Chessie on the couch

– the ones that we make to ourselves.
Like the one I made to myself to do two blog posts per month – down from my earlier 2020 commitment of one per week…
Do you do this – make commitments to yourself? Do you keep them?

Chessie and Georgie

And then, there are my monthly photo challenges:
January – “Winter”
February – “Indoors”
March – I give up. Obviously, I am not taking myself seriously.

home lights

If I make a commitment to you – you can be sure I will keep it; so why not to myself?
Because… I can let myself off the hook. And I do.

Chessie on the lake

And so – to keep things light and easy – and not get all philosophical (I will save that for another post – or not…) – I am sharing some of my halfhearted attempts from the previous months.

And – some fullhearted (not really a word) attempts to keep my own commitments to myself.


Playing tourist at home – the Vermont State Capitol – bustling on a weekday (pre-social distancing.) Vermont has the smallest capital city in the country and though I joke, I am proud of our charming little city.

Vermont state capitol

There is a joke here in Vermont that Vermonters are self-isolating, but we don’t really notice the difference. There is a lot of truth in jest, but we are also aware that our many Mom and Pop businesses are hurting.

Scenes from the winter that was…

Greg and Ella skiing

And the spring that we can only imagine is coming.

birds at the feeder

Finding some indoor time for art journaling,

art journaling

as well as outdoor time for exploring

tower in Brattleboro

I hope you are all staying well and able to keep yourself safe.

And now, with lots of “me” time, I am revisiting those commitments I made to myself.
I would love to hear what you are up to and how you are weathering all that is going on in our world, today.



9 responses to “Commitments”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    I love that tower! Bummer that you can’t climb it anymore. Although that wouldn’t be social-distancing for sure. I think many of us are getting a reset on life right now. Maybe new ideas will come from this time. Mallory and I both say that our lives aren’t too different, we social-distance on a normal day.

  2. Lissa Mayer Avatar

    I can say that my life is not much different with the new “normal,” not since I was diagnosed with cancer last November. Yes, there is a valid reason for not writing in my own blog since then! I just don’t have the energy for photography and writing. I keep telling myelf that I can do it, that I can surely do one a week… or one a month. So I know where you’re coming from. It is easier to break a promise to ourselves.

  3. Cathy Hubmann Avatar

    I’m with you on not keeping commitments to myself. I have the hardest time just beginning something whether it’s cooking, cross sitching, or even reading a new book. I do great once I’ve started, but I procrastinate! I have wanted for a while to work through a photography book and would love it, but I just can’t seem to get started! Now, with more downtime would be a great time to begin. My life hasn’t really changed much with social distancing. I’ve always been a loner and can still spend plenty of time outdoors. Stay safe and don’t be too hard on youself. Some of us aren’t meant to set goals and commitments. We’re all different!

  4. Beatrice Avatar

    Karen, we have toured your Vermont State Capitol, and found it a charming place to visit. Even though we are relatively NE newcomers, I’ve heard that Vermont folks are self-isolating by nature. Commitment and sticking to a schedule are not things I do well now because it doesn’t matter like when working in a deadline environment at jobs. That’s not to say, things don’t get done, just not on a timetable, well maybe some due by necessity. Self isolation is not proving to be a challenge for us because we can do it in our own apt even when not forced to do so. My husband, Patrick (Grenville) has his interests and I have mine and sometimes we share joint ones. We have been going out for downtown walks and I am telling myself that I need a couple of photo essays on those experiences, see it’s that lack of commitment kicking in. I am reading on the Kindle because while the local library is closed, e-books are downloadable. I haven’t done any binge-watching (yet) but just single shows here and there. However, that’s not to say it’s not in my/our future. We are cooking at home as we usually do except when traveling. We’re planning a couple of take-outs to support local places this week. We are staying in contact with family and friends by phone, email, text and blogging. Stay well and keep enjoying.

  5. Barb Avatar

    Hi Karen, Your photos always evoke such nostalgia in me. I love the Chessie ones especially the 4th, running in all that negative space. I can just see the energy in that photo. Bob and I are on our 15th day of isolation since spending several days in Vail/Eagle County over 2 weeks ago (Eagle County is one of the hardest hit areas with the virus in CO). Whole Foods and grocery stores have implemented “old folks” times, so we’ll go sometime this week in the early morning for groceries and supplies. We hope to shop in 2-3 week increments so we don’t have to enter the stores too often. The routine we’re keeping now is not hard for us. We’re normally quiet, stay at home people, though we do miss seeing family. We hear from them by phone or text daily, so that helps. Since we live against wilderness, there are plenty of places to exercise on snowshoes and touring skis. We rarely see another person in the forest, especially now that tourists are gone. I made a commitment to myself this morning to stop compulsively checking on-line news about the virus. I don’t need the fear and the anger since we intend to comply with our state mandates and can’t do anything about how others are behaving and the choices being made. I’m hoping I can keep that commitment! Stay well and enjoy that fresh VT air and the quiet of your surroundings.

  6. Lynne Avatar

    Love your photos . . .
    The village scene reminds me of a print I keep up year around.
    Taking a picture of it might be an idea!
    So you can see too.
    Being “in our cabin” for days is getting not fun . . .
    But I will keep on . . .
    Staying Home
    Washing Hands
    Staying Apart
    (I like the sounds of Staying Apart better than social distancing.)
    Be Safe and Well . . . Karen . . .

  7. Carola Bartz Avatar

    Those are beautiful and atmospheric images, Karen. I think it is perfectly fine if you let yourself off the hook regarding your self-commitments. Call it adjusting to changes and different situations. Hopefully your spring will come soon – I remember those long winters and am quite glad that I don’t have them right now.

    Our shelter-in-place order hasn’t really changed much for me except that I can’t go to work. I don’t miss my one job right now, but keep in touch with the high school community. However, I do miss my teaching job at the German School and the wonderful community there. However, we are starting to teach online this Saturday (tomorrow!) and over the past days I was busy figuring out the educator platform of Zoom and setting up my “classroom”. Online teaching involves so much more work for teachers than regular in person teaching. I can’t even imagine what all the teachers have to go through who are doing distance teaching as we speak.

  8. Nancy Avatar

    Hi Karen, I can sympathize with you as I am the same way. I always make my commitments to others a top priority but when it comes to mine I can let them slide with the greatest of ease. One thing that came to me as I was reading your post and knowing I am the same way was why not really think through what I am committing to do for myself. I don’t commit to others things I know I can’t do for whatever reason but I don’t seem to use the same rule of thumb for my commitments; therefore, making them much easier to let slide.. Thank you for bringing this to my attention as now I will make a concerted effort to thing twice before I say I am going to do something for myself… It seems it’s even been harder since the “shelter in place” began. I struggle to get things started and to stay focused. A season for everything I guess…..Love your images and seeing your local environment. Take care of yourself….

  9. Beatrice Avatar

    Hello Karen, in re-reading this post(and also seeing all those winter scenes, it got me wondering how you and your family are doing in these days of self-isolation. Commitments have seemingly become much less critical now to many people. How about yourself?

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