One day last week, my daughter was off to school and I had just put my son down for his morning nap, I sat down at my dining room table to enjoy a quiet morning to finish my (now cold) cup of coffee and my secret stash of Nutella on toast (yes, I have my own jar that I hide, it is that important!). I looked up at my hutch which was in desperate need of dusting, and I saw my little home decor sign that read “Life is not a matter of Milestones, but of Moments” and it made me pause.
I bought this years ago, probably even before I started my own photography business, but I must admit, I never really looked at it, or contemplated it’s meaning to me, until now. Why on Earth was I compelled to plunk down my money for this sign? I’m sure I bought it because I thought it was pretty and decorative, but I didn’t realize it’s true meaning until now. It’s worn and weathered, showing it’s cracks, and it really hit me. Life has it’s milestones – weddings, new babies, first birthdays, etc., but it’s those in between moments, the ones we overlook, that are most important and meaningful. Everyone has these milestones, but the moments, those are unique to us, and make up what Life is to us. Being worn and weathered and having cracks are not flaws, but the makeup of something truly spectacular. It’s being loved, overcoming obstacles, and most of all, accepting who we are and not apologizing for it.
For the past year, my photography business took a backseat for me. My life was overwhelming with a new baby, my oldest heading to Kindergarten, mundane daily tasks of keeping an orderly house (which I’ve been epically failing at since my hutch looked like it was housing a family of dust bunnies ready to strike) and I was stuck in this awkward place of being happy that I was spending my time with my family, but yet feeling guilty that I’ve let my business slip away. I wrote a blog post about giving up, and there I was, deep down in the depths of that hole I talked about, and there was no one there saying “Get up”. I didn’t want to get up, and I was confused as to WHY.
So here I am sitting at my table, mid-chew, I see this sign, and it hits me. Whether I realized it or not, I decided to enjoy my “moments” for the better part of a year. How many moments, day in and day out, do we let pass us by, and why do we feel so guilty about it?
I thought back to a few of my sessions last year, and talking with the parents of the children I photographed, we realized that in just two short years, the growth of our children, not only in physical attributes but developmentally as well, is immense. We had photographic proof of those moments. There were no longer babies, but growing into a very sensitive and crucial time in their lives. They still loved their superheroes or being a princess, but now they are becoming aware of the world around them, as well as their own individuality, and it is clear as day in their faces.
THIS is where I want to be. Milestones are important, but here, in these moments, is where I want to show everyone what life is REALLY about.
So that morning, it came all crashing down on me. I realized that I didn’t need to forgive myself because I have done nothing wrong. I’m not sorry for taking time to relish in my moments, because it’s those moments that will help me do what I do with my photography, and show others exactly what I mean.
I’m ready to get up, and I hope you will be there with me.