Overcoming Inertia

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Welcome to winter in Minnesota
Welcome to winter in Minnesota

This winter, because I’ve been feeling better than I have in many years, I decided I wanted to get outside and to do more winter activities. In addition to taking more walks outside, I want to go cross country skiing, try snowshoeing for the first time, and head to an ice skating rink and try ice skating (another first for me).

I also want to get out for more sunrise and sunset photo shoots.

Ice fishing on Medicine Lake
Ice fishing on Medicine Lake

Overcoming Inertia

If I don’t get outside for fun activities in the winter in Minnesota, cabin fever sets in, and I get so tired of the cold weather and snow that I just want to escape to somewhere warm.

This year, instead of escaping, I want to get out and enjoy what we have.

January 3, was the first time since winter began that I actually got out with my camera to hike in French Regional Park and make some photos. It was not a sunrise shoot but the sun was out and it was still early enough in the day that the light was good.

Waiting for spring?
Waiting for spring?

Earlier in the winter when I was laid low by a long-lasting cold and cough I had a good reason for resting and staying indoors. But now that I’m feeling better, it’s still difficult to overcome my inertia and actually do what I say I want to do.

“At seventeen I’m waiting for my life to actually begin. I’m afraid I’ll wake up tomorrow eighty years old and I WILL STILL BE WAITING.”
Frank Warren, A Lifetime of Secrets: A PostSecret Book

When the temperature falls along with the snow, it’s darn hard for me to motivate myself to go out in the cold.

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”  ― Steven Pressfield

Last week I set my alarm early so that I could get up to do a sunrise photo shoot, but then turned off the alarm when it rang and stayed in my nice warm bed. It turned out that the sunrise was cloudy and I couldn’t have gotten the shots I wanted to get, but I didn’t know that at the time I decided to stay in my nice warm bed.

A walk in the park (French Regional)
A walk in the park (French Regional)

Is It Inertia or Is It Resistance?

I’ve decided it doesn’t matter. I need to come up with a strategy to get me out and doing what I dream of doing, more often.

“Someday. That’s a dangerous word. It’s really just a code for ‘never’.” — from the movie “Knight and Day”

Here are some of the ideas that I’ve come up with to get me up and out more often:

  1. Set up a play date with a friend. It’s always easier to motivate myself when I’ve made a commitment to a friend. And often photography outings are more fun with a friend, even if we’re both off doing our own thing for much of the time.
  2. Make specific plans (date, time, place) for a specific activity rather than telling myself, “Tomorrow I’ll go out and make some photos somewhere.”
  3. Make sure I have the right winter clothing to keep me warm and comfortable outdoors.
  4. Be kind to myself and focus on creating joy, not on getting out because I “should.”

How about you? Do you feel the pull of inertia in your life? What helps you overcome inertia?

May you walk in beauty.

A line of picnic tables
A line of picnic tables
Skiers created trails to the lake
Skiers created trails to the lake
Tracks in the snow
Tracks in the snow
More tracks
More tracks
Zig-zag tracks
Zig-zag tracks
Snowshoe tracks
Snowshoe tracks
Medicine Lake
Medicine Lake
Another view of the lake
Another view of the lake
Oak Leaves in the snow
Oak Leaves in the snow

 

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