New Years’ Resolutions?

Photograph of a mature bighorn ram.
Mature bighorn ram for Sheep Sunday

I skipped out on photographing bighorn this past rutting season. I just felt like I had enough photographs for now, as I’m still editing images from previous years. This brings me to today’s post, resolutions for the new year.

I don’t normally make these silly resolutions, but I’m growing older and the road ahead of me is much shorter than the road behind me and I figure I want to make the best of the time I have left on this earth (no, I’m not dying or anything, no more so than anyone else.)

One of my new year resolutions is to quit taking the same photographs over and over. The bighorn come to mind. I’ve been trekking out to look for these animals every year in the autumn, and for the most part the images are all relatively the same. I’ve had to ask myself the question, “do I really need more bighorn photos right now?” The answer was no.

How about those moose? Well, it’s sort of an annual ritual for me to photograph the moose and I have close to a hundred thousand moose photos. But, I do love them so. No, not gonna back off the moose. And besides, I have a lot of social interaction with other photographers and friend with the moose. It’s a different world. I’ll keep working those photos until I can’t get out there any longer.

Same with autumn photography. I can never stop exploring the mountains in search of autumn color. Regardless of the fact that the last two seasons have been pretty much the same and underwhelming too, I’ll keep putting that subject on the schedule.

A photographic resolution for this year. Concentrate on not repeating the same subjects. I need to expand the portfolio. I need new adventures. I need to find something different.

On the personal front, I suppose all of us at one point or another resolve to be more healthy. For me, it’s a no-brainer. My health has been in decline for the past 15 years. I noticed that my body was in full tilt boogie protest a year or two before I retired from The Wall Street Journal. Years of long hours, no sleep, poor eating habits and living in a high stress environment have played havoc with my body. I’ve addressed the stress. Life today is far less stressful than it was 20 years ago. Retirement has been beneficial to me in that regard. Still, I’ve neglected my physical condition. As a younger man, I was always fairly skinny. The day I got out of the Navy I weighed 175 lbs. Today, I’m close to 220 lbs and at my age, that’s too much. My spine is shot, my arm is shot, my body is falling apart. If I want to live to the average age, I better straighten up and fly right. My doctors are turning me into a lab rat and I have so many potentially health and life threatening conditions I best be making myself more healthy.

I have to modify my diet. Blood sugar and weight being the main concern here. I ordered a fitness watch to keep track of my physical activity. I know I spend too much time sitting at the computer and that doesn’t burn very many calories. Diet has to change too. I now find myself looking at the amount of carbohydrates in everything I eat. Quit eating the carbs, get more exercise, that’s the ticket. I do better when I get feedback, it’s sorta like having test equipment to use and stay in calibration. My mind works very well that way. The problem is avoiding the comfort food I’ve been gobbling down like a hog over the past 30 years. Seafood, more seafood. I’m removing red meat from my diet and substituting sea food in its place. Doughnuts are now forbidden. Snickers candy bars are now off the menu. I eat almonds and cashews when I need a quick snack.

It’s been working. My blood pressure is totally under control. My sugar levels are down. I’ve lost about 10 lbs in the last two or three months. I’m exercising more, but probably not enough.

My resolution is to get my weight down to around 200 lbs. That’s where I was when I retired from my regular job some 13 years ago.

I can’t do much about the crows feet and bags under my eyes and my hair thinning out and turning grey (what’s left of it.)

As for stress. Not really an issue these days. I’ve found ways to get stress out of my life and for the most part it’s gone. If someone in my life is constantly delivering stress to my front door, I keep them out of my life. It works. I won’t let stressful people control my emotional well being. That’s not going to change. It’s been the hardest lesson I’ve learned over my life and I’ve paid the price. I don’t like paying for the same real estate twice. Don’t let other people rent space in your brain.

But I can grow old gracefully. I’ve lost the delusion that I’m a 30 year old, good looking young man in his prime, no matter what my mind wants me to believe. One has to accept the fact that one is growing old and the time left is more important than the time that’s passed.

Did you make your new years resolution?

2019 By The Numbers

Photograph of an American Bison in the Snow
Bison in Morning Light on a Cold Winter Day

Happy New Year to all my readers.

Not that any of this is important in the grand scheme of life, but it’s always fun to numerically describe key events from the past year.

A quick look back at 2019 from my view of the road, by the numbers.

50.61 Percent Increase in Website Page Hits

29,550 Words Written on My Blog

0 Hours Spent Working For The Man

5 Months of Mountain Cabin Time

60 Soaks in the Hot Tub

0 Traffic Tickets

0 Traffic Accidents

4 New Tires

1 New Windshield

8 Trips to Denver International Airport

10 Lbs Weight Lost

1 Close Friend Passed Away

0 Visits to the Dentist

4 Snow Blower Activations

4 Photography Contests Judged

13 Days of Moose Photography

7,787 Moose Photographs

5 Days of Autumn Photography

518 Autumn Landscape Photographs

2 Days of Deer Photography

641 Deer Photographs

14 Days of Bird Photography

4,368 Bird Photographs

2 Days of Mountain Goat Photography

1,260 Mountain Goat Photographs

1,084 Stock Photographs Submitted

65 Stock Photographs Rejected

2,230 Photographs Sold

0 Cameras Purchased

1 Camera Sold

1 Lens Purchased

4 Lenses Sold

0 Equipment Failures

365 Morning Kisses For My Wife

365 Days of Retirement

0 Regrets