Archive for February, 2020

We are at the second full moon of 2020. This is a prompt to consider what we want more of in the future and what we want less of. Goal-setting is not a strength of mine. I’d like to think this is because of living so much in the now that it’s hard to look forward. There may be some truth in that, yet it’s more likely because I have a deep-seated FOMO. Committing to one goal may mean missing out on something else that also sparks my interest. This is a “problem” only because I have tons of passions.

I recently came across an elementary school project entitled “My Ego Booklet” by Trina Talmage (my childhood name.) I’m assuming it was from a class called MYO, which was an acronym for Myself and Others. In this booklet there is a page with the words “What I’m doing to reach my goals for the future” at the top. There is no mention of what these goals are, but I was “taking care of animals, riding horses and taking pictures.” 40 or so years later and I am now proficient at all these activities and do them on the daily.

While I don’t think this booklet carried much weight after I handed it in, today it has impact by reminding me of what I’ve always loved doing. Additionally, it helps me feel accomplished for having completed said goals, regardless of not remembering setting them. Perhaps, it also teaches a good way to conjure up future goals. How’s that? First by recognizing what we are doing already that we most enjoy. Then by asking ourselves what goals could be made from doing those things? Or, by questioning what we enjoyed as a child and how would those activities be made into a goal today? For an example, let me write through the process of coming up with new goals around the activities listed in “My Ego Booklet”. I take countless photos every single day, I can’t seem to not. I’ve had my photos up at Uncommon Grounds, as well as Four Seasons and on the cover of The Healing Springs Journal. There are also 15 hanging in an office in Albany. So, what goal, different from showing my work in public, could I work towards that builds on my love of photography, horses and all animals? What about giving the photos purpose? Perhaps by having them show animal/human relationships in new ways. That thought leads me to remember a dinner party where we were each answered the question of what we’d do if money and skill were of no importance. Part of my answer was to live with wild horses, photographing and videoing them while learning for myself about their ways of being. I said I’d use those photos to educate the public about the plight wild horses face today. As I’m writing these thoughts to you, my logical mind is saying that’s an impossible dream, don’t even say it out loud. Perhaps it is unlikely, yet what if our ideal dreams are actually messages telling us how we would best contribute to the world? The fact that I don’t see how to go live with wild horses should not deter me from dreaming about it. What is a small step I could take? How about photographing local horses and how they maintain their wild nature through domestication. Or create visual stories of the bonds horses share as a way to show the inhumanity of separating wild herds to make room for cattle ranching. Starting local to see how it might move towards the wild ones elsewhere. While I’m dreaming, it wouldn’t stop with horses. I’d also document lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

Let’s talk about you. What would you do if money and skill were of no consequence? What dreams did you have as a child that you have since ‘thought’ yourself out of? What steps are you taking towards large goals? Have you any big dreams that could start small today? If you begin with doing what you love, the goals will most likely take care of themselves.

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