* Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
I wouldn’t say that I make New Year’s resolutions, but I do make a list of things I want to look forward to in the coming year. Years ago, I had a metal detector. I never found much of interest, usually an aluminum tab or some other junk metal. But I remember the anticipation every time I took the metal detector out. I was so excited to think about what I might find.
The metal detector taught me some valuable lessons, one of the most important was that anticipation is a great emotion.
I know I will have a great year. And I look forward to all that’s yet to come.
I do create a bucket list, so to speak. And I always choose a word to guide me through the year. This year my word is “Message”. I can be the conduit for so much.
* What was the best thing that happened in your life in 2022?
I could list my accomplishments for the year and there have been many. Many awards for my photography and many articles that have been published, some of which have also won awards.
But my best accomplishments are the simple ways I have affected others in a positive way. Whether it’s a relationship with someone who needs one, or time with my family and friends, that’s my aim and I have felt the warmth that it creates.
Ubuntu is my favorite word…” I am because you are.” That’s the best thing that has or will happen to me. The Ubuntu concept was taught to me years ago by a very special friend. She lived her life in a way that shared this philosophy. Ubuntu is an African indigenous term that translates to “a belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” Being an authentic and caring human being is what I hope happened for me in 2022.
* What are you looking forward to doing/seeing in 2023?
I could share with you how excited I am to go on a family trip to Florida in February of this year.
That trip seems important, for sure, but it’s also superficial. I want to be healthy. I want my doctor to be satisfied with my health activities. I want to learn, to grow, to meet new people, to cherish the people that are currently in my life.
I want to feel more. I want to “see” more deeply. I want to savor life.
* What is your favorite month of the year and why.
I don’t have a favorite month of the year because I work hard to make every month a good one.
As a photographer, I hate grey, dreary days, so I work to find something else to do on those days. November is one of those months that is dull brown, the leaves have come down, and the skies are often grey. The nights are longer, and it feels like it’s hard to see the light, often because there isn’t a lot of light.
On the other hand, my birthday is in November and there are other family traditions that I can savor instead.
Here is another example: I was married in February almost 50 years ago now. Why February? Because I wanted something to look forward to, to anticipate in the dark of winter. It has worked every year. I like February!
* If you could travel back in time, what year and why?
I do have a savior complex and I would love to turn back time and fix some mistakes that have impacted my life forever. Wouldn’t we all love to do that for those we care about. Could I avert accidents, deaths, sad, or tragic events?
But that sort of thinking isn’t productive, is it. So I’d rather find a way to accept what is, and anticipate the good that is yet to come in my life. To savor the present.
I have used the word “savor” three times now in these short paragraphs. It was my “word” for 2022. It’s a beautiful word and makes life so much better. It’s the difference between “looking” and “seeing”. It makes for a much deeper connection with the world around us. I love the word—and the concept.
* What’s one thing that would make 2023 a success for you personally?
If you notice I haven’t talked about my business, PA Suncatcher-Linda Stager, or any of my products. My business simply isn’t that important in the grand scheme of life.
What is important is that I make a great product and that every product goes to a good home because I made a connection between my work and the person who wanted to take it home with them. Connecting emotionally with my customers is my goal.
I want to be seen as honest and having integrity.
I want to be healthy and to have good relationships with others.
I want to positively connect with others. If I send a simple present at Christmas time as a surprise from my business to someone I meet on social media and later find out that my present was the only present that person received for Christmas and it made them smile and feel just a little more loved, I’m all for it.
Now THAT’s success.