Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

January 1, 2015

My View of 2014

January 1st. A day for looking both forward and back. I spent some time yesterday looking over the photos I took in 2014, trying to mentally select some for one of those year-end reviews I usually do, but the format for how to do it just wasn’t coming to me. I think my photography lost some focus, figuratively and literally, last year as my focus was in other places. 2014 was a year of changes and struggles, but of triumphs as well. My photography became more about story-telling and memory-keeping than of creating technically good photographs. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. I do, however, miss having a lot of those moments when I sat back and reviewed my shots on any given day and thought to myself, wow, I really like that one.

These days I really am about moving forward and continually trying to discover and create a better me. However, 2014 had some moments I will chronicle here that were big and small parts of becoming who I am today, and who I will be as I continue to find my place in my changing world.

This book was the inspiration for my approach to 2014. I honestly did try to find as much joy as possible in the events of my life. There were definitely several days throughout the year where this proved impossible: the closing of our home away from home, our dance studio, finding out that I would not be a candidate for the teaching job at my school for which I had been hoping dearly for 9 years and, worst of all, learning that my best friend in the world since I was 6 years old had breast cancer.

I do believe that things happen for a reason, although I’m sure there will never be one for my friend going through this horrible experience. She is an amazing woman, currently undergoing chemotherapy. She is unbelievably strong, even keeping her wicked sense of humor that I love so much about her intact. We are counting down the days with her until chemo is done – January 27th is her last treatment. Celebrations will surely be planned.

focus.jpg (1 of 1)
2014 was a full year of taking better care of me physically. I began what I consider to be a new way of life, a new way of thinking about and experiencing health and fitness. I eat as “clean” as possible, meaning as many whole, one-ingredient foods or minimally processed foods as I can. I workout 4 to 5 days a week. As I result I’ve lost about 20 pounds and I’m feeling more physically fit than I remember for most of my life. Hopefully this work will result in a me who is ready to live fully and experience many new things as the future comes our way.

Our crew
It was a year of keeping connections with an amazing group of friends. I’ve mentioned before how much these people mean to me, and I do believe that what we have is unique for adults in our age group. The fact that this connection that began in the 1980’s when we were teenagers (earlier for some of the guys here) and continues to the new generation of our children, who are now becoming adults, is surely not something that happens every day.

My amazing girls
It was a year about discovering, defining and accepting my place and who I am to these two wonderful young women. My changing role as a mother has not been an easy one for me to come to terms with. The loving, caring about, trying my best for, doing whatever I can for them will never ever change, but I know now that I am no longer the director of their life experiences. It is now my job to support their decisions, offer guidance when asked for and be here for them whenever they need me.

It was the year I got to experience teaching in my own classroom, albeit temporarily, for the first time. My time as 6th grade math teacher is now winding down. I will have only two weeks left of this excellent opportunity when we return to school from this holiday break. I have no idea if this experience will lead me somewhere in the future, but I have loved every moment of it – the teaching, the planning, the kids, even the correcting.

The more that I scroll through my Flickr feed as I’ve composed this post, more I realize that I did have at least a few of those “aha” moments with my photography. As I said earlier, not necessarily in the creation of a technically good photo, but photos that bring me joy from the memory or the simple beauty of the moment. Here are a few of them.


pool ducky


pipevine swallowtail 1


...and now

dragonfly face



Oreo cows!

Color and reflection

Reindeer dog

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015 full of promise and hope.


  1. Lovely pictures of your year. Your girls are beautiful on the outside, as I’m sure they are on the inside. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out where we should be as our roles change with the passage of time – follow your heart and your path will become clear, I’m sure.

    Comment by Carol — January 1, 2015 @ 1:17 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Carol. As always, I appreciate your words of wisdom.

      Comment by Karma — January 1, 2015 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

  2. I don’t know about reduced output, but it looks like you captured some wonderful images this year. Oh yes, the times are a changing but change isn’t a bad thing. As the kids grow I find I am growing myself (I didn’t say up! Always a kid at heart) and it sounds like you are too. Here is to an adventurous year ahead! 🙂

    Comment by Mike — January 1, 2015 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

    • I guess I meant I lost my photography focus in that I didn’t spend much time thinking about or creating the images. I kind of just snapped away instead of applying what I’ve learned about photography over the years. Sometimes the results were good, other times not so much. But the memory of the moment was what was important to me at the time. Thank you Mike! Yes – an adventurous year sounds great!

      Comment by Karma — January 1, 2015 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  3. Great post Karen..pictures of 2014 are beautiful. I think you should be so proud of all you accomplished in 2014.
    Yes, she is such a brave and strong woman going through chemo as the boss..not letting it rule her..just like our other brave friend. Awesome writing Karen…and the girls look so beautiful.

    Comment by patricia dinsmore — January 1, 2015 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  4. Karma, you are so wonderfully blessed to have two wonderful daughters, as are they to have such a marvellous mom. The kids iz what it’s all about.

    Happy New Year hon !

    Comment by sybil — January 2, 2015 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

    • So kind of you to say Sybil. Thank you and happy new year to you as well. 🙂

      Comment by Karma — January 3, 2015 @ 8:30 am | Reply

  5. Beautiful post, Karma. Your year was full and wonder-filled in many ways. Happy 2015! 🙂

    Comment by Robin — January 5, 2015 @ 10:35 am | Reply

    • Thanks Robin, much appreciated.

      Comment by Karma — January 5, 2015 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  6. Just cruising around and reading some older posts today. I enjoyed looking at your 2014 pictures very much, Karma.

    Comment by Kathy — January 25, 2015 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

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