Old Man

0008_In%20FocusIt was nothing more than an attempt at Intaglio printing; my first print from 1982.

It doesn’t have a name and there is only one copy remaining in my portfolio.  And yet, it is one of my favorite prints.  There isn’t anything about it that will win awards.  It doesn’t excel in composition, line quality or style.  It doesn’t tell a story.  It is doubtful that it will ever hang on a gallery wall.  But I like it.

It represents a time when I was trying to learn a craft.  It reflects a moment when I was willing to take a chance.  It reveals a period of my life when I stretched my comfort zone and explore new media, new ideas and new goals.  It tells the tale of a desire to be different; to be better.

When is the last time you took a chance?  When is the last time you stepped out into the unknown?  Was it 1984?  Have decades rolled past without a challenge?  Have you stayed in your comfort zone so long that the idea of peaking over the fences into greener pastures is terrifying?

Since 1982, I’ve changed jobs (pastor, deli manager, warehouse worker, ICU clerk, law firm lackey, research coordinator) and each new position brought new challenges.  I’ve become a writer (blogging since 2004, 3rd place winner of Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition) and some of my stuff is really good and others stink.  I completed my Fine Arts degree.  I completed my Master of Divinity degree.  I’m starting on my Bachelors of Science in Communication degree.  I’m learning Spanish.

Perhaps more important than any of these, I’ve learned how to cook the perfect roasted chicken and a yummy Beef Bourguignon that would make Julia Child very proud.

But the point is I’m still that guy who drew this face back in 1982.  I’m willing to try it.

New job?  Sure.  Different food?  Of course!  A revolutionary idea?  Why not?

What will you do today to stretch your comfort zone?  What will you try that is new and different?  How will you grow beyond the self-imposed boundaries that you’ve created over the years?

I suggest you try drawing an old man, rather than becoming one.


Day 93 – A Back-Yard Bungalow

2013.05.25A couple years ago I joined my friend and our sons and drove to Virginia to spend some time on the Appalachian Trial.  As it turns out, hiking the AT is really hard and we only lasted one night.  It didn’t help that a storm was blowing through, bringing lightning and torrential rain while we slept.  At some point the temperatures plummeted and rain turned to snow.

Cold and sore, we hiked out the next morning and did a couple day trips after that.

I’ve always wanted to try that trip again, better prepared and lighter packed.  My bride of 27 years would like to do it with me.  To that end, we purchased a two-man tent this year and set it up in the back yard to give it a try.

We’ve claimed this year as “The Year of The Campground”.  Our goal is to set up a base camp in campgrounds and then complete day hikes until we are confident about distances and routes.  We’ll start in Southern Indiana on the KT (Knobstone Trail).  This is Indiana’s version of the AT.  My hope is that we will try to hike the entire trail next spring after we’ve worked out the kinks and bugs of our equipment and processes.  This should better prepare us for a walk in the woods, whether in Virgina or somewhere else along the Appalachian Trial.

My Journey to 50 is a process that will lead to weight loss and so much more.  I want to try things I’ve never done.  I want to expand my mind.  I want to push the boundaries of my comfort zone.  It’s a bonus that my best friend wants to do this with me.

As for my day today, I had to move the tent to mow the yard…BUT I got in three miles of mowing and still had great energy to enjoy the rest of the day.  I ate in moderation and look forward to weighing in tomorrow morning.  I’m feeling fit as a fiddle.  Okay…I’m still flabby and slow but I’m moving forward and that’s what matters most!