The journey is the reward - approaching a calendar motto

The journey is the reward/destination“ – Who doesn't know this saying? But have I understood it? Until recently: not really.

The fish

It all started when a friend and I arranged to meet up to draw together. I wanted to draw a fish. At the time, I hadn't picked up a pencil to draw for years - and it looked like exactly like that. I was frustrated, she realized this and together we analyzed the situation. Our conclusion: as far as the fish was concerned, I was acting in a goal-orientated way. The goal was the goal. In this context, that meant that I wanted to draw the fish as quickly as possible. Without detours, without mistakes. My head wanted the perfect fish. Right now! And even though I knew that this was unrealistic, I couldn't switch it off. However, my friend advised me to be more process-orientated and to enjoy the journey, just in line with the calendar motto given in the title.

Ever since, I have asked myself often:

If I am the one way (goal-oriented) but want to be the other way (process-oriented): How do I get there?

What is what?

After some superficial research, questions and considerations, I made the following notes:

Goal-oriented

I want to reach the goal as fast as possible . Preferably right now. Even if it is unrealistic to reach your destination by the most direct route, you still expect this ideal path. No looking to the left or to the right. Just straight forward. You see your destination in a tunnel view.

Process-oriented

The journey/process is at least as important as the goal itself (I know, still very vague).

Compared to the tunnel view, the path takes on colour and form, because I observe the path. How do I observe the path, the journey?

  • To live in the here and now, to experience the moment and feeling content – keyword mindfulness
  • Enjoy the daily efforts (instead of being annoyed/frustrated)
  • Surprises (positive and negative), challenges and setbacks are 100% part of the journey. And therefore to be expected. This results in learnings for the path ahead. You have a neutral to positive attitude towards the whole thing.
  • Time plays a subordinate role, so patience is sometimes required

Once again the fish, but now process-oriented

Today, after a few years have passed and I have had enough time to consciously and unconsciously familiarize myself with it, I know that "the journey is the reward" mindset for drawing the fish would have meant the following: my eraser would have been one of my best friends, alongside my pencil. I would have drawn and erased because the proportions wouldn't have fit and started again. I would have known that I will not draw the same line again because it is too short. And I would have accepted that. Or alternatively I wouldn't have used an eraser, accepted the short line with a shrug and carried on.

The bullet points seem a little empty at first glance. But when I dive into the words, I know what is meant. Above all, I feel it. It's a mindset (sorry for the buzzword), an attitude that you adopt. Not getting angry or getting less angry because I know that mistakes and supposed detours are part of it. And to be relaxed overall and realizing that something is happening.

At some point, I'm sure I'll reach the point where I'm frustrated because I've had so many setbacks. Or to put it another way: Enough learnings for the moment. Then I would have stopped and taken a break. It is exhausting. Next time, I'll pick up where I left off. Or suddenly, I would have felt like sharpening the pencil and doing it differently - and realized: I like that! Again, again!

We are all familiar with what I have described here. It's called learning. Learning is goal-orientated but the path to the goal is the exciting part. It is not always easy and certainly not straightforward – which is why you are all the more proud of yourself when you have travelled the path and look back.

Finally, this calendar motto is no longer an empty shell for me and I can start a more fulfilling life ✨ I actually mean it - even though I have dismissed the saying somewhat disparagingly as a calendar motto all this time.

Coincidentally, I listened to a song which matches this text when I started writing it as our calendar motto is featured as well (german lyrics): 🎵 Tigermilch – Schritt für Schritt


Internet sources that have helped me along the way (no claim to scientific accuracy; german)

Pictures were first posted here: North Sea | Sunny 16 #2 (Set 4/6)

The patterned blouse and the almost-chameleon | study logbook darning

This is how it goes with broken clothes: As small as the hole may be, it may be hidden at its best and no one would ever look at it anyway - but once I have seen it, it's the only thing I will see of this clothing item. If I wore it out, no one would notice the flaw. But I wouldn't really care what the others don't see. The hole is the only thing I see.

That's what happened to the patterned blouse.

On the right side, at the seam where the front and back are joined together, quite far down and close to the hem, a tear had crept in. This looked like a hole at a bad angle. Accordingly, the patterned blouse was placed on the repair pile. In preparation for the trip last autumn, I went through my clothes - even the ones that were on the repair pile. And I actually picked three items for the trip from that pile. It was probably only a few weeks until the day of departure. And the clothes had been on the pile for two years at least and, in the spirit of the "out of sight, out of mind" principle, their existence had been completely forgotten in the meantime. So how likely was it that these three items would make it back to life?

The preparation phase

Ich wollte das Muster mehr oder weniger nachbilden, also unsichtbar stopfen. Entsprechend mit weißem Garn erst mal die Fläche wiederherstellen, dann mit rotem Garn irgendwie das Muster nachmachen. Ohne wäre der dann pure white blob would have been too obvious for me amidst of the whole pattern.

