Sunday, November 24, 2013

Moon Glass Window Writings

I've not yet adapted to a normal human's schedule. I wake up when the moon is still out- usually around 4AM. I am not sure yet if that hour is one I should change, as far as my daily routine events go. I enjoy having some quiet time to myself in the mornings. I grab my Nikon or iPhone and step outside to let our dogs out before the sun rises over our new fenced-in backyard. Our new house is perfect for us. The dogs have adjusted well, although Lucy has become a little 'mama's girl' ever since we moved in. Our old house was all she knew and she still follows me around the new house with the need to be in whatever room I'm occupying. Lucy is normally my husband's baby. I like that she's come to her senses lately. Anyway, when the dogs do their morning doo- - he he, (I giggle.), I sometimes snap a few pictures. It's dark and there isn't much to see but on this particular morning, the moonlight through the glass door glistened to catch my camera's attention. Making the moon a letter as I wrote on the chilly glass, I smiled at the result of this effort. Moon Glass Window Writings photo by me- I hope it makes you smile, too.


Step 2 - Quit Job. Check. Now What?

It's been a tough year for me. On November 20th, 2013, I did something necessary for the maintaining of what small bit of sanity I have left. I pondered over the events of that day for months, prior to my final day of employment at the job that taught me more than I could ever write in this post.

I quit my job.

Over the past two years, I've gained more experiences than many people accumulate over the course of a lifetime.

I'm grateful for those life lessons, but the stresses and worries involved in the social work field of child placement, foster care, and adoption, became more than I could balance with all the other responsibilities in my life right now.

I made the decision to go back to school this year.

I took a full load of classes online, with two courses jam-packed into my first 7-weeks of back-to-college-ness.

My boss told me that my decision, though ambitious, may result in feeling overwhelmed.
I didn't heed his warning.
As my Mamaw says, I always seem to have this need to 'prove something', even though I don't have to...

What it is that I'm always trying to prove, I don't know.
I just dive head-first into projects, tasks, jobs, life... full-speed ahead.
I give all of my effort to whatever I'm involved in-
be it work,
crazy goals that wind up being what everyone warned me they'd be-

impossible, too much to handle, overwhelming, etc.

Well, I suppose everybody was right.
Not completely correct, though, in their predictions...

I made A's in those fast-track classes, while working a full-time schedule at my job.
Then, I went to a part-time, 30-hour work week.
There is no such thing as part time in social work-
not when one is so caught up in the work, relationships, and causes
for which they first signed up for a job that 'gives back'.

I gave back.
I gave all I had.
I gave too much.
I didn't give enough.
I couldn't give anymore.

When I decided to give my notice, I couldnt' help but feel a sense of relief.
Most people panic at the thought of not having a job.
Normally, I'd be one of the more sensible types who worry about such matters-
Jobs are neccessary for one's survival, after all.

The job takes over your life.
You begin dreading your work.
You lie awake at night wondering about whether or not your grades will suffer
since you haven't had more than 4 hours of sleep in the past 2 days.

If you aren't taking care of yourself,
You can't take care of anybody else.

I tried to balance all responsibilities of work, school, marriage, travel, family, friends, assignments, deadlines, home visits, appointments, etc.

One of these was bound to suffer if any of the others were successful.
I told myself that wasn't true-
After all, I'm Regina.
I can do anything.
I'm Super Woman.

Super Woman did well for the first few weeks of juggling the circus she'd signed herself up for...
She woke up at 3-4am every morning, did assignments, sent emails, made calls, planned, scheduled, confirmed, submitted, re-scheduled, re-sent, organized, and all other tasks now required for her role as multi-tasking genius...

Then, Super Woman became exhausted.
She got sick.
She never felt well.
She wasn't happy anymore.

When she made A's on projects and exams, she could not enjoy her success-
Her time spent preparing and studying for school meant that her work responsibilities had piled up.
Those responsibilities loomed over her, and she knew she must press on...

Making the trek to the office at 8AM to begin one's day-
a simple and regular event that is damn near impossible when one has already completed a full day's
work before the rest of the world decides to get started.

Ridiculous amounts of coffee were consumed.
If anyone has ever overdosed on caffeine, I may have a gene that prevents such tragedy-
My body and mind built up a tolerance for caffeine that would terrify healthcare and cardiac professionals worldwide.

our coffee-powered Super Woman flew from destination to destination, without fail.

I stopped putting forth 100% at my job.
For that, I felt guilty.

I reasoned that my contributions and efforts of the past two years' employment made up for my slackened dedication to my overwhelming responsibilities.

I am a perfectionist.

Though a trait that I'm not particularly proud of, perfectionism has promoted success in just about anything I set my mind to do.

When and if,
I can't give all I've got to something- ANYTHING...
I throw in the towel.

Some of my co-workers said I was abandoning them.
They're right.
I am.

I actually cried when I gave my notice.
I hate crying in front of people.

A tired Regina had been up all night, worrying about whether or not tomorrow should be the day she let go of the job she'd worked so hard to accomplish for years.

Saying goodbye has never been easy for me.
Even when I gave my notice, the reality of how final my decision was didn't really hit me.

I was, however, suprised by how right it felt to quit.
I instantly felt calmer than I have in months.
I felt reassured, confident, and had no doubts that I'd made the right choice.

My husband says that this year has been hard for me. He says it's all hitting me at once.
He's right.

It is.
Life this year got hectic, hard, tragic, overwhelming, challenging, sad, frightening...
but it is going to be okay.

Everyone says that- -
things will get better.

it'll all work out.

Super Woman believes those things, too...
just give her some time to process all the things she's kept to herself for 2 years, will ya?
Give her some time to feel sad, angry, frustrated, appalled, and helpless...
However she feels is okay.
Don't worry so much about her.
She's got a lot going on right now.

 No one but me knows about the things I've seen and done in the past two years-
as far as professional confidentiality plays a role in those stories...

You'd need time to think about all of those events, too-
Especially when you never got a chance to process them before the next thing sprang up.

I'm working on figuring out what I want now.
I am making a plan on where to go from here.
The changes in my life are more than they've ever been...
They are positive changes, though, and I'm sorting through them.

I found a to-do list yesterday that I'd made months ago.
In the process of moving, I have found the most random things!

The list read:

GOAL: Get a degree
Step 1: $3,000
Step 2: Quit Job
Step 3: Study like crazy

Somehow, finding this list comforted me.
When I felt lost and didn't know where to go-
I found this list to reassure me that I'm already on the right track.

So what that I may or may not have skipped Step 1.
Step 3 has been completed.

Step 2 - Quit Job.


Maybe if I repeat Step 3, it'll all work out.

Pretty sure that Step 3 is the key I need to open the door I've been ready and capable of opening for far too long.

Until next time, my friends...

Stay tuned. :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Art Print Illustration

Illustration by Regina Hodge. Copyright 2013.

Twinkle Twinkle
Little Star
How I Wonder What You Are
Up Above The World So High
Like A Diamond
In The Sky

Twinkle Twinkle
Little Star
How I Wonder What You Are

Monday, November 11, 2013

Our Lives On Dunailie Drive - Leaving The House That Was Our Home

 The early days of Dunailie... 
when Halle fit in a suitcase and we lived 
in the downstairs portion of the house...

 Feels so long ago, sometimes. 

Today is bittersweet as we reflect on all the memories 
we made in the house that became our home. 

We leave Dunailie Drive today but 
these memories travel with us 
as we move on
to the next chapter of our lives...

When I moved in with Josh, our parents had some concerns 
about our not-married-yet relationship status. 
They still supported us-
even when we added a new puppy to our not-yet-married family. 

We got married. 
Halle arrived first, though. 
A tiny puppy sits here, years ago, on Dunailie Drive...
My, how far we have come since the day this photo was taken!

My best and most favorite memories happened here in this house. This is one of them...

From this little Craigslist puppy, who chewed EVERYTHING...

To THIS still-not-fully-grown dog 
that we finally trained to respect our things. :)
Famous Dave's 

Josh and I will move to a new house. 
More memories will be made there. 
Those made here, on Dunailie Drive, 
are packed in my heart 
to take with me 
to every house
that our love 
makes HOME. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Crisis Management & Road Rage

Everyone thinks they are an excellent driver. Everyone has that in common with Rain Man.
Everyone can't be an excellent driver.
Everyone can't be as good an actor as Hoffman, either.

Tonight, I drove out for a quick errand to grab some Diet Coke.

I waited in line, paid for the 2-liter of deliciousness, and exited the gas station.

It should've been a routine trip.

It would have been...
Except for the fact that
people are CRAZY.

Tennessee drivers probably aren't worse than other drivers, as a general rule.
However, they are a little overzealous with the horn-honking.
This isn't New York, after all.

As I've said in my recent posts, I've been stressed lately.

Maybe that contributed to the events that occurred while I went on my little Diet Coke venture tonight.

My stress- and the inevitable fact that people in Nashville suck at driving...
(This generalization, of course, does not apply to me.)

I walk out of the gas station with my double-bagged Diet...
I'm thinking about how glad I am that the line wasn't long this time.
La deee dee dooooo, dip-e-dee-da... happy thoughts dancing in little Regina's head as she strolls to her parked car outside the station.

Then, while backing out... I hear a car horn.
Pretty typical, living in the city... except-
the sound of this horn is too close to be ignored.

AND... the duration of the horn's blaring alarm signaled that I, Regina Hodge, had prompted its triggering.

Surely not.

I whip around to see who the hell thinks that this type of horn-honking behavior is acceptable in Tennessee and especially- at a GAS STATION.


It's a Jeep.

It's parked at the gas pump-

Must've been someone else, thinks I...

Sure was a close-sounding honk, though.
That's weird.

Plenty of room to finish backing out. Wonder who the jerk is who sounded that horn? Wonder who made that Jeep's driver so mad... ' Least it's not me...

I cautiously, slowly continue to back up my car.


That's it.
I've HAD IT.
This is ridiculous.
Who in their right mind honks when somebody is backing out at a completely un-close distance from even coming remotely near to putting other drivers in danger, anyway...

Yeah, I said something like that.

I'll admit it. I'll confess.
I called the person who was parked at the pump an asshole.
I'm not proud of it.
I'm not surprised I said it, though, and-
if reliving the same scenario again,
I'd call them the same asshole.


After the first long horn honk, I made sure that there was no justified reason why I would've been the target of such aggression. After the second long honk that seriously caused my ears some discomfort,

I did something I've NEVER done before.

I got out of the car to directly address the other driver.


I didn't just jump out of the car to start a fight, though.
I honestly felt confused about why this unknown driver had been honking so needlessly and persistently at me- Especially when we were both parked and I was going under 1 mph. to back up my vehicle.

Out of the car now.
Who IS this PERSON?

I don't know who I expected to be behind the wheel of that Jeep.
I guess I thought the driver would look more like a jerk than a
normal, middle-class and middle-aged woman.

I still don't know why this surprised me. She looked so...NORMAL.

"I see you, Ma'am."

That's what I said first to the honker.
She'd already rolled the window down.

"Well, I didn't know you saw me!"

"I figured since you honked so much."

"You didn't have to get out of the car!"

"I got out to see what was going on, Ma'am. You scared me, honestly. I didn't know what was wrong because you kept honking like that."

The woman presents a confident and justified disposition that designates me an evil adversary.
I see it in her mean little beady eyes.

She's MAD AT ME.
This is crazy.

Whatever this woman experienced today must have been rough.
That's my work-self analyzing, there.

My personal self says she's still an asshole.

But, I know better.

Anyway, the woman SCREAMS at me so loudly that people hear from inside the gas station and come out to see if I'd hit the lady, I guess.

I didn't.
I did something better.
I made her feel stupid and ashamed of her actions.

Why is that better?

First- she isn't physically hurt. I haven't hit someone in quite a long time.
Second- She knows she was wrong, even though she'll never admit it.
Third- I had to rely on my ability to diffuse a situation that could've gotten really inconvenient and/or ugly.
Fourth- I have crisis management skills. I used them. They worked.

I stand there, being screamed at my a person whose vision probably hasn't been checked...ever.
A small crowd begins to gather right outside the station doors.
I must not call this lady any bad names.
She is wrong.
She will not apologize.
I must not take this personally.

Accepting a person's behavior- no matter how unreasonable or insulting it is-
IS THE FIRST STEP to stabilizing a crisis situation.

Over the past two years, I have endured insults that were not justified.
I hated it.
It helped me tonight.

Because of my experiences in working with people in crisis situations, this little gas station disagreement brought out the social worker in me.

Because I've seen SO MUCH WORSE and EXPERIENCED FAR MORE ANGERING ACTIONS than a middle-aged woman who honks too much.

While she yells at me, I analyze her body language.
It's aggressive. Her abrupt motions and hand gestures are confrontational.
Her words translate in English as being kind...
In tone and body language- they give conflicting meaning.

I've sized her up.
I know exactly what to do.
Watch the eyes.
I watch them.

Narrowed, brows furrowed, hands clenched upon the steering wheel, voice shaking.
This is what I see.
This is what I know...

1. Lady feels threatened by my getting out of my car after her repeated honking.
2. Lady misdirects anger, unrelated to present situations and likely due to more personal life matters than my actions.
3. Lady doesn't like being center of attention.
4. Lady becomes more aggressive when she becomes center of attention.
5. Lady feels need to save face in the presence of others.
6. Lady must be shown respect if situation is to be mitigated.

My brain thinks in this way now.
Social work promotes an entirely different way of thinking and working with people.
I didn't realize all I'd learned until these types of weird or challenging situations arise in my personal life.

I focus on my body language.
I relax my shoulders.
I slowly open my body up, by positioning my arms in an extended way that reaches out to the woman who is still screaming at me...
I watch her eyes become less narrowed when I do this.
I do it more.
Palms up and hands extended.
Explain reason for getting out of car to woman.
Must use respectful addressing terms such as Ma'am.
Use excessively, if needed.
Woman's shoulders and hands relax within her vehicle.

Ma'am... this really doesn't need to go any further than this.
I got out of the car to let you know I saw you.
It scared me because you were honking a lot
so I wanted to check on you
and make sure everything is okay.
I hope that you have a good evening, Ma'am.

Her response?

"Thanks. I hope you do, too."

Crisis managed.
Asshole vs. Badass
at Mapco
where Road Rage happens when PARKED.

Good thing I was a social worker. :)

Packing for The Move - Moving Makes A Mess!

My house is...



We're still packing.

We get the keys today.

Turns out that to organize your move, you have to make a mess first.

Here's our move in-progress...

Don't judge me, okay?

So much sorting, boxing, trashing, saving, doing...
It's gonna take more than a day for this one. 
Maybe a lifetime. :/

Here goes! :) 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

LifeLookLens: Let's Play The Glad Game

LifeLookLens: Let's Play The Glad Game: Let's NOT play the glad game, Pollyanna. I've been in a state of grumpy, exhausted confusion for the past few days. Moving and pa...

Let's Play The Glad Game

Let's NOT play the glad game, Pollyanna.

I've been in a state of grumpy, exhausted confusion for the past few days.
Moving and packing, taping and boxing, paying and signing....the list of tasks grows when I add the fact that I have exams due this weekend and haven't studied yet.

Also, there's the strangeness related to my job.
Past job... er-
part time job?
That's not it.
Temp job?
As-needed job?
Do I have one?
I did.
I don't.
I do...sort-of?
Oh, well... No time to think of that right now. Must box all the things. Must move to the place of the house on the yard that is fenced where the dogs don't know they will go there until I take them.

That little paragraph above is a prime example of the way my brain has been functioning lately. Fragments, run-ons, questions being asked by myself-
to myself.

Some people would call that crazy.
Are kids still saying what-ev?
I'm out of touch.
I'm old.
I should know these things.
Why don't I know the lingo anymore?
Wonder if they still say 'cool'.
If not, I'm still cool, right?
Yeah... I'm totally cool.
Bet they've never seen Clueless.
Not that it's the greatest movie but it is kind-of a must-see...
or was-
back in my day...
Oh, no.
I AM getting old.

This Blog post is about Pollyanna.
Betcha didn't see that coming, did'ja?
Oh, yeah- there's a spoiler-clue in the title.
Well, I can always be glad that some people didn't catch the spoiler.

I can be glad that my feet are warm and snug in brightly-colored socks that a happy kindergartener would admire.
I can be glad that there are kindergarteners.
I can be glad...

Pollyanna has been an obnoxious role model of mine that I don't openly talk about, even to my closest friends. My husband only vaguely gets the references since my brief and muffled, nerdish explanations of this epic hero are mostly kept to myself...

You know how there are those movies that you LOVE, despite the opinion you KNOW other adults- and (even you!) realize are fairly stupid and poorly written?

Yeah, well-
Pollyanna's not like that, okay?

She's the shit.
The happy shit.

I hear kids DO still say that, by the way. Bet it's because they get to curse and look 'COOL'.
Kids from the nineties INVENTED 'cool'.
We never used bad words, either.
We were THAT cool-
and grew up to be sarcastic bloggers who focus indirectly and inadequately on several unrelated topics all at the same time.

Oh, what would Pollyanna say about that?
She'd be glad that 90's kids are blogging, I bet.
She'd be glad that kids now are still saying, 'That's the shit.'
Pollyanna would NEVER say the word, 'shit'.
Still, she'd find something GLAD about it.
She found something glad about everything.
I just can't quite think of what she'd find to be glad about this particular scenario...
Actually, when I really imagine what Pollyanna would say-
in reference to words like shit, and the common casual way we use those words-
It makes me laugh.

In my head, here's Pollyanna...having a conversation with a character I'll call, Regina, for example.
(Hypothetical names, of course, mind you.)
R= Regina (hypothetically)
P= Pollyanna

R: "Today is awful."
P: "Ohhhhh, nooooo! You see, today is a LOVELY day!"
R: "No, it's not. Everything that's happened today- and yesterday- has sucked, Pollyanna."
P: "Sucked?"
R: "Oh.... yeah... Sorry... I forget you're still learning- It means that nothing good has happened today     or yesterday, Pollyanna."
P: "Oh, I'm sure there must be something!"
R: "Nope. Past two days have really been bad."
P: "Nothing is ever ALL bad, Regina. Do you know what I do to feel better?"
R: "Yes. I've seen your movie."
P: "Then, you know how to play the GLAD GAME!"
R: "Really gets on people's nerves, you know."
P: "Not on everyone's nerves. I bet there's someone who feels happier when they play the glad game!"
R: "Not me."
P: "Try it."
R: "No, Pollyanna. You live in a bubble. Things aren't as great as you make them out to be and you're believing a bunch of nonsense. The world has gotten a whole lot uglier since you did that movie, you know?"
P: "Well, then... We can be glad that I made that movie, now, can't we!...How do you mean, ugly?"
R: "Kids say the word, shit."
P: "Oh, dear. Oh, no, dear me!"
R: "Yep. They mean it to be a good thing, though."
P: "How...peculiar... You mean, they say that awful word to mean something that is good?? You're right, Regina, things surely have changed since I taught the world the glad game in my movie."
R: "Yeah, well... bet you can't say something GLAD about THAT, now, can you?
P: "Errrrr...."
R: "Go on..."
P: "I've GOT IT!"
R: "No way."
P: "Children are using words in new ways to mean entirely different things than the previous generations had ever thought to use them! Why..., children today have turned something that has always been thought of as ugly... to represent something...

R: You win, Pollyanna.


:) :) :) Sometimes, you've gotta play the GLAD GAME. You've gotta re-invent your own Pollyanna.
THAT, my friends, WILL MAKE YOU GLAD. :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

When One Door Closes...

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens...

When one door closes, look for an open window.

Whatever the phrase, we've all heard it.

Today, I closed some doors.

I have yet to see the second part that is supposed to happen in the cliche.

But it's only been about an hour since I closed the door.

Give it time...

I'm certain that door needed to be closed.

Still, I miss it a little.

I had a lot of memories about that door.

I knew that closing it would be hard. The door is heavy.

It was heavier than I'd anticipated.

I still closed it.

It wasn't easy.

I shed some tears.

My stomach knotted itself up as I took the first push that would end the chapter I've worked hard to create. It couldn't keep going on, though, as it was... So, I must turn the page, close the door, seek the next chapter, find the next door... all of those things people say about moving on.

Easy to say, harder to do.

And yet, I felt relieved. Saddened, most certainly, but the feeling of relief reassured me that I must press harder on that door to seal it shut.

I have the key, should I ever need to go back through that entranceway.

But the other keys I hold in my hand may open many more doors.
And so, its time to try them out.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

13 minutes til Midnight - Get To Sleep Fast Advice & Writer's Block Ramblings

I hate the first part of starting a blog post-

Coming up with the title.

I usually skip that part until I start typing a story, figure out the concept, then go back to add the title for my post.

Tonight is different.

It's 13 minutes before midnight.

I'm still awake.

So many thoughts are going through my head that I cant just close my eyes and forget them. My eyelids feel heavy. It's been a crazy couple of weeks.

You probably don't wanna hear about that, though.

You're here for some inspiration.

more than likely,
you stumbled upon this blog and are debating whether or not to just X-out and move on with your web-surfages.

I guess I'm feeling a bit more negative than usual.
When I write,
it doesn't matter.

If one person reads my blog- reads any posts I've written over the past couple of years-
my public and online journal will be worth the efforts I put in to create it.

Writer's block is in full-effect right now.

I have nothing really that's interesting to say.

Who blogs about that, anyway?

Yours, truly.

That's who.

Usually, I just start typing. I never begin my blogs or writings with plans or intent.

Usually, it all works out. The topic I want to write about reveals itself.

Why isn't that happening right now?

Why does this post suck?

I guess it's simple, really.

At 13 minutes til midnight,

one should not blog.

One should not attempt to write.

No pencil should dare be put to parchment, for nothing worthy will be scribbled at this particular time.

And so...

This is my worst post ever.

I embrace it.

What else can I do?

Sometimes, even when I can't sleep-

I shouldn't try to blog.

Especially at 13 til midnight.

The writer's block curse begins at that time and I have yet to decipher the time at which it shall end.

Until next time...

Here's Regina. Just wasting your time with ramblings of exhaustion, worries, and dreads about the tomorrow.

At 12:01, tomorrow began.

14 minutes for this post.

I am too anxious.

I'm so tired.

I have exams this weekend.

I'm moving this weekend.

Tomorrow's meeting will determine my future.

I've decided my future.

Doing the things that the future I want mandates has not-
and, WILL NOT-
be easy.

So wanders my restless mind...
at 12:03AM.

I am ready for today before today is ready for me.
Maybe that's my problem.
Maybe that's my solution.

No more attempts for sense-making, friends. Time for sleep.

Here's what always helps me drift off to dreamland... Hope it helps you, too. :)

 Goodnight, sleepy bears. Better blogs will follow. I promise. Sweet dreams. :)

When You Just Need To Vent

Sometimes, you just need to vent about all the things going on that are bothering you.

I've learned that there's a healthy way to vent and an unhealthy way to display all that anger that's built up inside you.

Just because I've learned the best ways to vent doesn't mean I always follow the rules that are implied.

I felt angry today.

I thought and said some things I probably shouldn't have said and/or thought.

I felt a little better immediately after my temper tantrum, but I found this relief to be temporary and fleeting.

What's the worst thing when you're venting to someone about what's bothering you?
The listener says something that doesn't go along with your outrageously grumpy little explosion,

You're all whiney and complain-ey and all you want is for somebody to validate your feelings. You don't want to hear any opinions during tantrum time- Especially if the listener's argument is compelling to prove you're being dramatic or ridiculous.

Those listeners need to shut up.
They need to let you have your say!
They need to agree and confirm everything that comes out of your rage-fueled little pipe-hole.

At least, that's how I felt this morning. It's how I always feel when I'm angry.
I've never handled myself as gracefully as I'd like when I get mad.

It takes quite a LOT to prompt my feelings of anger.

However, once I reach that lava-hot point-
Nobody should have to listen to the stuff I say.
Even though I justify all of it at the angry time when crazy meanness flies from my mouth.

Luckily, I've gotten better about expressing feelings (even, anger) in more beneficial ways than I evidenced today in my behavior.

There's been a long-standing debate about whether venting is a healthy practice or whether it just fuels anger to propel and accelerate its flames of madness.

Like everything else, venting is healthy in moderation.

So, throw your little tantrum.
Let the listener correct you and pull you back to the reality of earth that your madness-filled self just left like a rocket to space...
Get mad at the listener.
Don't hurt listener for being right.
Accept that the listener is right and that you're angry.
Never hurt the listener. Although they are annoying, you need them.

Take a breather. Turn on some music. Chill the heck out for just a few minutes...
Then, start planning...
Target what makes you angry, miserable, sad, scared, furious, frightened, belittled, exploited, used, etc., etc., bad feeling, bad feeling....

Then, start writing down what positive things you're doing to do to change the sources of what is the root of those angry, 'bad' feelings.

When that list is done, ignore obstacles to check those tasks off one by one.
Don't let anybody stop you and don't let the anger control you.
After all, nobody MAKES you FEEL angry.

YOU CHOOSE TO FEEL ANGRY, just like you choose to vent.

So choose something that's actually going to help you out, why don't you?

At least, this is the advice I give for you now. In the events that follow my checklist's completion, I may gain a whole new outlook about all this.

Maybe I'll regret it.
Maybe I won't.

All I know is that I HAVE TO DO MY CHECKLIST.
I've got a plan to fix the things in my life that burden me and along the way, I hope to improve myself-
with every check-
with every task-
with every improvement-
with every step, advancement, hello, goodbye, move, relationship, job, LIFE...

Because that's the healthy way to VENT.

Who knows what will result from the healthy venting process...
Time will tell. Stay tuned, my friends.
Life just got a whole lot more interesting. :)

Photography Angles & Perspectives For Better Phototography

 Good Photography is all about angles.

The perspective of the shot, rather than the object being photographed, is what's most important. Here's a few shots I took to demonstrate slight but significant differences that should be applied for better photos and unique photography. 

In this this-one-or-that-one how-to-blog, two photos can be compared according to the angle and perspectives from which I snapped the shot. You'll see why angles matter and how you can apply just a few tips to take better pictures at your next photoshoot! 


Most people will say that the second photo is more clearly depicted. The photo you prefer says a lot about what you value in photography, really. For those who prefer the first photo, it's likely because the angle from which the photo was taken creates more curve to the formation of the scene than does the second photo. A more dream-like setting is created from photo 1 than the sharp, straight lines featured from the angle in photo 2. Which photo makes you feel as though you're there? Which one makes you want to walk up those steps? That's your angle preference for photographs, you know. Everyone's is different. That's why, as photographers know, the same scene can be construed in all sorts of ways to appeal to a client. By applying more point-of-view angles to your photo shoots, you're more likely to capture the same scene in different ways that result in completely different feelings. Pretty simple, but very important if you want to capture unique shots that others think they've already taken. As for my preference in this example- I like photo 1 best. It's more interesting to me than the second photo. More inviting and mysterious. Clarity is overrated sometimes because dream-like haze is what makes photo 1 my favorite here. :) 


Same dandelion, different photos. Which do you like best? Your answer reveals your preference for focal points in photography- as well as your preference for portrait-style or landscape-style shots. In the first photo above, the focal point is centered at the middle of the flower so that sharpness is created around this focus to add clarity to the ends of the seeds. In the second photo below...

...focal point is centered at the edges of the flower, especially on the right side of the bloom. This angle creates more of a background fade than the first. Choosing different target spots on your photo subject creates variation that is sure to appeal to just about everyone. Some will prefer 1 photo over another, for reasons they aren't sure about. Once you show two photos like this to a client, ask which they like best. Then, apply their focal and angle preferences to your photo shoot- regardless of which picture you know has more photographic quality and value. :) 

There are lots of people who will prefer a photo for the simple fact that it's black-and-white. Monochrome junkies, I call them. Knowing that to some clients, angles and focus don't matter as much as their love for black and white photos is critical to remember as a photographer- also, it's easier to do. Just a simple tip to edit and shoot more B&W- you never know when you'll have a client who hasn't realized that's all they really want from their photo session. :) 

Which is better? 

Which do you like most? 

Your preference tells the following about YOU:
- appreciation for texture vs. preference for depth
- focal point preferences between objects that are up-close and those that are out-of-reach.
- The things you want to be noticed in the shots I take for you. 


 Another example of how angles make all the difference!
 For me, Photo 1 is better. 
Which is your preference here? 

Asking clients to choose between photos is a great idea for photographers to practice during pre-consultations so that the focal points, values, forms, and artistic favorings of the client can be applied by the photographer to capture pictures the client will love. The photographer's preference isn't nearly as important at photo shoots. That's why taking what feels like the same picture over and over is important. Slight differences tell you so much more about what your client wants. Try it. You'll be surprised! 


You know the drill now, right. You pick the one you like. I tell you what I like. Then, I say your preferences say things about you I'll use to take more photos you like. Yep, you're a lil' smartypants. :) If you take anything from all this- I hope it's to hold two photos up at your next consultation. Ask your client to pick. Then, watch your customer satisfaction shoot through the roof when you apply these simple concepts to your photo shoots! 

Thanks for reading and keep shooting! :) 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Letting Go.

Sometimes, you reach a point in your life that prompts you to question how you ever let so many things  weigh you down.

Whether it's your work, hobbies, relationships, marriage, friendships, obligations-

You let whatever it is burden you.
You held on hoping it would get better.
You tried your best.
You really did.

Still, you have this day when everything in your life seems less stressful-
It seems to make more sense than usual.
Perhaps you've slept well and are thinking more clearly that day-
Or, maybe you just decided to come to terms with the facts you'd chosen to ignore for way too long.


Letting Go.
Two words.
so much more, though.

Something has to give. You realize it, but this time-
you don't feel so stressed out about it.
You accept this willingly...

That's when it's time.
You close your eyes and you hope you're next moves achieve all the wonderful goals you set for yourself so long ago...

Somehow, you know you're headed in the right direction for all of that to finally come true.

Letting go isn't easy.
But there's something about it that makes you feel lighter, and more capable of achieving more than you ever imagined.

You feel hopeful again.
You know you can do it.
This time-

Photographers in Nashville - Photographers To Watch - Photographers to Follow

Photographers in Nashville. #Photographerstowatch Regina Hodge. #photography #Tennessee

This post is sort of an experiment- I've been trying for the past month or so to get some recognition for my photography. I shamelessly promote my photos and will continue to do so until I see one of them published. Please accept my apology ,in advance, for any inconvenience or annoyance this may cause you. I just wanna take pictures. Perfectly reasonable dream, right? :)

LifeLookLens: Music City, USA - Nashville, Tennessee

LifeLookLens: Music City, USA - Nashville, Tennessee: I'm always proud to tell people that I'm from Nashville, Tennessee. I took this photo yesterday morning, while standing on Korean...

Music City, USA - Nashville, Tennessee

I'm always proud to tell people that I'm from Nashville, Tennessee. I took this photo yesterday morning, while standing on Korean Veterans Bridge. Music City, USA photo by Regina Hodge. Nashville, Tennessee.

Bikers of Nashville - A Fun Weekend Parade of Motorcycles through Music City

LifeLookLens: Nashville, Through My Lens - My Hometown, in Pictu...

LifeLookLens: Nashville, Through My Lens - My Hometown, in Pictu...: NASHVILLE, THROUGH MY LENS Music City, USA Photo by Regina Hodge. LOOK AT MUSIC CITY, USA-  THE WAY I SEE IT.  THESE ARE MY PHO...

Nashville, Through My Lens - My Hometown, in Pictures of Music City, USA


Music City, USA Photo by Regina Hodge.


Music City Dreams Photo by Regina Hodge.

Sunny Skyline photo by Regina Hodge

Over the Top For LP Field photo by Regina Hodge

Veterans Bridge in Flowers photo by Regina Hodge.

Down the Tracks photo by Regina Hodge

Grass outgrowing Batman Building photo by Regina Hodge
 All photos here were taken by me! :) Maybe I'm getting better with the Nikon, after all! :)