many people, although not all,  major changes or the contemplating of making these changes in and of their own violation, chase people back to continue along the same path they were trudging along before.

But, remember we all have 360 degrees of change to choose from!

And……..

one degree

Often it is the smallest things that have the biggest impact.

Ever had the tiniest pebble inside your running shoe? Try walking four kilometres with that little devil pushing into the ball of your foot.

Little thing – big impact.

A one-degree change of something in our life can have a huge significance. It may not seem like when we decide to implement it, but over time it could be big. Real big!

Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 6.12.01 AM

I’m going to change my life.

You’re going to change your life.

If I utter those words or if an acquaintance spews them forth, my mind heads off along the path of major life changes.

But, notwithstanding, any of this. In reality, how often do we think about and even undertake major life changes?

Is it often, or perhaps not often at all. Might it be seven times during our life?

Difficult to say I guess because we’re all different and “major changes” is a bit of a relative term. It will have a completely different meaning and energy attached to it for each of us.

However, what might a one-degree change look like?

I don’t know how much a coffee or slightly more expensive drink at a coffee bar might be.

But let’s say whatever you have cost $5 and each day on the way to work you stop and get one. Assuming you work five days a week, you spend $25 per week on coffee or whatever it suits your fancy. If you cut down to only stopping four times a week, you’d save $5 per week.

That first week, you saved five bucks. Big deal!! That’s a one-degree change, but only for one week.

After 52 weeks, that’s $260.

A one-degree change in our life over time can make a huge difference.

Every decision, every change in the direction that our lives are headed don’t necessarily have to be earth-quake shattering direction changers.

Even a slight change can take us to a new and exciting destination.

We all have 360 degrees of change before us.

360

Whatever direction we may be headed, could require us to use scores of those degrees.

On the other hand, it may only require one-degree of change to get us to where we need to be.

one degree

You’re the only person who knows how many degrees to use.

You’ve got 360 of them.

Remember…

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – A Rant of Decent Proportions

I got to warn you right off the bat.

There will be some of you who read this and will be greatly offended by it. On the other hand, there will be those of you who read this and know exactly where I’m coming from and residing at the moment.

This is my rant and not Lynn’s.

Also, if you are offended and slightly or even greatly pissed – I get it. I’d be pissed too..

But…. I WILL NOT be wearing your hurt feelings or any level of potential “pissed off-ness.”

I had mentioned to a couple of other bloggers in the past couple of weeks or so, that I felt my blogging effort in the “overall blogosphere” is operating at a bit of a inspirational deficit at the moment.

Update – it still feels that way.

It goes without saying that this has been an unprecedented eight months that that world has gone through since the beginning of the new year. Notwithstanding any of the world’s cataclysmic events that have occured since 1900, the year 2020 and into 2021 will for sure be “one for the record books.”

There aren’t many of us who in August 2019 would have predicted – “global pandemic for the 2020 news story of the year win .”

Nevertheless, I get this feeling in the back of my mind that my inspirational deficit is in some way related to the need for change in my life. And like many, the COVID_19 crisis has slapped all of us into a different way of looking at and viewing life. What we took for granted eight months ago, we simply cannot take for granted anymore.

I mentioned to Lynn a week or so ago, that I felt like our “old homestead” doesn’t feel like home to me anymore. I really don’t like spending time here much it seems. On my days off, I just want to get out of the house and head away to anywhere. Which does throw a wrench into jobs around the house that need to get done.

Do we need to sell and move? I don’t know. Although, I think so though.

I did say to Lynn when the pandemic lockdown was barging along at full steam in March and April, that I wasn’t going to get locked down again and not be able to see our daughter again for some indeterminable amount of time.

Many of my so-called friends and relatives, say that it is simply the times we live in. And that is true….“the times they are a different.”

Funny thing is…..their kids and grandkids live 5 to 10 minutes away. Not halfway across the country in an area where provincial borders are now akin to international borders within our own country. How fucked is that? In Canada, we have the constitutional right to travel unencumbered between provinces.

Oh, and most of them(unfortunately they are relatives) have had no problem ignoring the “social grouping/bubble” rules – even from the start of this start of the lockdown, because..“the grandkids want to see me ; we need to have a party; or some other loosely defined reason.”

Lynn and I have done everything that the government and health official have asked us to do since the beginning of this. But, it has come abundantly evident at least to me that continuing to do the right thing is fucked.

