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Anyone ever lose their drive? Their motivation? Their mojo?  Well I'll just say this past year sure was a roundhouse kick to mine.  And I don't mean COVID related though I will somewhat come back to that.  No, this year was bad for me because of 1 thing...excuses.

I love the outdoors, I love my photography and getting out with my camera.  Every time I summit a peak or turn the corner to see a cascading waterfall, I feel immense gratification.  Anytime I am at a location I love the challenges of finding the best composition and lighting even if the setting is less than ideal.  Yet this year even starting this adventures seemed to be less and less frequent.  For some reason I kept coming up with excuses not too.

Early in the spring of 2020 I did a 3 day trip along the Oregon coast.  It was incredible, scouting locations, camping, and nailing so shots I had planned for month, and finding some along the way I had not intended at all.  Then for some reason that passion slowly dissipated. For some reason I kept coming up with excuses not to or to delay.  

In Spring COVID completely changed our world. One would think this would be a totally valid reason.  However I thrive in the outdoors, and parks were only closed for a short duration once outdoor activities were promoted as one of the few acceptable activities. So it honestly wasn't a valid excuse yet for some reason I  kept using it.

I suffered some heartbreak this year.  Again on the surface this seems like a somewhat valid excuse to take some time off.  Yet, when one is hurting, why would you not want to bury yourself in your hobbies and passions. Why not go to the activities to distract and eventually lift you from those emotional lows.  Yet again I used this bogus idea as a valid excuse.

I suffered loss.  Both my grandfather; who was a avid outdoorsman and who absolutely inspired my dad and in turn me to have a passion for the outdoors, and my dog Atlas who was I still hold the best (and worst,  you just had to smell every fern didn't you Atlas) companion one could ever have. Again something that would seem as a valid reason to need to recoup.  But then I think of the excitement Atlas would get when I'd say "Atlas, you wanna go.........outside?!". I think of my grandpa asking "Hey kiddo, where did you go today? Got any pictures to show me?"  Neither of these two would have wanted me to sit around, they would have absolutely wanted me to get off my ass and go enjoy myself.

I had a lot of change in my day job and home life. Yes I do still have a day job (buy my stuff please! haha) and I had a lot of change obviously because of COVID but also just changes in my position as well.  I took on a lot more responsibility and time and shifted over many different locations.  Again the pressure of new jobs would again be a valid reason to focus on a career. But I still had weekends, I still had vacations. There was no reason I couldn't take a couple days to get out and explore. To find some great spot to explore.

So how did I kick myself out of it? Well to be honest I still haven't fully done it.  However I have gotten much better, and how? Through my friends.  After losing Atlas that was the straw that broke the camel's back. I had 0 motivation for weeks.  Then an old friend hit me up "Hey wanna go to REI I need some new gear?" I jumped at the opportunity.  Then that same friend asked "Hey wanna go hit the coast and try and catch a sunset?" Hell yeah! I'll pack my camera now! And it was a very simple trip but a good location and it got me playing with my camera, finding the angles and trying new setups.  The passion was growing again. Then my buddies and I started talking about what our goals for the year were.  One of my best friends, who has a great job and very steady career without hesitation talked about how he was bored out of mind, and wanted to possibly start a side gig using his passion of brewing.  And lightning struck me again, shoot that is the kind I have been trying for 2 years (the own business not the brewing though I do love me a good IPA).  Thanks to my friends I am slowly digging myself out of the pit of excuses. My friends are giving me the motivation to get back up on that horse and pursue the activities I love.  

So what's the message in all this?  Don't let the excuses beat you.  My baseball coaches used to say it takes 5 times to make a bad habit but 27 times to break it.  Don't let 5 excuses make it so  you have to take 27 adventures to find your passion again.  Learn from my mistake of accepting the easy route in exchange of pursuing something you love and enjoy.  Keep chasing that ambition and don't let excuses get in your way

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