The implemenation phase

Für die weiße Fläche habe ich die Webstopfmethode genutzt. An einer Naht zu arbeiten ist nicht so angenehm wie auf einer reinen Fläche, v.a. weil sich das Loch/Riss zu beiden Seiten erstreckte. Der Weißton meines Garns ist zu warm, aber sei‘s drum. Mit rotem Garn habe ich dann gestickt, und habe mich an den Formen auf der Bluse orientiert, so Mini-Blätter. Ich habe wenig Stickerfahrung und habe das entsprechend eher Freestyle gemacht.

The photo stamps tell me that it took about 1.5 hours in one day.

The finalization phase

It's not a completely invisible repair but I still think it was successful and the embroidery part was something new to me. I didn't do a super clean job but in the end the hole is gone and the blouse is wearable again. The blouse was allowed to travel with me. Mission completed! 

Thoughts during the process

What amazes me again and again: the working time and the waiting time are in stark contrast to each other. It's almost ridiculous.

The clothes had been on the repair pile for at least two years. This repair took me 1.5 hours - this is about the length of a feature film. If I had invested this time sometime earlier - and it is a foreseeable time - then the blouse would have become part of my wardrobe again much sooner with a reasonable expenditure of energy.

Sicherlich, in ebendieser Zeit habe ich einiges gelernt und bin selbstsicherer geworden was die Methoden angeht. Aber oft geht es erst mal darum, den Makel irgendwie mal angefasst zu haben und um den Versuch es zu reparieren. Das ist das, was ich von dieser und anderen Reparaturen mitnehme: einfach mal dransetzen und machen!

(Spoiler: I managed to get all three items back in shape and ready for the trip!)

I feel something that you don’t see

Who would have thought that AI would also make it onto my blog and that I would be able to jump on the bandwagon just in time? (or I missed that I missed it)

The other day, as I was looking at, analysing and evaluating the results of my latest photo shoot when this thought occurred to me: AI could take better photos than me. etter in sense of: AI could probably create photos that would make people nod in impression and comment with „Wow, that’s really a amazing picture!“. If I handed my photos to these people, my best photo might get an honest but not particularly impressed „Yeah, it looks pretty good.“ But it just wouldn’t leave the impression that the other brilliant AI picture did.

 

A special feeling called self-efficacy

At that moment, however, I also realised: So what? Because at that very moment, a special and strong feeling strucked me: the feeling of self-efficacy.

The feeling of holding a product in my hands where I know: This picture looks like this because I have made certain decisions. Decisions based on knowledge and gut feeling over the years, and also a large portion of trying things and letting coincidence lay a hand on it. A bundle of decisions.

Starting with the technical equipment (camera, lens, film), to deciding on the motif (subject, framing, use of light) and ending with the settings on the camera to finally capture the subject (aperture, shutter speed, image focus).

While the first two points no longer cause headaches and insecurities, I notice that I’m still quite young when it comes to the camera settings and thereby the photographic paintbrush if you say so. Most of the time it’s trial and error and knowing that I don’t know much. So I’m really super-mega-very happy when the pictures turn out well.

There is so much behind each picture: my thoughts of the moment; what I knew and what not at that time. So many feelings and thoughts that accompany a picture until it is in front of me.

 

I see something that you don’t see (*)

As an outsider, you don’t see these feelings and thoughts on the product, this one photo. From this one photo, you can’t tell where I was standing two years ago and that I didn’t dare to leave the camera’s automatic mode. From this one photo, you can’t tell that I lost many photos to poor contrast and too little light. From this one photo, you can’t see the whole learning process. You know what I want to tell.

It’s a pity that no one who hasn’t gone the same way can see this way as well and acknowledge it accordingly, but that’s only natural. But what remains for me and for you is this feeling of self-efficacy.

This feeling of being capable is priceless and cannot be replaced by anything.

And importantly, once I feel it, no one actually can take it away from me anymore.

 

 

Eventually, it’s not about the AI. It could have been another person taking that other brilliant photo. It’s about me taking photos for self-awareness, for the feeling of knowing and being able to do a bit more today than yesterday. If I want to do more of interpretation, it’s about how I realise that I am and live.

And that, dear people, were my two cents on the subject of AI and my three pennies on the subject of self-efficacy.

Have you ever noticed your self-efficacy and if so, what situations do you think of?

 

Disclaimer: This is my description of self-efficacy or a situation where I experienced it – if you want to learn more about it, your trusted search engine will help you. (*) Literal translation. This is a kids‘ game, the english analogue game is apparently „I spy, with my little eye“


Camera + lens: Minolta 9000 AF + Minolta AF 100mm Macro f2.8
Film: Rollei RPX 100
Development + scan: Charlie Engel Lab 2.0