Why?

Because in all honesty, I don’t know many(friends and/or relatives) who are still “doing the right thing.” Still following the advice of the government or health officials in their areas. Stage 3 in Ontario has a social bubble of only 10 close people. There is more than goes along with it, but that is the basic social bubble as it stands.

Lynn and I did the right thing since he beginning in the hopes that by now we might be able to head east to see our daughter.

But, doing the right thing did absolutely fuck all for us. Why? Because we are still stuck here in Ontario. And with no potential relaxation of restrictions in sight for us to see our daughter.

And I tell those who will listen….there is a reason the province just finished building a 70 bed negative air-pressure COVID field hospital in one of the parking lots at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. But, not surprisingly – no one listens.

So, if you’ve being “doing the right thing” – Lynn and I thank you.

On the other hand if you’re one who has decided that the “rules don’t apply to me”; or COVID_19 is a hoax; or I’m not going to be a sheep following the masses”; or let the BBQ, parties and massively large family gatherings get started……

You’re the reason(s) we can’t see our daughter.

Does this sound like a fucking rant? Jesus I hope so!

So…not anymore – now back to taking a look at Nova Scotia real estate listings. Things look pretty good.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

What I’ve Learned From Three Years of Blogging(and how none of it will help you)

“Old 2019” is quickly coming to an end. Christmas is just two and a half weeks away and the New Year will make a grand appearance a week after that.

There are a few bloggers I follow who have far more experience as yours truly and graciously offer up tips and insight on becoming more successful at this wacky craft called “having your own blog.”

But, that’s not to say you can’t learn something, regardless of how small “that something” might be from any bloggers out there that work diligently week after week at their craft.

This was originally posted back in March of this year. Since that time and until the end of November, we averaged now around 925 views per month and 680 visitors per month. And like I wrote in the March post, I have no clue what those numbers mean if they mean anything at all.

Having said this, there are a few things or nuggets that I can share that will have relevance to many bloggers out there, whether you’re brand new at this or have been at it for a while.

From March 2019..

First off, if you’re here reading this thinking all of your blogging worries and concerns will be magically solved and that you’ll be the next “big deal” in the blogosphere, sorry mate you’ve clicked into the wrong page.

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Source: Google Images

However, having said that, why not stick through this with me.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the past two and a half years is this. You never know what small and seemingly insignificant nugget of information found in what may look like just another random blog post could make the world of difference.

I started this blog back in the summer of 2016. It was our way to share with others the outdoor adventures that Lynn and I were having and to inspire others regardless of the point they may currently be in, to get outdoors and experience all that nature has to offer.

Since starting though, things in regards to the blog have grown and evolved in terms of content and such.

Although I certainly was “committed and serious” from the very start back in 2016, it was during the summer last year(2018) that things got “more serious and more committed.”

I decided to join some online social media blogging groups thinking this might be the way to sky-rocket my way into the stratosphere in terms of followers and exposure across the blogging universe. They were fine in what they provided and such but found they required FAR MORE TIME THAN ANTICIPATED networking within the group.

When I couldn’t commit to the time required, I felt guilty, like I was somehow abusing the group.

Needless to say, I’ve stopped that time waster. I know it may work and be beneficial for some, but it wasn’t in the cards for me.

Some stats….

Prior to getting seriously serious in the summer of 2018, here’s where I was at:

For June 2018

  • 166 views
  • 127 visitors.

Not very impressive to say the least. The numbers were what the numbers were.

Now, as of the end of February 2019, I’m averaging 750 views and 513 visitors per month.

What does it all mean?

I haven’t a freaking clue in terms of whether the numbers are good or not.

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Source: Google Images

It does show that in that eight-month period, we’ve experienced growth and that I conclude is a good thing. I think the growth can be attributed to creating good content that connects with others while at the same time cultivating relationships with those in the blogging world whom you like and respect and who like and respect your writing and content as well.

Five Things

Nevertheless, here are five things I’ve learned since starting the blogging journey.

Write From The Heart

If this doesn’t apply to you, because your blog is about the latest and greatest trends in fashion, well that’s all right. Thinking about it for a second, perhaps fashion is what gets you going. Oh well.

