Every day my computer chooses a different picture to put as my background picture. I’m pretty sure they’re from images that I drop into a folder labeled “Background Pictures” every now and then, which I think I set up somewhere in the settings back when I first got this computer, several years ago. But every morning, I get to be surprised by the picture that shows up. This morning’s picture is from diamond mining in Arkansas.

the diamond mine in Arkansas

Yesterday’s was the black bear spotted on the day of the eclipse in Washington State. There was also an interesting bird this week, which I’m pretty sure was a picture I took in Sarasota, and a tree that I didn’t remember at all. It was a pretty tree, though.

Last year, I did an end of year double-post, with a picture for each month. (First half of the year: Second half of the year.) Not necessarily the picture that represented the month in any way, just an image that I hadn’t previously posted that struck me as a good photo. I was thinking about doing the same thing for this year, except I felt like it wasn’t such an interesting year and that I didn’t take as many photos. When I think back on the year, the first thing that I think about is Bartleby and missing him. In fact, if you asked me about 2018, I would say that it was a lot of boring doctor visits for me that turned out to be nothing, and a ton of horrible vet visits for the dogs that were never nothing.

I would be so very wrong. Well, not about the doctor visits and the vet visits, but about that being the sum total of the year. The year was also driving the Natchez Trace, snow and hot springs in Arkansas, sunshine and the costumed college graduation in Sarasota, open spaces in Ohio, blueberries, Vermont, driving through Canada, the gorgeous Prince Edward Island & Nova Scotia, friends and family in Massachusetts, and then a whole bunch of peaceful Florida time.

With the exception of Canada, though, from which I have an insane number of beautiful sunset shots over the ocean, not so many good photographs. I am still going to do a post or two of the best photos of 2018 for me, but I’m not choosing from a position of crazy abundance this year. This does, however, set me up for my very first New Year’s Resolution for 2019: take more photographs!

In 2017, I was taking a photo a day, every day, as a mindfulness exercise that reminded me to look for the beauty in wherever I was. I let go of it in 2018 (along with all my other daily tasks), because I felt like I was overwhelming myself with rules, things that I had to do all the time, and turning my life into a to-do list. But I think I want to bring at least a few of those daily tasks back into my life because it’s really much too easy to get lost in the business of living and forget to savor it as it happens.

This morning, I tried to take photos of the full moon setting over the park. None of them turned out, because I was using my phone and the camera on the phone really can’t cope with moon shots. But Z and I were walking right at dawn, the full moon was huge and white, the air was so crisp (42 degrees) that I was wearing my eggplant coat and feeling grateful for it, and some of the neighbors still had their Christmas lights on and sparkling. It was so beautiful that I started singing “Joy to the World” — and then someone else walking their dog appeared and I shut up, embarrassed to be singing. But I hope at some future day I reread this post and remember that feeling. It was a very good feeling. And I wish I had a photo that could evoke it for you!