I turn my TV on maybe three or four times a year (once at least, for the University of Michigan-Ohio State football game, Go Blue in 2017!). Last night, I just happened to flip to a channel playing one of my all-time favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption.
I don’t know about you, but towards the end of the movie, when Andy starts dreaming about Zihuatanejo with Red in the jail yard, I start bawling like I’m cutting a pile of onions. These two sentences suckerpunch me every time (even though I know the movie well enough to know what’s coming every time):
“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
As I emptied all three of the boxes of tissue I had in my house, and considering we’ve just turned the page on another year, I internalized this and how it applies to my life right now. (Over-analyzing is my superpower, what’s yours?).
Although I’ve been a faithful subscriber to the “You Can Sleep When You’re Dead” mantra in the past, the hardships and lessons from a challenging 2015 helped me consciously choose to “get busy living” more so than ever in 2016. From a 30,000 foot level, I learned to be nice to myself, enjoy the journey regardless of achievement, and celebrate the waves of “up’s” and “down’s”equally (all things I’ve been exploring and writing about in great detail in my book, Going With the Flow, about our Lake Powell paddle adventure, which now stands at over 65,000 words and merely three chapters of editing work shy of my first draft…I digress…).
And awesome things transpired through new adventures with dear and new friends, personal and professional growth, and dreaming up some grand ideas. So much so, that not only will I keep on keeping on, but also encourage everyone, if they aren’t already, to “get busy living” not just on the holidays, not just on New’s Years Day, but today, and every day.
If you’re reading this, keep in mind, you woke up, you’re alive, you’re breathing. Some were not as fortunate…so on this day, today, and every day, with this gift of more time on this Earth, what will you celebrate today?
Today, I celebrate YOU for all you do to help support my photography, writing, and teaching. Thank you for making 2016 an incredible year of friendship, laughs, and learning in photography. And I can’t wait to see what transpires in our creative journey in 2017 for all of us!
To celebrate making the most of life in 2016, here are 16 of my favorite photographs I created last year (in chronological order, prints available – click on photo to order):
Thank you for reviewing my Favorite Photos from 2016! If you’d like to see my favorite photos from previous years, please visit:
- 2015: youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/cms-photography-favorite-photos-and-poem-from-2015/
- 2014: youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/cms-photography-favorite-photos-from-2014/
- 2013: youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/cms-photography-favorite-photos-from-2013/
- 2012: youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/cms-photography-favorite-photos-from-2012/
All posts were a part of Jim Goldstein’s annual “Best Photos of the Year” blog project. His 2016 collection–which I’d highly recommend browsing through to see some amazing photographic work–can be viewed at www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2017/01/10/photos-2016-jmggalleries-blog-readers/
May your 2017 be your best and brightest year yet!