Photo Challenge: Quest

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have been absent from blogging. I went from actively joining all courses available, interacting with followers and bloggers I follow, posting very often, joining and creating multiple challenges in this blog together with friends and bloggers, to posting perhaps 3-4 times monthly.

What has happened?

Those who have ever read my about page, will perhaps remember that some years ago, whilst being a corporate executive, I engaged in a quest for a different lifestyle, and decided to change course and “take the road less traveled'”. Some call this a focus on ‘being’ as opposed to ‘doing’.

I gave myself more ‘me-time’, the one that people say that brings life-balance. Yoga, sports, photography, writing, blogging, traveling, being with friends, reading, thinking (!!!) more creatively, and working with more pleasure.

Wait, before you make any premature conclusions, let me make clear that I didn’t spend one year emulating the Happiness Project from Gretchen Rubin, to find my purpose in life. I simply freed time from work, and used somewhere else. I broke up my exclusive relationship with a 24×7 work mindset. That was all.

It felt good and I highly recommend it to anyone. “When you come to the fork in the road, take it!”, just like Yogi Berra advised.Β  Be aware though, that this is a very personal quest, and there will be no Happiness toolkit, which will lead you to the truth. You will cross many milestones, and find diverse truths, as you move on your journey.

Since May this year, I immersed in a work project, which has taken more time than I have planned. Slowly, I have seen a time squeeze in my daily routine, which has eaten up time from my ‘me-time’. I started to fill torn between ‘work-time’ and ‘me-time’, as if I had betrayed my ‘being’ and had returned to the ‘doing’ addiction, which affects most active people.

I have to share with you my conclusion that although worth it, my quest was a bit of a fallacy. I tried to create an artificial lifestyle, as if I were someone else. In fact I need active participation in both, my work and ‘me-time’. That is what makes me happy.

Let me make a disclaimer. This is no self-help post, as my blog is not dedicated to this theme. Perhaps if it had been, I had already written a best seller with a toolkit towards finding life meaning and purpose, and didn’t even need to work anymore, right? The fact and the matter is that I simply wanted to share my latest conclusions with you, my blogger friends, who never gave up on me, and continued coming back here, even if I posted in an erratic way.

I want you to know that my project has been tremendously fulfilling, and that I am very happy with my life.

However, I also want you to know that I give priority to every opportunity I have, to visit/comment in some of your blogs, instead of posting in mine. Above all, I want you to know that I miss you and think often of you all.

This featured photo was taken during a ferry boat trip in Portugal, early this year. This man’s expression seems to be one of a kind, one that portrays the definition of a quest, i.e. a long or arduous search for something.


Photo Challenge: Quest

41 thoughts on “Photo Challenge: Quest

  1. So nice to see your post, Lucile, I will always be your fan! Your quest has to be fulfilled and I’m glad to see you follow your heart! Transitions can be time consuming, as I have found out firsthand! I fear my blogging has taken a backseat these few months as I focus on writing and now teaching 3 univarsity classes this fall. BTW, my mobile doesn’t show the featured image 😦

    • Hi Terri, my friend. Great to see you here. Don’t forget that I am your fan too!
      You are surely someone who knows what I am talking about. You’re also truly busy. Lets’ keep an eye on each other and learn from our mutual experiences. Thanks for the heads up on the featured image. The mobile app doesn’t ever show featured images. How bizarre. I just added it to the post as well.

  2. I found retirement forced me to differentiate between doing and being and slowly…very slowly over bumps, ruts, and downward slides…I am beginning to live “being”; yet, there are very poignant moments that awaken a grief-filled wish to experience a “doing” that once was.

  3. Lucile, it is always good to see you–no explanation needed. It is hard to break from the ‘doing’ to ‘being’ and sometimes it just cannot be done. Work in progress is a good thing, I think. It means we are still on the path to learning.
    You have not lost your touch for your beautiful human portraits. Take care, my friend. ❀

  4. First of all, I love this portrait! You have captured an instant of transformation in this man’s thoughts. I’d love to know what his mind is reflecting on. Secondly, I’m glad you have gained wisdom from your period of travel (metaphorical at least) and reflection; this is so precious. And of course friendships, physical and virtual, survive times of no/low contact because they are founded on respect and understanding. We need to top that up sometimes, but I’m always pleasantly surprised at how easily I reconnect with old friends I’ve been out of touch with. It’s lovely to read your blog and your comments whenever you have time.

