Maybe its the time of year? Maybe it is just me and my annual process and rhythm? Maybe its simply time to review, recognize and reach for new goals? I don’t know, but I have been incredibly quiet and introspective. For those close to me, they know that quietness, or lack of sharing images and words, is a real sign that I am in the internal cave(s).
To be honest, it really has been two months. I haven’t written much about my time in Steamboat Springs. Jen and I had the privilege of spending a month in that beautiful, mountain town utopia. While there, I could not sew and work on my new business, Iceworm MFG. Rather, I spent time in the outdoors as much as possible, most of which was riding my bicycle(s). My time riding on those beautiful roads and trails was some of my most productive thinking I have had this year. I was truly free. Not only did I come home inspired with two new bag designs that I am working on along with some accessories to expand my camera bag and accessory business, I came home with some new thinking. I came home with some new dreams and goals.
Much of my past year and half have been about re creating myself and finding my own identity outside of my previous 25+ year employment and the brands associated with that business. If you just landed here by chance, I made a difficult decision and decided to quit, move on and learn & recreate myself. That has been, and is, a real challenge to let go. I had much of my life and identity wrapped up in that career. It was something that I just needed to do. I’d like to think that what I have done proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks. I am happy. I am healthy. It’s time to truly let go of that past and only look forward.
I had a few big goals I have been focused on since I q and I am happy to say that I have for the most part completely achieved them and checked them off the list. I have gotten my mental and physical health to a baseline state that I am happy with and that I can build on. I have gotten my brain to build new thinking prioritizing creation and positivity. I have people in my life that I truly enjoy and care about and reciprocate that feeling. I have committed to a professional path and built the bare bones of a future brand and product business. I am proud of those accomplishments. It wasn’t easy. I slipped and fell down along the way. I got back up. I learned a lot. I am never done. But I feel good. I can trust and build on those things going forward.
Before I get to my updated goals and focus points as I prepare for 2024 and beyond, I want to share this one quote. I know people of all ages that struggle, me included, with the idea of “Figuring it out”. We have put so much pressure on ourselves to figure it out. Many feel so much pressure to define a path early on, or pick a path, a sport, an instrument, a career, a self identity, etc. I often tell people when asked “How/what am I doing these days?” that “I am trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.” Often the fact that you/I are figuring it out comes with guilt or judgement that you don’t have it figured out.
I am here to remind you all that you don’t always have to have it figured out. This quote really helped me as this is something I truly struggle with. This is something that I am constantly reminding myself for when I don’t have a clear path or goal. Maybe it can help you too.
So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good thins grow.Rainbow Rowell
With all that out of the way, here is where my head is at with my current thinking.
Iceworm MFG – I have started this business and had it on simmer for much of the fall. I continue to grow my skills and capabilities and have a number of new products coming and planned for 2023 and beyond. I have some real challenges ahead considering I am currently a one person show, but I have a vision, I need a studio space and I likely need to start planning on hiring people and contracting out some work. But I intend to make this work going forward. I am so freaking excited.
Photography – I had a vision about photography and making a go of it in some specific spaces. I dipped my toe in the water here a bit in 2022, but have decided to put this on the back burner a bit. I am certain I will sell some prints as well as write a few stories for a few dollars, but this is secondary to getting my camera bag and accessory business to where it needs to be.
Riding & Events – I had two moments this year that sorta surprised me. The first was at Gravel Worlds in August where I was shooting the event and realized that I’d rather be out riding the event. The second being in Steamboat where I spent some time on the Tour Divide route between Steamboat Springs, Colorado and the Wyoming boarder. Those moments made me realize that I want to keep building on health and fitness and see where this goes. I have signed up for a few events in 2023 and may plan a longer tour in 2024. While my aging body has certainly pushed back at me with aches, pains and injuries, I still feel I am young and that I can progress in my fitness. I also feel that I am in the best mindset I have ever been in in my life. I have to find out where this can take me?!
So thanks for reading and staying with me this far. Here are a few images from the past month that I have captured and roll through my head while I am dreaming. As you can see, lots of riding. Note: click on any image to go to slideshow mode and view larger
Thanks for reading and checking out my stuff. My next blog post will feature images, words and thoughts from a quick trip to Nashiville to see friends. Until then, happy trails!