Time to Bloom

Tulip, Upon Opening, at the Allen Centennial Gardens, Madison Wisconsin

Time to Bloom © 2011 Bo Mackison

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~~Anais Nin

I thought it would be difficult to live on my own in Arizona. I had never done such a thing before–live nearly 2,000 miles from my husband and my family, take care of the details of my day, all day long, day after day, week after week. But it didn’t take me as long as I expected to settle into the life of living “solo.” I kept busy, I stayed focused, I wrote out a to-do list every morning, or sometimes the night before, and I steadily went through the list each day. Not that I got everything I wanted to get done, done. But I made a serious dent in my list almost every day.

Fast forward to today–nearly two weeks after I packed up my Arizona things and drove back to Wisconsin. I thought things would go on rather smoothly when I returned home. I’d stay focused. I’d get my work done. I’d take care of the details of my days. Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.

I’m going through an adjustment period that I simply didn’t expect. I can’t concentrate. I’m not shooting as consistently each day as I was in Arizona. (And I could give some excuse here about the gray skies and how late spring is, but I could figure out a work-around, even for crummy weather, if I chose to do so.) I’m getting the absolute necessary items done — I’m meeting my deadlines, I’m preparing for my upcoming art fair schedule–the first show of my season is less than two weeks away, but I’m struggling.

I compared what I was doing in Arizona with what I am doing in Wisconsin. And I came to a conclusion of sorts. In Arizona, I saw everything as new, everything was an opportunity to seize because it might be the only opportunity that I had to go to a certain place or see a certain thing. Now that I am back home, it is easy to put off any plans I make. If the weather isn’t perfect enough, or if I had a toss-and-turn night and I’m feeling out of sorts, I cancel any plans I had in my head.

After all, those places will be there when I get there. Wait. Really?

So now I am returning to a few of my Arizona habits.

Number one. I am back to making a daily to-do list, as much as I’d prefer to just wing my schedule. I simply don’t get the things I really want to get done if I don’t adopt at least a few organizational habits. I hate to admit that, but it’s true. So each day I list at least three things I need to do for my photography business and I list a place to visit. It doesn’t have to be far–some of my favorite gardens are only a mile or two away from my home.

Number two. At least once a week, I plan on going further from home. There are dozens of places in Wisconsin that I have had on my to-visit bucket list for years. Once I week I am dipping into that bucket and going on a Wisconsin “explore.”

In fact I am on an “explore” right now, spending the night in a historic house I have wanted to visit for years. I’m feeling more focused already. I’ll report on my special visit soon, and let you know how the “Wisconsin plan” is going.


I am back home after spending the first part of 2011 in Arizona and had a few rough weeks adjusting to life back in Wisconsin, but things are looking more optimistic now — now that I am back on the “plan.”



About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Joanne Keevers says:

    Bo, I needed to read this today. Since arriving home from only eight days away I’m floundering around myself. My (mental) list of “things to do” is longer than ever since I returned, yet I’m not progressing at all. Seems like there’s so much to do, I don’t know where to begin!

    But, help is at hand…Bo to the rescue!…start writing things down! (Geez, I knew I should be doing that!) Thank you so much for the reminder today. 🙂

  2. I know exactly what you mean – that without a structured list – one day simply goes into the next..and things don’t happen. Good that you’re setting your intentions..and following thru!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Funny thing is, I have never liked lists. So I struggle when I don’t write a list and then don’t get things done, or I struggle to get the list written. I think it WILL get easier. Soon, I hope.

  3. Adjustments and change are always hurdles. But geeky as it sounds, lists keep you focused and going. And don’t forget some nice rewards for youself!

  4. Wonderful image.

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