December is swirling by much too quickly, don’t forget to savor the season, cherish each moment with your family and remember the reason for the season. Not only during this sacred time, but the whole year through.
In high school, before each formal dance all of my friends, acquaintances and anyone else who happened to be invited along, would gather together at someone’s house and take pictures of us all dressed up. There were usually 15 to 30 kids all attempting to look their very best, competing to have the most dazzling dresses, the most impeccably manicured nails, the most memorable hair-dos and the most perfectly coordinated dates. We’d all line up, our parents or some other poor adult, would pull out our disposable cameras and the photo sessions would begin. It was never less than an hour worth of primping and posing, making sure each group shot was flawless and we were photographed with anyone and everyone. Then we’d skip off to the dance, while our parents were tasked with dropping off our cameras to the overpriced 1 hour photo lab because it was imperative that we had the photographic results by the next school day. If, however, you waited the full 2 or 3 days or whatever standard film developing time was back then, by the time you got your photos back, it would be old news. We’d already seen everyone else’s pictures and we didn’t care to flip through your photo book a week later.
I think this might have been the start of it all. In as little as one hour you could get your low quality film scans back from the drug store. It lead to digital photography, being able to see the pictures the instant you took them and eventually social media which allowed not only you to see them instantly but now your friends to also see them within minutes. You no longer needed to be in the same room as another person for them to see the results of your fun night out. Printing at all became optional.
The world keeps moving faster and faster. We’re expected to do more. We expect ourselves to do more. And pressure builds.
This fall, I was forced to slow down – a little. We moved and unpacking and projects have been unending. That portion of the fall held no rest. However, I had a list 3 miles long of content for this space. I had autumn tours, Halloween projects, fall diy’s and then Thanksgiving tablescapes, etc etc to share. But I didn’t. Our new house didn’t come with the internet capabilities to do these things. So I even put off uploading and editing the photos, because if I wasn’t going to share them, then what difference did it make if they just sat on my SD card?
Now there’s snow on the ground, so I can’t share anything from the autumn. I can’t share how pretty our house looked with the sun twinkling through the golden leaves or the scenic views from our new town. I can’t share the cute little school house I stumbled across or my kids’ Halloween costumes. It seems that sharing now would be against the rules. But who made these rules??
With deadlines and Christmas projects and all the holiday life on the horizon, it starts to feel a bit daunting. I know there’s an underlying importance to each of these agenda items, but what about the other parts of life? I want to work to live, not the other way around. Why do we feel like everything has to happen so instantly? What happened to taking a day of rest? I don’t think I can any longer fault my 3 year olds’ neediness and impatience when I myself am enforcing the same guidelines. Its as if we don’t share it this moment, it might as well have never happened.
I’m done with these rules. I’m going to share spring flowers in the fall and if I want to share a photo now (in December – gasp!) that has autumn leaves in it, so be it. It doesn’t make it any less desirable to look at or these words on my pages have any less meaning. A personal project of mine for the new year, I want to get back into film photography, which I gave up on because I didn’t get my pictures back fast enough. Patience. Everything will happen in time. If instead I spend more time fluffing a bow on my mother’s Christmas present or sitting with my girls watching a holiday movie, rather than sharing my Christmas décor here, I think we’re still going to be okay.
I think we all need to give ourselves a break. Just slow down for minute. Take in the scenes and soak up as much family as possible. Remember the gift of Christmas and why we celebrate. It’s okay if you don’t post pictures of your kids opening their Christmas presents until New Year’s Day (or maybe you forgo social media all together). Live in the moment with them. We can stop rushing so much as December is swirling by. Don’t feel like you need to be buried in your phone or have your face hidden behind a camera waiting for the perfect shot. In doing so, you might just miss out on the perfect day.