I write from my heart. I write and blog on those elements of life and how they intersect with the outdoors and nature. That is the thing that comes naturally to me. It’s like those emotions and experiences of life can be illustrated and written about through what nature and the great outdoors and teach us.

For me, writing from my heart; that spot that is so very deep within my soul creates at least the potential for good/great content. And isn’t that what you want for your readers and followers; great content with that emotional “right hook” that smacks them right upside their head?

If I am, and to use a well-worn cliche, “not feeling it” there is no use writing about it at that point. Everything then for me becomes a forced and painful exercise, leading to frustration and moving on to something else for the morning. That’s not to say, the draft won’t revive itself and find life published at some point in the future, but I have lots of “draft posts” sitting there and the heart just isn’t feeling it for any of them.

Writing from that “well” which is deep within my soul; the agony, pain and emotions of life, spilling out on the keyboard has been in my experience the posts that resonate and connect most deeply and profoundly with readers and followers.

Remember though, it can take time to get the courage; the nerve; to be vulnerable; to hang yourself out there for all to read about.

It did for me to get to that point to hit “publish.”

Also remember, there are many out there that are in the same boat as you and need to read what you have to say. Some are at a point in their own path or journey that what you’ve experienced and are sharing with them, can make a world of difference.

Perhaps change their destiny

Don’t be afraid to write from the heart.

Write/Post When You Can

Experts or those experts that I’ve read indicate that consistency of posting on your blog is a key element.

Excellent then.

One question that pops to mind is how consistent is consistent? Daily, weekly, bi-weekly, every 3.5 hours or some random combination.

I am not a full-time writer. And I suspect, not many of you are either. Like most, I hold down a full-time job, that requires me to up by 3:15am; out the door by 4:00am and not returning home until 6:00pm. There are some days getting home is earlier, but my four-day workweek is full. That was a choice we made to only work four days a week. Best decision we made in many years!

As such, I can only commit to writing and my blog in the early mornings on my three days off and before Lynn gets up. Once she’s up, we like to get outdoors and take on yet another adventure or we have other commitments that we need to take care of.

Do I post every week?

I try to for the most part. But, going back to the first point, if I’m “not feeling it” it is unlikely that new a post gets written and subsequently gets published. Now, having said that, I have in the recent past gone back and revised earlier posts and re-blogged those.

What’s my point then?

I don’t get all “whigged out” or too upset if nothing gets published on my days off. Life happens; things happen; sometimes the “well” isn’t pumping water that day.

I try to remember that this is my outlet. My creative “thing” that brings me joy and soothes my soul.

If you feel the need and push to publish each day or whatever the schedule is that works for you, then great – go for it.

I post when I can and when the post is ready for me to hit “publish.” Once, twice or even three a week or great. If it doesn’t happen, there is always next week.

Enjoy Yourself

Need I say more?

If this stops being fun and not enjoyable anymore, then from where I sit, it would be time to pack it in and move on to discover another outlet.

I have written before that blogging, on the subjects I do, is a cathartic exercise. Allowing me to deal with, grow and move through life’s challenges and past experiences. It is also my creative outlet. As painting, sculpture or photography may be the creative exercise for others, writing and blogging are for me.

Doing what soothes your soul at even its basic level should be enjoyable, shouldn’t it? If it wasn’t, why invest the time and heartache to do it?

Enjoy doing it – enough said.

Challenge and Push the Envelope

This can mean whatever you what it to mean.

For me, it meant several things.

First, to get to the point to challenge myself to write and blog about issues or topics that I knew were touchy or difficult issues for people and thus difficult or painful for me to write about. This always means vulnerable and hanging your emotions out there for people to get a darn could look at.

Not all of us want the world to see and read how messed up we are or messed up we were.

Doing this can be tough and a challenge for sure. Therefore, it can take some time getting to this point, if this is where you what to go and eventually end up at. Maybe some people never get to this point and that is okay too.

Challenge yourself to be provocative; push the outside of the limits of things; dare to be slightly or significantly different than those others blogging around the same issues.

The second for me was to challenge myself creatively. Up until just a week or so ago, all of my writing and blogging were long-form. Simply what most of you may do and read.

For 2019, one goal was to move in other creative directions and to try different genres of writing.

So, with that in mind, I moved into creating poetry as another way to express myself.

I can emphatically and somewhat triumphally state, I know less the zero about poetry. But, not letting that hold me back, I’ve found that writing poetry challenging, difficult, but rewarding beyond my wildest dreams.

