This past summer, without the stress and commitments of work, I had an abundance of time to write and compose blog entries. I've always enjoyed writing, predominately through journaling, and blogging gives me a creative outlet that I thoroughly enjoy. Unfortunately, as I anticipated, when school started in August, the demands of my job seriously slashed my leisure time and as a result, reduced the time I have to compose pieces of substance. Sure, I compose entries for various weekly link ups, but some of those don't really require much writing. I miss writing and I regret that my job has interfered with it, but there isn't much I can do about it because I HAVE to work...at least until I win the lottery one day! (Fingers crossed! *wink, wink*)
I came across #FridayReflections on Friday, but, as explained earlier, I haven't had the time or energy to really compose something until today. It is hosted by Mackenzie @ Reflections from Me and Janine @ Reflections from a Redhead. It is a weekly link up that aims to "inspire creativity through reflective thoughts and writing." Each week they supply several writing prompts to choose from and I thought this might be a good writing activity to participate in. When my time is limited, it's easier for to write in response to a prompt than to come up with something creative on my own. Thought I would give it a shot, so here I am.
This week, there were 4 prompts to choose from and this is the one I chose:
Choose 3 photos of yourself across your lifetime and write a post about how you feel looking at them, where you were, what you were doing, what you were like, etc.
If my memory is correct, this picture was taken on the last day of the 2011 Ocoee River white water rafting season (late October). I do remember that the air temperature that morning was 32F because my husband I were joking while en route to the put-in site, that, upon returning home, we needed to have our heads examined! This was the first time my husband and I rafted the Middle Ocoee, which is located near Chattanooga, TN. My husband and I are seated in the front of the raft.
Looking at this picture today, here are my thoughts: I love white water rafting, I really do. I grew up about an hour and a half from some of the best white water rafting on the east coast (the New and Gauley Rivers in WV), but never rafted until I was in my mid 30s. I wish I hadn't waited so long to start. I'm not an adrenaline junkie and do not wish to raft the most advanced, Class V rivers such as the Gauley, but I do enjoy rafting rivers that offer a mix of challenging rapids with leisurely, calm stretches of water in which you can simply drift along with the current and soak up the scenery. I really think some of my happiest moments have been while I've been on a river. This is a picture that I definitely want to be shown during my wake/visitation when I die, for how I was in this moment - active, adventurous, and happy - is how I wish to be remembered.
Take a look at me! LOL! What a blast from my past! This picture was taken in 1978. I was the flower girl at the Junior/Senior Prom at the high school where my mother taught. I honestly don't remember this event, so everything I know about the context of this picture is secondary and came from my mother. Apparently, my job was to throw petals down either before the prom court walked out or before the prom queen walked out (I don't remember which one) and I forgot to drop the petals. LOL!
Looking at it now, nearly 40 years later, here are my thoughts. First, I am surprised by how well I looked in yellow. I avoid yellow, and have for many years, because it brings out every olive undertone in my skin and makes me look seasick. Second, this picture is the epitome of the child my mother wanted - a cutesy girl, dressed in a ruffled dress looking angelic. In reality, what my mother got was a tomboy who despised wearing dresses and who wasn't (and still isn't) girly at all.
This picture was taken in Crystal River, FL on my 40th birthday. I financed the entire trip (airfare, hotel, rental car, admission to Discovery Cove in Orlando, and the manatee swim at Crystal River for my husband and I) with money I made selling my gently used and sometimes even new clothes that I never wore, shoes that I wore a few times and absolutely hated, and other items from my house, items that I normally would've just given to Goodwill, on eBay.
Instead of shunning the big 4-0, I chose to embrace it, to celebrate it, to mark the day doing something I had always wanted to do but hadn't for whatever reason - lack of time, lack of money, lack of opportunity. Swimming with those gentle, curious creatures was absolutely incredible! It was the most perfect birthday. This, too, is a picture I want shown during my wake/visitation one day.
Thanks for reading and thanks for stopping by. Have a good one!
Linking up with Mackenzie @ Reflections from Me
and Janine @ Reflections from a Redhead.