This & That: Those Lights, This List And Ira Glass’ Brilliance

Inspiration, Featured

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – MAYA ANGELOU

this & that

My This & That series touches on the miscellaneous, the random, and the thoughts I do not want to leave behind. December moves so fast, and despite the circumstances of a global pandemic, the holiday season is happening. I am worried about the nation, the unemployment rate, and those getting ill right in our very own world. Steve and I are doing our best to stay safe and still be with loved ones and still use the community, shop local, etc. We are learning to navigate the holidays in a new way, and learning takes work and energy, so the sentiment of a busy holiday month remains the same. Whether you are with your family or celebrating from afar, be well in this “new normal.” 

what is your thing?

This year it has been important for me to find new and exciting things to manage productivity during this slower time, something to settle the anxieties of life and keep me learning and moving. Certainly, there has been work, family as much as possible, zoom calls, hiking, the outdoors, and more. Creatively I have pressed flowers, made ornaments, built driftwood wreaths, printed year-round cards for loved ones, and kept 90,000 bees alive. Sometimes I benefit by adding on a new hobby as a form of meditation and most recently I have ventured into the world of stop-motion film. Why would anyone want to practice such a tedious medium? For me it is an exercise in patience, the actual process takes time and a steady hand (which I don’t have yet), and it seems to take me forever to complete one. Fortunately, Steve was my stylist for some of these films, it takes a village, believe me. Once you find your thing, embrace it!

Ira Glass, of This American Life, shared in a video below on storytelling that touches on ambition and disappointment as a creative person finding their niche – that everyone struggles to find their best work, and the most important thing to do is keep going. It makes so much sense, take a listen.

I recall two years ago entering a photography show on a whim, never thinking my work would matter (think drag queens and Miami at night). Instead, I had the honor of seeing my seven life-sized photographs exhibited outside The Miami History Museum as one of three finalists during The Miami Street Photography Festival (MSPF) held usually during Art Basel. Now I pay it forward as much as possible. I donate to other photography festivals and join and support photography groups. It has been such a wonderful feeling to acknowledge this year’s MSPF finalists. It was exciting to see the photo festival come to fruition virtually and to be grateful for creative communities everywhere. We can and must encourage each other.

Miami in the Night series 2 years ago.

the desire for lights

I wanted to share these photos of the holiday seasons from years past since we are all in the process of spending the holidays differently than ever before. It seems that so many of us are unable to see our families, our communities are redirecting that energy in other ways. Something so simple and symbolic as lights takes on a new meaning when we are in the midst of shared hardship. I absolutely love the lights.

My Christmas usually revolves around a visit with my 92-year-old mother in Florida. I’ll miss our Christmas routines, we always created a fun-filled week.  For me personally, this is my 2020 saddest story… a year not seeing my mother?!

a teeny list

At some point I will post a longer list, but I wanted to include the following items that have piqued my interest this month so far. I just love reading and making lists.

This Kindness Calendar is a perfect way to show your love to others. Kindness is a universal gift and I love the simplicity of this idea. With this unprecedented year almost behind us, I think it is helpful to be guided in kindness and take inspiration on how to treat each other, during Christmas and beyond. A list of examples includes: support a charity you care about and offer to help someone who is facing difficulties today.

Treat yourself and your loved ones with a class. Our family has been participating in the virtual MasterClass (learn anytime, anywhere, at your own pace.) for three years and has consistently been reminded of the importance (and fun) of continuing to learn new things. From photography, politics to bread making…all with high production value. 

Another giving idea I enjoy is the Audible audiobook. I want everyone to read and if it means hearing the book as someone is driving, so be it. At the moment I am listening to a best-selling book. It’s such a treat to hear the author’s own voice reading – yes for 29 hours in some cases if the book is 800 pages long! 

It is equally important to give yourself gifts, and you might work your way through these ideas “50 Totally Free Ways to Practice Self-Care at Home”.

And a bonus….Ira Glass.


If you like this or any of my other blog posts, feel free to follow me and sign up here. I create something every few weeks and you will receive an email when it comes out. I used various cameras for this post, along with my iPhone 11.