I brushed the dust off my old Nikon camera and took it for a spin around the house this week. While the gear itself is probably worth very little money, my D3100 will always have sentimental value. It's the first camera that ever made me excited to take pictures, and even though it's considered ancient and inferior by today's standards, it still takes decent snaps! Granted, it does struggle with indoor lighting. Unless the sun is shining bright through the windows, the images come out grainy or blurry (or both), depending on the settings. So, out of 30 pictures, only two are worth keeping.

I think that's what's so frustrating about creative endeavors. You can work on something for hours and barely have anything to show for it, but success is still measured by the numbers. Over the years, I've had the chance to rent, buy, and otherwise fiddle with higher quality cameras, and it's humbling to see what kind of magic you can create despite the limitations. It can (surprisingly) be a solid source of inspiration.

That being said, I'm sharing some things that help me out of a creative rut:

March will mark eight whole years of blogging for me. EIGHT. YEARS.

I started The Active Spirit (TAS) as a creative outlet (more details in this post), and now it feels more like an online journal than a creative hideaway. The hobby took off as an actual career for many people in the mid-2010s, and everyone left blogger/blogspot for the likes of Wordpress and Squarespace. I'm still here hanging out on Blogger, and I have no plans to leave any time soon. Here's why:

I was doing a digital declutter of my phone files recently, and I came across my baby names list from when I was still pregnant. It was a very short list, and I deleted it without a second thought, but then I thought maybe I'd share the names we'd brainstormed before Gabriel made his grand entrance.

Oddly enough, the name Gabriel wasn't even on the list. I had thrown it out there once, but I don't think either one of us cared enough to actually write it down. I had always maintained a stance about seeing my baby before giving him/her a name. When I was holding him in the hospital, he was looking up at me with those big, wide eyes like a perfect little angel. He was my Gabriel; I just knew it, and J agreed.

Here are some other baby names we considered:

I haven't read a good book in a while. I have, however, been reading articles and think pieces left and right. It's my favorite way to find a break in the day. Instead of scrolling mindlessly, I'll grab something from my pocket queue for a quick, meaty piece of content to consume. I'm not usually a fan of non-fiction works, but thanks to so many good reads lately, I'm opening my heart for the likes of Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino (a couple of her articles are below) and To Hell with the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke.

In the past, my recently read posts were focussed on the books I've read, and the articles roundup appeared in a filter the fluff post. There's really no good reason to split the two. Whether it's a book, magazine or online article, it's all getting read! So... it's all going in one place from now on.

Okay, that's a long enough intro. Let's get to it. This one's for all my working women out there.
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