QOTD: What have you done?

Today’s Question of the Day, from the Question of the Day app, is: What have you done that you previously didn’t think you could do? This must have been my year to answer that question, and it helped that I had declared 2017 to be my year.

Home studio: This year, I finally set up my home studio, complete with lights and modifiers. I had been buying gear over the years and thought I could never get the space in my home to function. Until this year when it happened. The most fun came from putting a paid model in front of some backdrops and under those lights for a real test this summer.

Chez Picturesque: I’ve grumbled in the past about not “being able” to host at home because the house was never in a worthy state. Until this year when I just started inviting people over and forced myself to get some much needed home improvements done. Dining room got painted, new tables installed, other tables shifted to kitchen and living room, and all the common spaces made suitable for entertaining.

Learner’s permit: I failed the PennDOT vision screening off and on for years. For 21 years, to be exact. Until this year, a week after my birthday, when I went in under a deadline and passed it. I had gotten my physical again this summer, and the doctor told me that I had 90 days to go to PennDOT from the date of the physical. While the form is good for one year, my first attempt to take the test after the physical date must be within 90 days. I went with only three or four days left until that time was up. And finally passed. Next stops: road test and new car lease.

US Passport: No, I’m not renouncing citizenship or shuffling off to live in Italy. Yet. I did finally finish what I started to do three years ago: applied for my passport. It’s such a simple thing, yet it has proven to be such an administrative burden that I put it off time and again. Until Tuesday, when I took a day off from work, headed to the post office to mail some items, and while there, submitted my application. In four to six weeks, I’ll have a ten-year pass to travel abroad. Next stop: Italy.

Creative Collaboration Team: The last time I assembled a team of people was to publish NF Magazine, now defunct, which ran for five years before new projects caught my attention. Then I fooled myself into thinking that the artist in me needed to work alone for a bit in order to get my head back into a creative space. Wrong. This year, I started putting artists around a table again, and while efforts are still young and spotty, the outlook is bright and creatively rich.

Gear giveaway: A struggle I’ve had for years is giving up cameras that I really enjoy using. I’ve had no problems giving away or – rarely, selling – gear that I didn’t use much or that I had tested and didn’t need any longer. Until this summer, when I gave up six cameras – three I had been using and three brand new ones – to young and aspiring photographers who are now making fuller use of them than I ever could. Same with some lenses, lights, and other gear I had amassed over the years – and barely used. Just put out feelers, found new homes for them, and let them go. And so lightened was my load, that I actually created more room in my life for other things to happen that for a long time couldn’t. For examples of what those things are, re-read this article.

Thanks for reading. As always, I love to hear comments and suggestions for topics. You can post in comments or head over to my contact page and leave some topic suggestions there. Until next time.