Look back. Smile back.


Another Christmas slipped away.  The last week of the year is that nebulous time we are not sure about –  either we want it to last longer, or jump straight into the New Year.  Some people spend this time frantically trying to tie up loose ends; some are adding fresh illusions to their New Year’s resolution lists; some just enjoy these unstructured, lazy days.

It is not uncommon for people to look back at the year that was.

Did anything extraordinary happen to you in 2015? The most extraordinary thing I can think about is that I have seen the Blood Moon twice  – first in the US in April, and then in Ireland in September.

moon usa

moon eire

My daughter and her family have been  a source of joy,  as always. My friends were always there for me too.  I cannot recall any major disappointments.


I have met amazing people…

…and had fun.

I appreciate friendship…

… but I can go solo if need be.

Christmas is about family and home. New Year is about our global family. If you ever stood in the city square during the New Year’s Eve countdown, you know what I mean.

Look back, and smile back – you have had happy moments, you have overcome adversity, you have been appreciated. Look ahead and don’t be afraid.  Another 366 (!) days of photography, writing, painting,  studying, traveling, reading and pondering.  You will find exactly what you are looking for. Living is the best opportunity for being victorious.

Happy, prosperous, safe, healthy, amazing New Year to you all!

With much love




  1. Oh dear Inese, what a beautiful post before the New Year – I am sorry just reading it now. You are positive about life. How cool is that to see the moon at different continent on the same year! May the year 2016 bring you more wonderful things to enjoy (and to photograph 🙂 ).

        1. Sheri, I am so sorry, words just cannot express! As if he hasn’t had enough… Hope to hear more on Monday. Sending you two my prayers of comfort, and my love. xx

          1. Hello, Inese. It’s Friday and I hope I’m home for the day. It’s been a long week of doctor appointments and more doctor appointments. Your prayers are most appreciated. Tom’s in terrible pain and after hours of research, there’s nothing more than can do. He’s not a candidate for surgery so it’s going to be months and perhaps longer before he heals in a compression cast.
            Hope to see some of your blogs and photos this weekend. Always, with my love. Sheri

            1. Oh Sheri, what a terrible week you have had. I only hope that the pain goes away when the healing process sets in, but there is also the mental pressure you both have to handle. I can only send my prayers and love, and most positive thoughts.
              I will post my blog tomorrow.
              Many Hugs! Inese

  2. What an inspiring post for the New Year. The photos of the blood moon are astonishing. I love this: “The older I get, the less surprised I am about anything.” I understand. It’s not apathy, but acceptance of the world’s awe and mystery.

  3. The last week of the year, definitely a week to savor, enjoy and yes…be lazy. 🙂 A beautiful set of photographs to look back upon and see how great of a year it was for you. I never thought about it in the context in which you put it, but what you wrote is very true for me as well: “Christmas is about family and home. New Year is about our global family.” Wishing you continued success in this coming year ~

    1. Thank you so much! I do hope for continued success for all my global family 🙂
      We love to be home on Christmas, but we go out ringing in the New Year and watching fireworks at midnight on December 31st. Smiling, cheering strangers make me forget that humanity has failed so far to live in peace and harmony with one another. Hope for a peaceful 2016.

  4. Happy New Year Ines! I have so enjoyed your blogs and thoughtful insight this past year and look forward to reading more in 2016! Oh yes, don’t forget those wonderful images!

  5. Beautiful post and many good memorices from 2015… Much success, love, peace and joy to You for this new year. Aquileana 🎉🌟🎊

  6. Happy New Year to you, Inese! Your comment about becoming less surprised about things as you age seemed to be the one that provoked the most comment. I still get surprised from time to time in some areas of my life, but barely at all in others. I’m seldom shocked about anything that happens in politics, for example. I think by this point, I must have heard every possible promise, lie and excuse a hundred times at least.

    I suppose we all react differently to aging. I’m coming up on 49, so I’m no longer young and not yet old. I find the biggest change in my character over the years has been an increase in humility (or an increase in uncertainty, depending on whether I choose to give it a positive or a negative spin).

    When I was young, I was full of confidence about what was right, what was wrong and how the world should be. That attitude has long gone. The more I’ve learned, the greater my appreciation of how little I really know about anything.

    1. Thank you for your comment 🙂 It helps with humility when you reach that state where there are very little surprises left, and as I said, it helps me avoid big disappointments. Humble expectations ( little things for happiness), being down to earth ( knowing human nature, accepting differences, and avoiding dramas and conflicts), speaking less than I think and know, watching rather than rushing – these things I have learned through my experience, and what can surprise me if I am prepared 🙂 Why would I be surprised with economic decline if I see that there is not enough demand for all the goods and services our economy is capable of producing? Why would I be in shock about the actions of our politicians if they are just people? People can make me sad or sometimes annoyed, but they cannot surprise me . Most important is that they can make me proud, delighted, amazed in a good sense, and I am not surprised when they do that 🙂

      1. It sounds like you have got to a very good place, Inese. The way I read your comments, you seem to have a kind of tranquility in your life and perhaps a healthy acceptance of the reality of the world as it is. 🙂

        1. Not too much tranquility, but acceptance, yes, even if it is sometimes forced – an act of will 😉 I am working on that. Priorities, all that stuff. Discipline. Not everything comes naturally, especially a good place 😉

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