January 6, 2017

A man is what he thinks about all day long – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The book I’m reading suggests that I ask this question each day when I wake (and several times throughout the day), “Is my attitude a plus or minus?” I am exhausted today and maybe fighting a bug from the influx of germs shared by 1000+ people this week. But when I looked at today’s photo I remembered that I had been tired and was fighting a bug the morning I took this picture. Knowing what I was going to do that morning, I jumped out of bed, got ready, and I patiently waited while my family got ready. We needed to be nearly 75 miles from where I was currently standing and we needed to be there by sunrise. At no point did I think about being tired, sick, cold (it was in the teens outside), lazy, or anything else negative – except impatient while I waited….

As we sped toward the edge of the plateau I could see the light just touching the red rocks to the west. We stopped several times to take photos as the light changed on the mountains to the north east and then lit up different formations. When I jumped out into the frigid air I did not think, “geeze it is cold and miserable.” I was exhilarated and enjoyed the crisp air. When we arrived at the edge of the plateau I threw on my 40 pound pack and race out into the cold searching, like a kid on an Easter egg hunt, looking for just the right location for a photo. Due to the high altitude, cold, heavy pack, and recent sprint I struggled to calm my breathing enough to hold the camera steady and fumble with the controls through gloved fingers. Every passing second brought new light to different formations while I ran around trying to capture every moment.

So what does this have to do with anything? The difference between how I felt that morning and how I felt this morning as I contemplated the question, “Is my attitude a plus or minus today?” was simply a matter of choice. It would be easy to say that the difference was because I was on vacation and heading out to take a photo. Yes, I am passionate about my photography and my outdoors, but I am also passionate about the job I do each day. I am passionate about life. I don’t want to save those feelings and attitudes only for times when I am on vacation. Those days are few and far between. Each day is a chance to feel that way if I frame it right and make that choice. So my very long answer to that short question is that my attitude is a plus today because I am choosing it. I want to wake up each day with a sense of anticipation. I want to be in awe as I watch the “light” change throughout the day. We often see what we are looking for in our day. I’m going to be looking for the light.

Happy Friday everyone!

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