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    • LOVE

      NOTE: This is something I did 3 years ago but in reading today's Gratitude prompt it's the first thing I thought of. I have left the text as it was. Some things don't change much.

      HEART. I am grateful for my heart, both physically and emotionally.

      I took another Assignment from +Jake Johnson last week (I'm a little late) and had ideas spinning around all over, tried to make a few of the shots I took while traveling work.  While they would have worked paired with a written explanation they wouldn't have really conveyed my thoughts without any explanation.

      Yesterday I struggled with my focus, motivation, feeling good about some things and the path I've chosen in my life at the moment.  Instead of sitting and staring at my work emails and spreadsheets I just decided that I needed to get out, clear my head and go for a walk.  I need to start walking/exercising more so why not start now!  Of course, I took my camera and only my 70-300 lens.

      My assignment was this:  "If you had to teach the world one thing, what would you teach? Please show us in one image."

      My first reaction was this:  (showing my age, and now you're going to have this stuck in your head all day!  But it's a great soundtrack for this image and assignment!)

      Then after some thought, I had an idea to try to show people moving forward, moving on, putting their pasts behind them.  Didn't quite work photographically without explanation.

      On my walk yesterday around an old speedway racetrack that's been turned into a park I spotted this.  There it is. Easy. Bam. How simple.  *LOVE*  I would like to teach the world LOVE.

      Love is everywhere.
      Love everyone.
      Love everything.
      Love nature.
      Love your family.
      Love your friends.
      Love your enemy.
      Love those who have no love in their lives.
      Love the earth (because we should and it was Earth Day yesterday)
      Most of all - Learn to Love yourselves.

      I don't often play with many of the editing tools in LR and when I do I don't usually keep them, I just play with them to see what they do.  This time I decided that the heart carved in the tree, while really interesting on its own, could use a little color.  So this shot was edited in LR4 & Color Efex Pro 4.  The color of the heart was added in LR4.

      So - today - go out and give it a try, LOVE

    • I back up all my photos to Google Photos because facial recognition so I can find things easier without having to tag. This time I typed in love and here's what came back—Adam and Butters, who adore each other. That's a tattoo of Butter's paw on Adam's forearm.

    • Health is something people sometimes take for granted until it's too late. I'm guessing you had good habits instilled in you (not that all doctors practice what they preach either) from a young age.

    • You're very right. Actually my parents always ate decently well, they thought but it wasn't until about ten years ago my Dad changed his own life instead of just helping others. He probably gained 30-40 pounds from the time I was born to when he was in his fifties.

      One day he came home from a party early after he saw a friend of his who wasn't doing well, it scared him.

      My sisters and I thought he was going to be gone for the afternoon but were a bit surprised when he came home, barely said hello, threw on some (old) workout shorts and went for a bike ride. and then started doing sit-ups by the pool when he got back. It was confusing. He lost 30 pounds, started lifting light weights and is back to his same physique from his late 20's with a bit more salt and pepper in the hair :)

      He's basically cut out all red meat, mostly veggies and some fish these days. The wine he won't give up.

      Amazing how one day or even just a moment can change a mindset forever. I'm definitely grateful for that day!