Don’t Waste the Moments

Sunset at Prospect Ponds, Fort Collins, Colorado

“You’ve got a handful of years to do your work, don’t you dare waste those moments whining instead of creating something amazing.” David Duchemin

David was on a rant the other day which is where the above quote was taken from. Some rants will turn people away while some can be life changing moments. I enjoy his rants as they are not demanding of others but offer ideas where a quiet listener can receive enlightenment. It was one of those “Hmmmmm” moments for me, so please hear me out. I promise not to rant.

I want talk about the wasted moments not the whining. I’ve only been passionately shooting for the past ten years. Prior to that I shot to record family events such as birthdays and vacations. Some of those photographs actually were pretty good and of course some were throw a ways. Those good images prompted me to envision myself as a photographer. That vision fell to the wayside as I focused my attention on raising a family and pursuing a career in engineering. I have no regrets making those choices as I needed to be on that path, needing the family and the career.

But if I’m honest, I also listened to voices telling me I was not good enough or worse yet, I would never be good enough to make it as a photographer. I don’t believe I looked at photography as a creative outlet, either. I saw it as a career but for a select few. Nor, do I remember having a positive voice around me to offer support and encouragement. As an introvert I also did not share these dreams with very many but kept them inside. The world I accepted suggested I work for a corporation to make sure I had medical benefits, put in 40-50 hours a week, put away 10% in a 401k and take my 2-3 weeks vacation each year. Dwelling on missed moments will not bring them back, they’re of the past.

At this stage of my life I see it differently. I have learned of the gifts and talents I never suspected were a part of me and how to nurture them. And, . If nothing else I hope I can pass along encouragement for people to pursue their dreams, nurture their gifts, hone those skills and be creative.

So, before I watch my final sunset I still have the time to sharpen my gifts and talents, offering them to the world. I also hope to encourage others to pursue dreams or if they have none, seek out their own dreams. We don’t need to waste any more moments.

This entry was posted in Landscapes/Rural, Quotes, Sunsets and tagged , .


  1. Paul February 17, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    Hey, Monte: Thanks for the link to the rant. I enjoyed it! I understand where you came from, too, about having the family, job, etc. I’m fortunate in that I have a job that I really like. I like developing software; however, I love photography and have found that lately, I like ‘project’ work, that is putting different books together from the photos that I have. It’s a nice bit of creativity.

    I had the same doubts and lack of support. I finally learned how to support, encourage, and cheer myself on, as well as other people who may be nagged by their own doubts.

    Great post, Monte!
    Paul recently posted..How do you invest in your photography?My Profile

    • Monte Stevens February 19, 2012 at 7:52 am #

      Thanks, Paul. Glad you enjoyed Davids rant. I think everyone has stories just like ours.

  2. Earl February 17, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Monte, first, beautiful sunset photo.

    There’s a time and place for everything and everyone has different dreams and ambitions. Luckily everyone doesn’t decide to put aside “corporate life” to become full time artist…photographers, painters, dancers and musicians. If they did we’d get mighty hungry, have nothing to wear and would be walking everywhere we wanted to go. It’s pretty common there’s a period in our lives where corporate life makes sense, when we do things for others, for the benefit of our families. The sad part is we often let this sense of “duty” completely override our own creative needs and desires. We don’t take time for ourselves. It’s only later we come to understand how precious and short life is and turn to pursue our own creative sides.

    Perhaps you should have pursued photography instead of the corporate world…but then you’d be different then you are today. Better or worst…who knows.

    I’m not sure any moment’s wasted. In writing this comment I placed spaces (nothings) between each word…were they wasted spaces or do they help make make sense of the whole?

    Have a good weekend!
    Earl recently posted..Into the sunMy Profile

    • Paul February 17, 2012 at 9:14 am #

      Great reply, Earl the philosophical! 😀 I like the comment about the spaces, especially!
      Paul recently posted..How do you invest in your photography?My Profile

      • Monte Stevens February 19, 2012 at 7:58 am #

        Yes, we need our philosophical Earl on the internet!

    • Monte Stevens February 19, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      Yes, I often wonder what sort of person I would be if I’d made different choices at certain times in life. All those choices are the makeup of who we are. The wasted moments I refer to all the ones I regret not pursuing or have yet to pursue. I like your example of the spaces. Brought me smile this morning. Hope you are having a good weekened!

    • Mark February 19, 2012 at 9:15 am #

      “…were they wasted spaces or do they help make make sense of the whole?”

      One of the best quotes I have read in a long time Earl,and yet from someone I know! 🙂
      Mark recently posted..Hidden beneath the iceMy Profile

  3. pj February 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Beautifully said Monte. You have much to offer before you watch that ‘final sunset’.
    pj recently posted..contradictionsMy Profile

    • Monte Stevens February 19, 2012 at 7:59 am #

      Thank you, Paul. We each have something to offer!

  4. Ken Bello February 19, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Very thought provoking, and interesting comments. Although there are things I regret or decisions in my life that I’ve made that I wish I could change – these are the things that make me who I am today, for better or worse. There is no going back so I try to make the best with what I have. There are no “wasted moments”.
    Ken Bello recently posted..PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATIONMy Profile

    • Monte Stevens February 20, 2012 at 8:59 am #

      I like that statement of your “There are no wasted moments.” If I’m honest and step away from my philosophical side, there are choices I really wish I had not made and wonder what I would be like today. I’m glad you thought the post was thought provoking.:-)

  5. Mark February 19, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    David’s post is quite powerful to me, because it is another poke at what I have been facing for a long time now. I have spent 20 years in a career that is more or less an ends to bring about the means that allow me to do other things. It is nowhere as rewarding or fulfilling as my “semi-pro” life in photography, but it has certainly given me the means to buy the equipment I want, and travel to some nice places. It resulted in a path I don’t regret taking because it lead me to meet my wife, take up diving, and many other things. That said, now that I have those things, it has me wondering constantly if it is the right way to continue forward.
    Mark recently posted..Hidden beneath the iceMy Profile

    • Monte Stevens February 20, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      There are many photographers out there who live just as you and I do. That corporate check is vital to paying my bills and camera equipment. And, for me the travel offers me even more. We have a full time job that provides for the passion in our photography. I do not regret the my career in engineering as I have several accomplishments I’m proud of. It also provided for my family.

  6. Tom Dills February 20, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    This is a great discussion, as was David’s post. We are all the product of our own choices, and something we wish we could have done differently years ago might have made us something different than what we are today. Perhaps to the point where what we think we would have done would make us want something different now.

    For me, the choice of “keeping the day job” allows me to do what I want with my photography. It doesn’t matter how “good” I am or how I stack up against others. If it turns out that others like my work, that’s great, because my ultimate joy is to share my work with those who appreciate it. If I had to do it to pay the mortgage I would end up with a different approach, and that may or may not allow me the freedom I enjoy today.

    I sometimes get a little peeved with David’s writing, because despite his “gear doesn’t matter” mantra he always manages to have the latest stuff – now even his vehicle. But I get past that to the real message and it does truly inspire me in the choices I have made and those I continue to make.

    Tom Dills recently posted..A Little R&RMy Profile

    • Monte Stevens February 20, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      I understand how you feel as he is in a different lace than you and I. I think that is true of photographers who are truly making a living with photography. I no longer follow some of them as I feel they post only to keep customers coming back.

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