  5. The journey toward fulfillment takes various roads. Fortunately, your path has given you insight and satisfaction. As you continue on this quest, hopefully you be surprised and energized by the direction taken.

  6. Dearest Lucille, I – and I am sure many others – will NEVER give up on you.
    Regardless of posting, not posting, commenting, not commenting –
    you have proven your friendship way and well above the blogging world. One day we shall meet, and celebrate that.
    in the meantime, its great to know about your journey. We are all on Quests to find the perfect balance.

    right now, one of my minor quests is to find what to blog about for the quest photo challenge, lol, and to have the time to do it!!!

    love and hugs
    Debbie

  7. I miss you and think of you often too! πŸ˜€ In a way, I can relate to your statement, “I started to fill torn between β€˜work-time’ and β€˜me-time’, as if I had betrayed my β€˜being’ and had returned to the β€˜doing’ addiction, which affects most active people.” For me, my experience is the same, but yet different. I’m working a hell of a lot more than I ever did, but what’s new for me in that I’ve drawn clear boundaries between “work time” and “me time”. I’m self-employed and work from home. I fell into the habit of taking time off in the middle of the day, and making up for it at night. I quit doing that. I now work in work hours and play in play hours. That separation has allowed me to regain some of my sanity, so in that sense, my working more doesn’t feel like a total betrayal to my “being”. I do wish I had the luxury of being able to spend more time “being” though…

  8. So nice to read of your recent doings and efforts to just “be.” I missed your upbeat spirit, beautiful portraits, and general presence here, but I knew you had your reasons, as we all do from time to time. I had my own difficult transition from doing to not doing (very different from doing-to-being in my case) six months ago when I had to suddenly leave my job, care for my mother, tend to a sick dog as well, and move! After five months digging out from under that life landslide, I realized I needed work and real doing as least part-time as I found that eventually getting much more me-time meant I got very little accomplished. I found I needed tasks and schedules and bosses (and paychecks!) in addition to my own pursuits! So I’m finally back at work and so far, life is good. Less time for blogging and commenting, but still enough to stay connected. Hoping you can maintain the best balance possible for yourself!

  9. It’s lovely to have your post pop up in my reader Lucile, I’ve missed you and your gorgeous photos but completely understand. You are always a wonderful friend to have and I sincerely hope all is going well with you and I know that whatever you choose to do will be brilliant! Take care πŸ™‚

  10. Wonderful expression you have captured, Lucile! πŸ™‚ Glad I came back here and caught up with your doings. I’m checking out myself tomorrow (but only for a couple of weeks- the usual πŸ™‚ ). It’s whatever gets you through life, ‘me duck’ (as they say in Nottingham πŸ™‚ ) Live it! That’s all we can do. Sending hugs!

  11. Welcome back! So good to read you again my dear. You know that even if you had been traveling the world in a submarine, free from any signal for months and months, I would still be waiting for you at the Pier πŸ˜‰ Good to take time for you, to experience, discover, feel. What matters is the journey, more than the goal eventually.. Sending you many warm hugs from our little island ❀

    • My dearest Stephanie, it’s heartwarming to read your words.i truly miss our interaction and still hope to meet soon in the little island or in the old continent.
      Every insightful word you use is taken to my heart. I’m in peace with my new phase but only wish I could come more often to my happiness corner, my blog community of very special friends like you.
      I’ll make sure to always return and find you at the Pier! Heartfelt thanks. Warm hugs. 😘

  12. Lucile. It’s always good to read your words. I understand this post all too well. Sometimes it’s hard to know which fork in the road to take. Sometimes, despite ourselves, we take the wrong fork, for what we feel are good reasons at the time. And sometimes we find our way back to the light. However impossible that may feel from time to time. All of which goes to say that your posts continue to provoke thought and clear thinking. So, bravo!

  13. Glad I came across this post. It’s so eloquently written and addresses important topics in a thoughtful way. Transition and change are usually challenging for most of us, even when the change is positive. Sounds like you found the right balance for a new lifestyle.

    Peta

    • Likewise, Lisa. I am wondering where you are now. I am happy though super busy. My new assignment has been a fantastic experience so far. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. So true. Have to remind myself of that more often.

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