One mantra that I often bellow out is, “that if you’re not moving forward; you’re not remaining in the same place either; you’re moving backwards.”

Challenge yourself and push the envelope of your writing and blogging

Lastly – Find and Follow The Advice of Bloggers Who Are Great at This

It seems funny at this point in the narrative, but this has been the greatest thing I’ve learned since heading off on the blogging expedition.

If you desire to be a great Doctor, you learn and are taught by great Doctors. The same principle applies here.

If you want to be a great or at least a better writer or blogger, follow and learn from someone who has and is doing well.

Read what they have to say. Study what they have done. Examine their blog sites. Pick the points they make that have the most relevance to your own situation. Then go ahead and implement them and see what happens.

Have I taken to heart each and every point these bloggers make? No, of course not. But, I have tried to work some of them into my situation.

The biggest and most important element I work at each time at the keyboard is that content is king. Having great content trumps all other elements. You can promote the crap out of your blog, but if your content sucks it is unlikely people will return for a second visit.

Here are two bloggers that I follow that are doing it well; if not great.

Cristian Mihai and Jordan Peters

Well, that’s it

All of what I’ve learned from two and a half years in this wild and wacky world of blogging.

If you managed to find a nugget here that may help you move forward in your own blogging journey, then this post is well worth the time it took to compose it. If not, that was 10 minutes in your life, you’ll never get back.

One last question though, what have you learned since you started blogging that others may find to be the one thing that could help them the most?

Thanks for reading.

 

Remember…

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Slippery Slopes of Living

Although written just about a year ago, the message is still the same, and yes, still relevent. We can often find ourselves teetering on the top of some precarious slope in life, and wondering a couple of things. How did I get here? What should I do now? What are the consequences if I simply plunge forward?

Without stating the obvious, that is one ice-covered slick and smooth slope!

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Back in the winter Lynn and I were out hiking and photographing Hatchery Falls in north Muskoka. When out there, I came across this long ice wall on a cliff face at the top of the small valley the Skeleton River flows through.

Although not overly high or impressive we both found it neat and each of us was more than willing to hike, slip and at times crawl on our hands and knees to check it out.

The thing that was most intriguing and the thing that was calling us to explore more was this opening near the top of the ice wall.  12

In the first picture, that enticing call of adventure presented by the ice cave opening is just behind a few branches in the upper third of the photo. Although the picture doesn’t portray the scale very well, I’m 6′ 2″ and if I laid on the slope of the ice wall and my arms stretched out, I would just be able to tuck my hands into the edge of the cave opening.

Although we both wanted to have a peek inside the cave, it just wasn’t going to happen that day. Melting ice and snow from above had the ice wall slicker than one can possibly imagine. One wrong move and it would have been a quick slippery trip down to the bottom.

Sometimes, in life, we can find ourselves at the top of an icy slope or worse be hurtling down one wildly out of control with certain disaster awaiting us when we finally crash in a tangled mess at the bottom.

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Source: Google Images

How often have we been perched seemingly at a juncture in our lives, peering down what we know will likely result in chaos and carnage in our life and in the lives of those around us, yet we still go ahead and take a step?

At those times, when teetering at the top and deciding what to do, we’re usually presented with a couple of choices.

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Source: Google Images

Or, the alternative. Taking a step and then seeing what happens next.

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Source: Google Images

In my mind, the apex of the slippery slope we encounter or worse create ourselves are the choices made at that critical point and the time leading up to that.

Much like standing at the top of a triple black diamond ski run in the mountains and the drooling about the good times of the apres-skiing drinks and fun at the bottom, we give no thought at all about what lies in front of us.

All we’re thinking is “good times ahead – get to the bottom and pop the cap off” that first frosty cold one. The problem here is I didn’t mention is this is our first-day skiing…..ever. Perhaps at some earlier point, we should have made some better choices for that last run. Now, we have just a couple of options available.

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Source: Google Images

Ideally, we need to take a step back; re-evaluate how to get down to the bottom of the run alive. Secondly, we can push off the top and start down a black-diamond run we have no place to be on and hope that our life insurance has been paid up.

We stand at the top and see something or imagine we see something and without thinking about the consequences we take that one tiny inconsequential step that starts to propel us down a slippery slope of destruction.

