Plunge can refer to many ideas, in particular, deciding to do something after some thought or hesitation.
“Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I was originally inspired to share the theme “plunge” because of the popular Polar Bear Plunges that happen at the beginning of the new year.
Take the plunge – it’s Polar Bear Swim Day!
In January 2012, while I was still employed with Sacramento parks and recreation, we hosted a polar plunge at our local (non-heated) swimming pool. We did it to raise money for the swim team program and give folks a chance to plunge into the 35-degree water. It doesn’t snow in Sacramento but it gets mighty cold—this day was 34F degrees—the typical cold, sunny winter day. The water was cold enough to take your breath away!
We first staged a media moment. The gal pictured in the middle wearing water wings was from the media. We even had a polar bear mascot! Then kids, parents and other brave souls plunged in. You might be able to see the boy’s expression on the bottom left of this image–he looks cold!
Lake Spokane is very close to us but you won’t catch me taking the plunge into it now. Although it is warmer than the outside air, at least the ducks seem to enjoy it.
Over the years, my adventurous spirit has demanded I plunge into activities that pique my interest. Before I met my husband, I would have never considered windsurfing, which led to stand-up paddling, swimming with whale sharks in Mexico, and moving away from California in late 2020.
“Plunge deep enough in order to see something that is hidden and glimmering.” ~Matsuo Basho
I recently plunged back into WW (Weight Watchers) to get at least 10 pounds off me before my daughter’s wedding in April.
Speaking of plunges, don’t forget to visit my friend, Liesbet of Roaming About who recently took the plunge to travel with their RV in South America. While you visit, please check out her book, Plunge!
Taking the Blogging Plunge
When I decided to start a blog in 2011, little did I know the plunge I was taking as I dabbled loosely for years, then jumped in wholeheartedly in late 2014. My blog was then titled Perspectives On… and I eventually changed it to what it is now Second Wind Leisure Perspectives. My blog morphed into more of a focus on leisure (fun), fitness and photography! I started Sunday Stills in 2018 and have had more fun than a barrel of monkeys!
Please indulge me for a moment while I share my 2022 stats. I had wanted to share the following last week, but the post was already too long (you’re welcome, LOL).
An interesting statistic for 2022—my Wordless Wednesday posts have performed exceedingly well with 100+ average likes since April 2022 when I began regularly posting for Wordless Wednesday. This one “Triple Favorites” was one of the higher-ranking in views.
Sunday Stills Photo Challenge was no slouch either, garnering over 2800 views for the month January, 2022.
- The top post for overall engagement was July’s “Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Seeing Ruby Red” with 218 likes, 465 views, and 28 links.
- The second runner-up was June’s “Sunday Stills: A Wildflower Solstice” with 183 likes, 25 links, and over 500 views! Impressive since summer months tend to see a downturn in blog posts overall.
Pro-Blogging Tip for Managing Your Images
Not that I’m a pro, but I have learned some valuable lessons along the way, especially when it comes to managing the WordPress media library. While on my winter blog break, I plunged into some blog housekeeping.
We only have so much room in our media files before we must upgrade. Plus, if the images are in kilobytes (KB) rather than megabytes (MB), they are not as prone to stealing. Popular blogger Cee Neuner has this to say:
“If someone wants to download any of my photos (700×700 pixels), it won’t print clearly if they want to print it bigger than 4×6.”Tip From Cee Neuner—Help, I’m Running Out of Memory
For instance, I can easily change the scale from 3024 to 800. Most of us look at blog post images on mobile devices but even on a computer, the photo will still look good in a smaller scale.
If you have large images lurking in your media files now, it is a simple fix to edit your images in your WordPress media library. Simply click on the image from your library; from here you can see when it was uploaded and its file size. If the size is more than 1 MB, it’s too large and takes up precious space.
- Under the image, select “edit image.”
- On the right of your image appears SCALE IMAGE. This will tell you the dimensions. Simply type 700 or 800 (recommended) in either field and adjust the second field accordingly. If you are in the habit of squaring your images, it will automatically populate to 800 x 800.
- Select SCALE shown to the right and you are done. This is the view from my WP account within the media library when you click on the image to edit. Apparently, I use the Classic Editor for this according to 2 sharp-eyed bloggers.
I plunged into my media files and reduced the sizes of at least 25 images published in early 2022 and 2021 which yielded another GB of space in my files. I still have more work to do but it is worth the time.
Since last spring, when I edit images, I reduce them before moving them to the media file.
Blogging Guru Hugh Roberts shares posts with excellent how-to advice. His post 5 WordPress Photo Editing Tools Available To Use On The Block Editor walks you step-by-step through how to edit your photos in WordPress. Freshly pressed this week is his latest helpful how-to post Blogging Tips to Kickstart Your New Year with great reasons to reduce your images.
If you really want to take the plunge into blog admin, go through old posts and delete them, but you will also have to delete each image associated with the post. This can take some time if you have been blogging for a few years.
I also adjusted the widgets in my right sidebar. When WP made adjustments to the block editor, I discovered my entire sidebar had disappeared a few weeks ago. I struggled, re-did a few of the widgets, then scrolled deep into my widget section and found “Inactive Widgets” and there they all were. From here I could easily drag each widget to where I wanted it in the sidebar.
Now that you have taken the plunge into the various blog challenges, taking the time to do a bit of planning and housekeeping for your blog will allow for a smooth 2023! Have I piqued your interest?
Inspiring Photo Challenges
Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I enjoy incorporating these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.
Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders
Sunday Stills weekly-themed photo challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.
- Remember to title your blog post a little differently than mine.
- Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
- Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
- Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
- Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
- I also recommend adding your post’s URL to the comments.
This Week’s Featured Bloggers
Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who shared photos depicting PLUNGE. I add these all week as new links are posted.
- YOUR BLOG’S NAME HERE…
- Bushboys World
- Deb’s World
- Denyse Whelan Blogs
- Graham’s Island
- Hugh’s Views and News Image shared in comments
- Loving Life
- Retirementally Challenged
- NEW Tales From My Lens
- This is Another Story
- Travel with Me
- Wind Kisses
- Woolly Muses
- Working On Exploring
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~Alan Watts
What did you plunge into for the new year 2023? A new pastime or hobby? New places to travel and explore? Perhaps plunging further into your photography journey with new equipment? Please share your experiences in photos, words, music, and other creative ideas.
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