The Bounceback


I wonder how we get to be who we are and if we change over time. Am I what I always was, or am I irrevocably changed by the ups and downs of life?  Recently I needed some social media profile photos, so I took some selfies, which I don’t like to do.  Because of their being black and white, and something in my expressions reminded of a set of baby pictures I had hiding in the closet somewhere.  I rifled around in the closet and am sharing with you the comparison I found.

To me I look the same mostly. I can still see innocence in my face; I can still see curiosity and wonder.  I can also see lines, and age.  Mostly I can see that all of these years–the pains and the laughter–haven’t really changed me.  That somehow, we are what we are–and this is what we bounce back to when we bounce back.  Sometimes in recent years I wondered if I had any bounce-back left.  Looking at these two faces, which are really one, I know I do.

Do you think that life has changed you or are you still the same, deep down?  How about on the surface?

Weekly Photo Recap

My online photo class is over and I thought I’d put up the weekly photo recap today to celebrate! It has been a challenge to keep up with Nablopomo and Photo101 this month, and I feel proud and a little fatigued.  And strangely, a little bored.

I’m curious about the relationship between fatigue, boredom, and the ending of a chapter in one’s work life. I feel it with this month’s ending, a sense of relaxation and relief, mixed with a “what now” feeling.  It’s a microcosm of the ending of my teaching career. For the last year or so, I’ve been working at not working, and strange as it sounds, it’s not easy. I have to learn to be free.

What if there is no “they” out there telling me what to do? Telling me the “shoulds” and “have tos” of life?  Sometimes, it’s easy as pie.  Relax, do some crafts, read, watch tv, go for a walk, visit with friends, do chores. But sometimes, it’s hard, like, “how do I do nothing?” “Am I allowed to do nothing?” “What do I want to do?” How to we get so accustomed to just following directions, coloring within the lines, buying our lives off the shelf?



Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful.  Today’s photo prompt is glass.  I took this shot at the row of cafes near my house.  I’m thankful to live near cafes, be able to walk to town.  I was amazed by how full the shot is, with trees and cars and lights and doors and windows, and people, and shapes, and glows and reflections. This photo is kind of like thinking about life.  So much there, hard to find a pattern, hard to interpret, but still somehow it works.

For me, I am so thankful to be (basically) free. To know that I’m (basically) safe and cared for. That I am recovering from my illness. That  my extended family, disjointed as it may be, loves me and hopes for the best for me. I’m thankful for my fabulous husband and my crazy pupper. My home and my friends. I’m thankful that self-created drama is not part of my life. I’m thankful to you for reading my blog.

There is really so much going on in the world, in each of our lives.  In the life of our crazy democratic yet still not very democratic society. I don’t write or want to write a political blog, but recent events sure have me thinking–thinking about justice and privilege.  I am not thankful for the troubles of our nation, our world.  I wish I knew how to not feel them so deeply, but then I wouldn’t be me. I want to write a positive blog, to share gratitude and joy.  And I am thankful.  And I am joyful–but part of me is just aching today for the lack of justice in our world, and I can’t not say that.