Life is full of choices. Once we take a step and head down a slope we shouldn’t be on, Newton’s First Law of Physics takes quickly over – “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

Once we start careening down a slope where we have no place to be, it’s hard, maybe impossible to stop.

Life certainly isn’t without challenges. All of us would be naive to assume we will never find ourselves teetering at the edge of a slope destined for a result that we thought would never occur or taking the step and praying that the odds are in our favour for once.

I often wonder if at that point it isn’t already too late? That perhaps the inevitable is going to occur anyway.

Yup, life is full of challenges. Some present themselves un-expectantly and without any doing on our part, while others evolve entirely from our own choices.

I guess the question becomes, can we keep ourselves from even getting to the edge of a spot we really shouldn’t be in the first place and if we do, what decisions do we finally make once we’re there?

On the other hand, are we wired as human beings to seek out “looks like good times ahead – get to the bottom and pop the cap off that first frosty cold one.”

Perhaps we just can’t help ourselves? Not sure.

Just a thought.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts From The Wilderness – 360 Degrees of Change

360

Often as we bump and grind along in life, new and exciting opportunities will from time to time seemingly and magically present themselves out of nowhere. Or we may on the other hand, diligently pursue a new direction or change(s) in our life.

These new paths, whether it be a big change or a minor one always require us to deviate from the current heading we may be on.

Change always requires a course correction.

Nevertheless, whether big or small, minor or major, we all have the opportunity for 360 degrees of change in front of us.

DSC_0170-Edit

This should come as no surprise, but change can be difficult and often seems insurmountable by many. Within my circle of influence, there aren’t many who run towards change with reckless abandon.

We tend to accept change reluctantly when forced upon us. And take ourselves to the brink of mental collapse when taking on change of our own accord.

Perhaps the last bit about mental collapse isn’t fair. Nevertheless, implementing change in our lives does tend to put us on edge.

All change, however, doesn’t have to be earth-shattering and momentous in scope.

Change in your life of that magnitude may certainly be necessary. Your journey may be going in one direction and within a split second whether of your own accord or through circumstances, life, as you know and have experienced, is changed and altered 180 degrees.

But putting aside changes in direction that we have no control over such as serious illness, or the passing of a spouse or loved one, what about when changes WE decide to implement in our lives.

360 Degrees of Change

This morning you woke up and decided to change something in your life. Not your socks or underwear, although those are wonderful changes, especially to those around you, but a real change in your life.

So, the question might be – how big of a change are you making or contemplating?

For the sake of this illustration, if we assume that the direction we’re currently on is zero degrees, deciding to move your life in a direction change of 45 degrees seems pretty major. A course correction in our life of 90 degrees is like heading north, then changing directions and heading east. A much bigger change, usually fraught with more challenges and issues.

Moving 180 degrees is akin to dramatically altering your life and going in completely an opposite direction. Need I say more?

Big changes at times require much resolve to make them. Major changes have fear, the unknown, the expectations of others and a whole host of other items churning around in some cauldron and thus forming the recipe of the change.

Which is why for many people, although not all,  major changes or the contemplating of making these changes in and of their own violation, chase people back to continue along the same path they were trudging along before.

But, remember we all have 360 degrees of change to choose from!

And……..

one degree

Often it is the smallest things that have the biggest impact.

Ever had the tiniest pebble inside your running shoe? Try walking four kilometres with that little devil pushing into the ball of your foot.

Little thing – big impact.

A one-degree change of something in our life can have a huge significance. It may not seem like when we decide to implement it, but over time it could be big. Real big!

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I’m going to change my life.

You’re going to change your life.

If I utter those words or if an acquaintance spews them forth, my mind heads off along the path of major life changes.

But, notwithstanding, any of this. In reality, how often do we think about and even undertake major life changes?

Is it often, or perhaps not often at all. Might it be seven times during our life?

Difficult to say I guess because we’re all different and “major changes” is a bit of a relative term. It will have a completely different meaning and energy attached to it for each of us.

However, what might a one-degree change look like?

I don’t know how much a coffee or slightly more expensive drink at a coffee bar might be.

But let’s say whatever you have cost $5 and each day on the way to work you stop and get one. Assuming you work five days a week, you spend $25 per week on coffee or whatever it suits your fancy. If you cut down to only stopping four times a week, you’d save $5 per week.

