Live for Eulogy, not Resume

For about the last year, I’ve been receiving a weekly reflection from Holstee. Holstee was started a few years back by two brothers who wanted to build tools for inspiration and living fully.

This morning’s email from Dave was titled: “My eulogy.”

That’s pretty deep for a Monday morning, but after my morning workout, I read the email which brought me to this TED Talk from David Brooks of the New York Times:

In the talk, Brooks talks about the conflict between our “resumé self” and our “eulogy self.”

It’s a fascinating insight into the conflict between our desire for accomplishments that make us more attractive to employers — those things that advance our career — and our desire to be good humans so that our lives leave a legacy of goodness — so our eulogy is worthwhile.

In this time off, I’m kicking myself for not spending more time focusing on my eulogy but it’s difficult when you’re job searching. You’re focusing on those resumé accomplishments because they’re what matter to potential employers.

Dave bravely shared a journal entry in which he shared his own eulogy. I’m going to attempt a draft at mine.

Shane loved life fiercely. More than anything, he loved living it side-by-side with his wife and best friend, Alli. Together, they captured life’s moments for others as photographers, they traveled the world and experienced other cultures, they made each other and others laugh, and they prioritized spending time with the people they loved over all. 

During his life, Shane’s vocation rarely defined him, mostly because he wouldn’t let it. In his work, he made those around him better by expecting excellence and delivering it whenever he could. He was a communicator and a connector and he loved telling stories.

He liked eating food with friends and family, sometimes too much. He read books when he could, though not as much as he should. His dad passed along an obsession with gadgets and music. He always wanted to learn to play guitar like his dad, but struggled to find the diligence to do so.

More than anything, he loved Alli. They loved traveling, going to the movies and spending time with their dogs at home in front of the fireplace. They rarely spent more than a few days at a time apart and they never seemed to get sick of each other. Even to the end, when they Thelma & Louise’d it over the cliff at the age of 100. 

So that’s my first draft of my eulogy. What would yours say?

Review: The Shape of Water

Yesterday was Oscar Nominations Day and Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water garnered 13 nominations, more than any other film this year.

Of the nine Best Picture nominees, Alli and I had only seen three up to this point so we took the opportunity last night to trek to our local AMC and check out this movie.

I’m not sure what I expected as my experience with del Toro is fairly limited. I saw the first Pacific Rim, but I’ve never seen Pan’s Labyrinth or any of his other movies. The opening scene immediately takes you into Elisa Esposito’s life. As we learn about her, we are introduced to her work, where we meet the rest of the story.

A more well-done version of Splash

I’m hesitant to describe much about the story. I went in with very little expectation or knowledge of the story outside of the trailer. However, after the fact, Alli very accurately described the movie as “a more well-done version of Splash.”

This is exceedingly accurate.

The cinematography and set design of this movie are stunning and Sally Hawkins is fantastic as the mute Elisa. Richard Jenkins puts in another amazing performance as Elisa’s artist neighbor. Michael Shannon provides just enough villainy to push the story along and Octavia Spencer plays, well…Octavia Spencer. I don’t mean to discount her performance…it’s fine. But is it Oscar-worthy? Not really.

Should you see this movie?

It really depends. Are you someone that wants to see all the Best Picture Oscar-nominated movies? Well then, yeah. See it. Are you creeped out by someone falling in love with a fish-man? Maybe don’t see this one, then.

Do you like Guillermo del Toro’s more subtle work? This movie isn’t over the top in its effects or monsters. In fact, I’d argue that this “monster” shows more humanity than some of the human counterparts at times.

It’s a unique take on a love story and I really enjoyed it a lot.

After a (not-so) brief hiatus

…two-plus years, specifically….

I’m reviving this site. I’ve wanted to bring back this blog for a long time now, but with balancing photography and either Chipotle or my other work, it’s been a little much.

It’s been a pretty amazing two years. Let’s see if I can summarize quickly:

  • Worked for Chipotle for about a year and a half during one of the most difficult times in the company’s history. Ultimately was a casualty of their business downturn — they call it “restructuring” in corporations — and parted ways a year ago.
  • Leaned into Shane & Alli Photography in a big way. The business is doing really well and continues to be a lot of fun for Alli and me.
  • Spent most of 2017 working for a nonprofit, leading their marketing, community fundraising and annual giving efforts. More “restructuring.”
  • Traveled to some really amazing countries — Iceland, Ireland, Czech Republic. I’ll come back to those in a future post.
  • Adopted two dogs after Dreyfuss passed away. Named them Buzz and Woody.
  • Turned 40.
  • And 41.

So yeah, that’s what’s been going on with me. I still tweet a ton and I post a lot of photos on Instagram.

The blog just became kind of secondary to all the other social media things that were going on. I pointed this domain to my Tumblr for a while because I at least was pushing my Instagram posts there…

Over the holidays, I had this idea to start a movie blog that took a slightly different approach. Then I thought to myself, “I can’t even blog on my own site, what makes me think I could do a movie blog?” So a few days ago, I dusted off the SQL database for this blog, installed a fresh WordPress instance and voila! Here we are.

Let’s see if it sticks.