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My Photographs Have Become Important to Me (as they should be)

A Stop on My Path to Happiness

By Dr. Randy KaplanPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 5 min read
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Image from Freepik (paid subscripton)

I have been a photographic hobbyist for most of my life. Starting when I was ten years old, I became interested and fell in love with art (and yes, by this time, I can it an art) and also the hobby. I have engaged in photography for many years, focussing on many different aspects of this interest. To this day, I respect those who have created beautiful works of photography and have advanced the technical aspects of the field. All in all, photography has been a continual pleasure in my life.

The reason I had this revelation is that today, I was in the process of setting up a new computer. After having the computer I primarily use (10 years old now and counting), I thought it was time to "upgrade." And so, a few months ago, I purchased a brand new iMac with an M3 chip. Since I now expect this to be the last computer I buy, I decided to purchase a desktop computer that would have a life similar to the one I am using presently. After all, I expect the new computer to last just as long as the one I use daily.

The setup process for any computer may vary from short and simple (no more than a couple of hours) to a process that will need to be much longer and on the order of several days. Having had my own computer support business, the time required to set up a new computer can be highly variable. In my case and to the point, I started this setup about two weeks ago, and I am still "setting up." One of the issues that make this a long and drawn process is that I've accumulated a significant number of files - on the order of more than 1.5 million. Migrating from the old computer to the new one requires moving these files from one computer to another. I just realized the total number of files I had accumulated. It is not so much for a lifetime, but I was astounded at the sheer number of images. How could I possibly have so many photos? The process of migrating requires that I create a backup of the files and then copy(move) those files from the old computer to the new computer.

I am also telling you about this because of my revelation, which came in the way of an answer to a question I was asked by my therapist (yes, I have one of those). One of my "habits, issues, areas for growth" is being happy. The habit of being happy has been a challenge. The reason it is difficult for me to be happy is that I was born and raised by people who believed the world was oppressive and challenging and life was, for the most part, sad. None of this had to do with them - it was all imposed by the outside environment, and oppressiveness had to do with them, and they were victims of the life they were living. So, all of this angst was happily and continuously shared with me. The bottom line is that I could be a more consistently happy person, and there is room for improvement in this regard. Being happier has been a challenge in my life.

My therapist asked me the question, "What makes you happy?" to which I did not think of anything initially. I had no answer to that question. That didn't surprise me. After all, what do you get when you spend most of your young life with unhappy people? You get a sad kid. I did honor them by maintaining this legacy.

The question remained in my mind. It happened on Friday and is now Sunday, so what makes me happy? I thought for a while about what made me happy. The answer was staring me in the face. A simple exercise to create a list of things that make me happy is possible.

Find a quiet place that you will enjoy and is not distracting. It should be comfortable and create answers to the question of "What makes you happy? In this case, the you is me. Just accept what comes to mind. Don't try to justify it. Don't try to figure it out. Just come up with one or more answers to the question AND write them down or record them somehow (thank god for tech these days because we don't even have to write them down. We can record them.) For the record, I didn't do that exercise. Just to be transparent about this. But it is an excellent exercise to do and to do often because we often forget about those things that make us truly happy.

After I had written this, I asked my wife to read it, and she immediately asked, "What about Winnie? Doesn't she make you happy?" In total honesty, the answer to that question is a resounding YES !!!

Winnie, by the way, is our dog. She is 22 pounds and 14 years old. Winnie is compassionate, friendly, and loving. She is a pleasure to have as a companion and friend. I never question that she is a friend. And yes, I am anthropomorphizing her, attributing these human characteristics to her. These are the things that I think about her. Here is what she looks like sitting by me on our living room couch. Winnie makes me happy.

Winnie

Photograph by Author. All rights reserved. Do not copy.

I started my "happiness list."

Another answer to this question is, of course, my wife. The answer to the question of who and what makes me happiest in my life is my Wife and Winnie. I am thrilled to be with the woman I love (my wife), especially now, because it wasn't clear I would end up with my wife, given some of my recent circumstances. My relationship had bumps, hills, and mountains along the road. Fortunately, by the grace of her and god and her willingness to forgive me, we are now together again. The result is that now I am very happy. She is at the top of my "Happy" list and will be at the top for the rest of my life. There isn't any reason to think about this. It is as it should be, and I am glad she occupies the beginning of my list of reasons to be happy.

Now, I have two things on my list. I am on a roll !!!

It is good to have one answer and even better to have two items on the list, but it would be nice to have other things that give me happiness. Because I am migrating to the new computer, I realized the importance of my photographs. And where do these photos reside? On my computer. Previously on the old iMac, but now on the new iMac. I am setting up the desktop wallpaper and screen saver for the new iMac so I can see my photos again regularly. Here is one of those photos. Hooray. Happy day !!

. A Rooftop in Prague. Photograph by Author. All rights reserved. Do not copy.

For your viewing pleasure, I have included a few photos I have grown to appreciate over the years. Each one has a meaning for me. Looking at these photos puts a smile on my face and makes me happy. In many ways, they capture moments that are transformative to me.

If you like the photo(s), I wouldn't mind hearing that from you.

Thanks for reading. Honestly, I appreciate your support.

Regards, Randy.

The following photos are from my trip to Prague some years ago (2005). There are many more. While visiting the puppeteer's workshop, I saw a puppet of Don Quixote's horse (see the last image) that I wish I had purchased. It was amazing.

An Impromptu Concert in the Court Near the Hotel. All rights reserved. Do not copy.

Artists By The River. All rights reserved. Do not copy.

A Walk Along the Vitava River. All rights Reserved. Do not copy.

An Artisan Workshop in Prague. All rights reserved. Do not copy.

Tour Guide in Prague. All rights reserved. Do not copy. The tour guide holds an umbrella preparing for the coming rain and also as a visual marker so the people on the tour can keep track of the tour guide. It is very easy to lose sight of your tour guide as sometimes they have to move very quickly during a tour.
Don Quixote's Horse. All rights reserved. Do not copy

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About the Creator

Dr. Randy Kaplan

Welcome to my Vocal page and storicles that are published here. Some time ago I started a migration to Vocal. I have now decided to move ahead. During the next couple of weeks, I will move my stories to Vocal.

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