A Year of Making Space

My friend Dee, who blogs at The Good Holiday, contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I wanted to work with her on a #365Days project in 2016.

I traveled with Dee during my recent trip to Reunion Island. She is a warm, passionate, hilarious person and she loves teaming up with other bloggers on projects like this.

08-Dee-on-MountainDee on a mountain in Reunion Island.

So of course I couldn’t say no to her. But I’m not gonna lie: I was nervous.

If you’re a regular on Instagram then you probably know what a #365Days project is. If not, let me explain. A #365Days project is basically a commitment to post an Instagram every single day, for an entire year, using one specific hashtag. I’ve seen people do 365 days of portraits, 365 days of jumpstagrams, 365 days of long-exposure shots, etc.

I’ve never tried to do a #365Days project before but I did participate in a “100 Happy Days” project once, in which I posted a photo of something that made me happy every day for 100 consecutive days. It was freaking hard. I don’t like to post bad pictures on Instagram and sometimes it’s hard to come up with one good photo of anything per day, let alone a good photo of something specific.

I said yes to Dee anyway, because I like her and I’m not one to back down from a challenge. (Read Dee’s #365Days project post.)

A few days later Dee sent me this suggestion: #365DaysofMakingSpace. Then she sent me a voice note:

“I once read this thing … well, not once … someone said to me that you won’t attract things into your life if you don’t make space for it. So … if you make space for empathy, if you make space for an alternative lifestyle, if you make space for understanding someone that is different from you, if you make space for goodness in your own life … you can’t bring new positive things into your life if there is no space for it. You have to create that space. So this is like making space for … whatever … so … ja ….”

The more I thought about it, the more sense it made.

I have an amazing life. Why do I spend so much time worrying? Why — in between all the exciting, fun things that I get to do — do I fret and beat myself up about all of the other things I’m not doing? Why do I compare myself and feel inferior to others? Why do I waste precious time stressing out about things that I have no control over?

I’ll tell you why: Because I’m not making space.

Rather than fill every synapse of my brain with worries and criticisms and links and statuses and memes, I need to sit still and make some space. Space to think and be alone. Space to spend time with family and friends. Space to focus on projects that really mean something to me. Space to write. Space to be content, space just to be.

So that’s what this project will be for me. Every day in 2016 I’m going to give some thought to making space. And every day I will post a picture with that hashtag. Simple. Not easy, but simple.

Oh, and this year is a leap year. So the hashtag will be #366DaysofMakingSpace.

Here’s my first picture:

Ray-at-bird-parkRay and I have been talking about going to the Montecasino Bird Gardens together for at least a year. Yesterday, on the last day of 2015, we finally made space, and I had the privilege of photographing Ray exchanging bemused expressions with a group of raucous rainbow lorikeets. (I’ll write more about the Bird Gardens in a future post.) I have so much love for this man and I plan to make more space for him — and fun dates like this one — in 2016.

Follow Dee and me on Instagram for the daily progress of #366DaysOfMakingSpace. And feel free to join in if you want.

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18 Comments

  • Reply 366 Days Of Making Space | The Good Holiday January 1, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    […] back from my and Katarina‘s #RTroadtrip, I got a bee in my bonnet. I sent my blogger friend, Heather Mason, a […]

  • Reply Gail Wilson January 1, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    It sounds like an awesome project but I don’t know if it’s an easy one. Looking forward to your posts and hoping to get loads of inspiration from them so that I too can make space.

    • Reply 2summers January 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      Definitely not easy! It’s possible that I really don’t know what I’m getting myself into 🙂

  • Reply Lani January 1, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Good luck and happy new year. Great idea and beautiful endeavor. xxoo

    • Reply 2summers January 1, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Thanks Lani, happy new year. xxx

  • Reply all-TIM-ate January 1, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    You’ll rock this. I’ll be following (and trying to do the same)

    • Reply 2summers January 1, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks Tim! Happy New Year. And you’re welcome to join in any time even if it’s not for 366 days.

  • Reply Timmee January 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I love this! If your bed is empty, sleep on one side, leaving space for another, rather than sleeping in the middle. Make space.

    • Reply 2summers January 1, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      Join us, Timmee!

  • Reply violetonlineisonline January 1, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    you can definitely do it. and i look forward to following you.

    • Reply 2summers January 1, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks Violet 🙂

  • Reply catherine January 2, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Happy New Year and thank you for sharing with us all year! looking forward to 2016!

  • Reply Eugenia A Parrish January 2, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Okay, I’ve been afraid to ask anyone about this because I suspect that it is a seriously stupid question, but I feel comfortable with you. I hear about hashtags all over the place (my grandkids throw them around like verbal confetti), but never tried to follow one (is that the word?) Is it only an Instagram phenom? I haven’t joined Instagram because I don’t have anything but a DSL. When I clicked this hashtag, it took me to Dee’s page. Is there some way to follow your daily pictures?

    • Reply 2summers January 3, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Haha, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed! Hashtags are confusing. A hashtag is a way of following a particular subject or theme on social media, but they only work on Instagram and Twitter. So those would be the only places where you could follow the hashtag. However, you can also see my Instagram feed at the bottom of this blog – I found a WordPress theme with a special widget for that! So just scroll to the bottom and you can see all the pics 🙂

  • Reply autumnashbough January 5, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    How cool! And how very inspirational. Looking forward to seeing your spaces.

    I’m new to Instagram, but I am intrigued but the #365 days of Happy. Only, I would probably wind up taking pictures of my dog(s) cat(s) everyday. And then my neighbors dogs and cats…

    • Reply 2summers January 5, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Nothing wrong with dogs and cats on Instagram!

  • Reply Jaina January 21, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Good luck with your 366! I think this is a brilliant idea, and great theme. Will be cheering you on from the sidelines. Though … definitely missing not doing a 365 this year. Might pick it up in a month’s time 🙂

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