That first week, you saved five bucks. Big deal!! That’s a one-degree change, but only for one week.

After 52 weeks, that’s $260.

A one-degree change in our life over time can make a huge difference.

Every decision, every change in the direction that our lives are headed don’t necessarily have to be earth-quake shattering direction changers.

Even a slight change can take us to a new and exciting destination.

We all have 360 degrees of change before us.

360

Whatever direction we may be headed, could require us to use scores of those degrees.

On the other hand, it may only require one-degree of change to get us to where we need to be.

one degree

You’re the only person who knows how many degrees to use.

You’ve got 360 of them.

Remember…

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Has It Really Been Three Years?

My, how the time flies by.

time-flies-fast-300x200While sipping away on a coffee or two this morning, it’s hard to believe it has been three years. Three years, since I parked myself in a lawn chair in our backyard one morning and got this crazy idea to start a blog.

Nothing more, than just sitting there reading the outdoors blog of another person and thought, “I could that.”

For me, the idea of blogging and writing was no more extensive or detailed than that.

No long dwelling and burning desire deep inside my soul that was waiting for the perfect moment; the perfect circumstances to spew forth and unleash my innermost thoughts upon an unsuspecting world.

Nope.

What was I possibly thinking?

This came as a comment or note from WordPress the other day.

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But, how things have evolved and changes throughout those three years.

From starting out with simple trip reports of our adventures. Then putting down my own take and views on life and living, and finally jumping into the deep end of the pool – writing poetry.

Having articles and poems published. To be recognized and nominated for pieces I composed on web-based publishing platforms.

Through all of this, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with so many other bloggers and writers from across the world.

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That part alone has made the journey, all worthwhile.

Thanks to everyone who has read a post and left a comment or two over those three years.

Thanks to the bloggers, writers and poets who have inspired me to think, reflect and perhaps slightly alter the way I see things as they unfold in front of me.

Thanks to everyone; you’ve all played a role.

Finally

The biggest thank you of all is to Lynn! 

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She has had to endure the countless ideas I babble on about when we’re in the car, either going on or coming back from one of our many outdoor adventures. The many, many re-writes she goes over and who serves as “chief editor” from time to time.

The simple truth is, the inspiration for many, if not most of my writing comes from her art and her passion she captures and shares for all to experience through her photography.

So, remember….

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Springtime

It is the traditional May long weekend in my part of Canada. It is known as Victoria Day out here in the colony, as a celebration in honour of the birthday of Queen Victoria.

That may be the origin of the holiday(which is on Monday), but for most, the holiday signals the start of the summer cottage, camping and the general “outdoors partying” season.

On the other hand, spring also signals the start of new growth.

Buds are now starting to show themselves on trees. Wildlife is having babies or has had them, and they are proudly showing them off.

In the forests, wildflowers are starting to poke through the forest floor, reaching to the heavens for light and warmth to grow.

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This is a white trillium.

It is the official provincial flower of the province of Ontario. It blooms in late April and into May across forests and woodlands throughout the province.

This is the first one Lynn and I have seen this spring.

For us, it is always refreshing, exciting and comforting all in the same breath when trilliums start to appear. Often a forest floor will be a sea of white for a few weeks and scores of them burst through reaching for the sun.

As much, as it is spring in terms of the four seasons, this can also mark a springtime for us as well.

A time to shake off the leaves and debris of the previous year(s). To stretch ourselves towards the sun and make a start towards something new.

New growth; a new birth; a new life

It is far too easy to settle in and live life on autopilot. The spring seems like the perfect time to grow. In fact, it is THE perfect time.

Whatever that may look like for you, now is the time to start.

Time to burst forth and start the process to something bigger; something greater.

A tree that is thirty feet high, didn’t get to be that height overnight. It grew a little bit each day. But, it still grew.

Growth doesn’t have to be a massive change from one thing to another. It could be, but for most of us, that seems a tad unrealistic. Growth can be simply looking ahead:

  • deciding this is what I want, or
  • where I’d like to be, or
  • what I’d like to try

And simply making or taking one step towards it.

Today is supposed to be quite warm. In fact, the weather people predict it to be the warmest day of the spring.

A great day then to get outside and grow.

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Source: Google Images

A new beginning; a new life!

Thanks for reading.

Now get out there and bloom!

 

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —