Muted Moments

My view from the spillway at Lake Lincoln last week.

This fall was a very muted one for me, both in fall colors and my emotional state. I haven’t slipped all the way into depression, but apathy is becoming way too comfortable.

Bits of color, but nothing dramatic or special.

Just like in the photo above, I could look at the details and find bits of beauty; the rocks, the splashes of color, the mountains, and the lake. And yet, the overall feeling is just OK, nothing special, kind of like my life. There is nothing really wrong with my life. I have my health, a job, income, an apartment, and friendly neighbors. But I busy myself with routines; working, volunteering, reading, and watching videos and movies. I rarely leave the house, except for work and errands, I rarely reach out, see friends, or do anything social. I don’t have a partner, and I haven’t traveled for fun in over 10 years. My life is lacking romance, adventure, purpose, and social connections.

A closer view of the bluffs which I still enjoy.

I’m aware of the situation, my feelings, and even ways to get back on track as in this post 11 Ways to Get Back Up, yet I’m not taking any action to change or improve my life. I’m not content, but I’m not motivated either. It’s hard to say when or if I will take action to improve my life. The last time I was proactive was in my early 50s, and I’m now 64.

Another view of the lake.

Thank you for reading and caring. I’m still amazed at how many subscribers and friends I have on this blog, some for many years. There have been many times that this blog has been a lifeline keeping me afloat as I struggled with challenges (internal and external). And yet, even my blog has become another routine that I feel less and less motivated to keep going. I wonder if I would be better served to focus more on living my life, and less on writing about it. I’m concerned that blogging has become a poor substitute for living.

As I’ve written before, I may take a break from this blog. This is my first post in almost three weeks. Or maybe I simply need new topics or directions for my blog. Thank you for your love, support, comments, and presence.

I hope you find or create more beauty, joy, and love in your life.


62 thoughts on “Muted Moments

  1. Hi Dear Brad….I have definitely experienced what you are experiencing, and as trite as it might sound it will pass…..However, having said that, every now and then we need to jog ourselves out of a rut….do something completely different and even alien to our normal way of being. Again easier said than done, but I speak from experience….and it can and often does work. I would miss your blog a great deal if you weren’t. here. Janet :)XX

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Beautiful photos, Brad, and your title is perfectly chosen. Maybe try one thing this week that shakes up your norm. Only you can decide what that might be. You never know where that might take you, in thought, in new experiences and outlooks. Writing is not a substitute for living, but a component that you might miss. Balance, with everything, is key. Wishing you the best. 🌻

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been feeling that same kind of floundering apathy (could be the winter doldrums), and I think it’s because I haven’t done anything new and creative for a while. I have made up my mind to start a new project TODAY and I know this will get me jump-started.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you yet again for your lovely photographic eye + your candid thoughts and feelings. I would certainly understand if you cut way back on your blog posts (I certainly have done that more than once…) and I trust that you will do what you need to do to address/honor/respond to/stir up/embrace/transform your current state of apathy. Just remember that lots of us savor your blog posts AND are rooting for you, Brad!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Brad, I remember when I started blogging in 2021 you were always a voice of encouragement and positive feedback. I’ve always been struck by your sensitivity, kindness, and appreciation of the natural beauty all around you. I wish you could turn that inward, but I have been where you are and it’s not as easy as that. Is there one small thing you might be able to do outside of your routine? Is talking to someone an option you’d consider?
    I’m grateful for your presence here, but also understand the need for taking a break from blogging. Be kind to yourself. Big hugs to you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I closed my blog for a whole month because I felt it was merely routine and it wasn’t something I was interested in doing anymore. After that one month break, coming back, it’s a different feeling. We often know we have to make changes, but we’re stuck in our comfort zone. Hope you manage to find a way out of that apathy. And we’re glad to be on this blogging journey with you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I find writing to be a way to process things, but not a replacement for life itself. Getting thoughts out and seeing them has had a way of moving energy for me. I feel like everything is a process of finding our balance and what feels best for us. Feels like that is what you’re discovering and I support what you feel honors you best. Thank you for sharing your experiences and journey… it’s not an easy time in the world right now so any way we can support one another and connect authentically feels valuable. Sending you so much love. Grateful you’re in the world and weaving your heart’s kindness into the web.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Brad… we love your presence and musings here… writing being about giving our life order, I feel! Being a sensitive you are feeling how the world feels now! We are all going through similar reflections according to what is good for us. There is nothing wrong, nothing missed, it is just what it is and we can simply breathe through this, feel it all without judgement! Be ok doing nothing, being slow etc… it will pass! Just take care of yourself, drink and eat abundantly, watch movies and muse occasionally! No judgement from us, you’re one of us and all is ok❤️🌈🕺🎶 sending love x

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s okay to take blogging breaks, Brad, and it’s okay to grow out of blogging altogether. I wonder about the hours I spend behind a screen (8 so far today), and what I’m missing while sitting here. Blogging still serves me, but there will come a day when new adventures will call and that will be okay. I hope you find your way back into joy, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Brad! Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I know exactly how you are feeling, been that way for almost 3 years now. There wasn’t much I could do about it, just had to wait for the energy to flow in. Only recently, maybe the past week, have things began to lift. Our world has drastically changed in these years, more puss coming to the surface – as it does when a wound is healing. It’s been hard to be around people or to feel excited about much of anything. I’ve chalked it up to self-preservation. Hang in there! Sending a hug! Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was drawn to check in on you since your move Brad and started back to your last one to this one now.
    This stood out and struck me in everything you said:

    ” I wonder if I would be better served to focus more on living my life, and less on writing about it. I’m concerned that blogging has become a poor substitute for living.

    I do hope you take time to foster your inner calling. It sounds like a push and a trip is in order. You are a brilliant writer and photographer. Think how much you will have to share.

    Do take good care … sending you good energy to muster up the strength to mix it up and follow your messages.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Even the most balanced person goes through what you are going through….it’s human nature. You are just open enough to admit it….most people aren’t. Having said that, I’m absolutely not diminishing what you are going through….it’s very painful when you know there is more out there for you. Keep the faith and know that you have blog friends who have you in their prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. HI Brad, I am sorry you are still feeling lacklustre about your life. I think that many people are in this same emotional boat post Covid. We all hoped things would improved drastically post-Covid, but now we are faced with significant price increases, global conflicts and social discontent and unrest. And then there’s global warming. Staying upbeat is something I have to fight to do too, and I’ve always been a very positive person. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear Brad… I know of what you speak… If it were not for my walks and my garden and being out in among nature or keeping busy with my hobbies and crafts… I know I could easily slip back into depression of which I suffered in previous years..
    I could suggest many things, but you yourself have the list of how to ” Get back up” in 11 different ways… Only YOU my friend have that will power to break the cycle of those ‘Muted Moments’ you feel your life has become..
    I wish I could sugar coat it, and say don’t worry all will be well…
    Sometimes as I have found out in the past… We have to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and experiences.. And I know you dear Brad are a free spirit who has a great big heart, and who helps many in your volunteering capacity..

    I also know you are very empathic Brad… And you feel to your core what is occurring in our world..
    Have you ever thought too, your lack-lustre could also be you picking up empathically your surroundings and the collective overall feelings..
    I know from my own personal experience Brad, several years ago I know I broke down in my garden, cried my eyes out for no reason at all.. Only to discover it was empathy for the world..

    I learnt that day something of value.. While it was okay to empathise… I was doing myself no favours in making myself ill over situations I couldn’t control…
    I could only control what was in my own immediate world.. Not out there.. But internally and within my own environment..

    So I grew up that day internally… And I knew I had to change my mind set… I was the only one who could do that.. I was the one who could change my way of thinking.. And my way of being, and put self first more often.. And that is not being selfish ..

    Brad if you need time out my friend take time out.. You know I take time out often.. And Let go of expectation… But live in the moment and if you have some vacation time.. Dare to be in that moment and do something spontaneous that breaks your normal routine… And you may be surprised at what opens up in that moment of time..

    You know I send love and well wishes Brad… and I truly hope you find more Colour in your life and I thank you most profoundly, for being such a good friend to me over at Dreamwalker’s.. And I hope you do not take offense to my comment here.. For I know the place you are dwelling in, for I was once there….
    Sending LOVE and well wishes..
    Much love Sue ❤ 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the loving support and wise tips Sue. Yes, I’ve realized some of what I’m feeling is due to externals and the state of the world. And it’s also largely due to my own passivity in my life. I believe I need to make changes, yet have no motivation to do so. Thanks for caring. 🙏💕

      Liked by 1 person

      • I pray Brad, you will soon get ‘mo-jo’ back to find direction and motivation for you to find Joy back in your life again my friend…
        Also I do believe in Algorithms and frequency interferences are a reality right now in infiltrating our moods and brain-waves… So I am personally being very mindful of WiFi, and Electronic equipment where subliminal suggestions are a possibility also.
        Which is another reason I limit my time in the internet, TV, etc, and spend as much time out in Nature as possible.. I also turn off WiFi and internet when not in use and over night… Just a few suggestions which also may help..
        And yes I care, you are a dear friend Brad…
        Sending love and well wishes Brad…. ❤ 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Brad,
    The pictures you share here are always beautiful. I can understand that in today’s world online lives have sort of substituted real world living. While the blog is wonderful and provides a safe haven for you, I do wish you would share your beautiful self with the real world around you.
    You are such a deeply understanding soul, anyone who interacts with you will see that. Maybe you could start with a local book club or something on the lines of your hobbies…to meet like minded souls. The world is a beautiful place and you see it(your blog is proof of it!), you would feel it more though if you had a small but wonderful community in the real world to share it with.
    If you need to talk Brad, you know I’m here. ❤
    Also last month I wrote about igniting motivation. If you feel inclined to read that post the link is here:
    Lots of love to you ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Zeenat. Thank you for the very kind and thoughtful response. Your post is very appropriate as I had previously commented. Maybe more community and social connection are the fuel I need to start taking action. Thank you for the love and support. 🙏💕

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Before the pandemic we moved more freely in the world, lately I’ve been pushing myself to explore different things (art exhibits, neighbourhood streets, coffee bars) and I’m amazed, the feelings left after these tiny adventures leaves me with a sense of peace and possibility…
    I only post once a month due to my quieter life and hope to post more often in the future and yes, we would miss your inspiring words…just recently, I thought of you in your apartment grounds and hoped you were feeling happy and content.
    I hope as you write above, maybe more community and social connection are the fuel I need to start taking action – here’s to fuel now and in the coming new year, Brad!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. How my heart feels for you, Brad, for I myself have been in similar places during my life and they are no fun. I have no words except that you really do have the answers within yourself. Looking at the truth of ourselves is perhaps one of the hardest things to do. Yet in order to bring sparkle back into our life, we need to do that very thing which we do not want to do.

    It’s a work in progress. And yes oh yes the state of this world does not help either. The more joy I find within myself the more joy seems to manifest around me. Now there are exceptions yes and it has everything to do with those people who are comfortable in being miserable.

    The fact you know something is wrong and you want more from life, that should encourage you, Brad. If you decide to walk away from blogging for a while just to spend time with yourself to see the tree through the forest, then do that. When we dictate we stay busy that is a very good way to avoid what needs to be seen inwardly. I’m not making light of how you feel nor of depression, for I have walked those paths.

    I will keep you in my prayers. If you want something badly enough despite the fear or the discouraging words you hear in your head, you will do something to change your life. I know this can be done for I have done so with many aspects of my life. Do I still want more and still have dreams? You bet I do. This really is a process and it reveals itself as you begin to walk those baby steps to freeing yourself.

    I did try to post directly on your blog but my post would not go through. Sorry about the no spaces between paragraphs which I did do originally.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for this honesty, Brad. Inertia can be hard to overcome. Small steps have often helped me. I like the blog on ten steps to getting back on track. I also like the flowers ? growing on the rock in, “Another View of the Lake.” There’s something significant there and in the title.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t think your at all alone in the way you feel. So many people feeling that way and heading into winter doesn’t help. I think you’re right–you have a huge community of support out here–at issue is that it doesn’t feel the same as being there physically with you, does it? Please hang in there–hate to hear that it’s rough right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. First of all, these photos are stunning (as usual, Brad)!

    Maybe it can be both/and…as you re-enter the world, you can write about it? I understand what you’re describing though. I call it spiraling, and I know for myself (and other family members), if we don’t catch it at the beginning, it’s hard to dig ourselves out. Sending you a bit of encouragement as you find your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Beautiful shot from the spillway at Lake Lincoln. Wow. Have you hiked out to that point? From your other photos, it seems you have. Would love to be able to camp out there a bit, learn about the plant/wildlife, and journal about it… learn a bit of this area’s natural “culture and history.” Could be an interesting thing to sweep you into a new realm?

    Reading about how you’ve slipped into apathy, and such a feeling is becoming is way too comfortable is in itself inspiring as you know you have to slip out of this feeling… so you a great first step of knowing this is a root cause of pain. Now to find the next step, albeit not easy either, if finding those areas of pleasure. Much of the time, when life becomes difficult, I get most excited because I know something is going to have to happen… life isn’t easy – which is why it is great to have people reaching out and being supportive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a much more open and enlightened attitude about challenge and difficulty Randall. I admire your adventurous spirit that has led around the world. Yes, the rock outcropping is accessible for hiking, but not camping. Maybe I can use my disappointment to fuel change as you suggest. Thanks for being part of our wonderful community and support. cheers…


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