Live in the moment. Capture it later.
When my husband graduated pharmacy school, it was a really big deal. There are all the obvious reasons, of course – but only he and I truly knew what that accomplishment meant to us. There are no words that can adequately describe the depth of our hard work and sacrifices to get to that moment. But…I missed “THE” moment.
The actual few seconds of all that ceremonial fluff when my husband walked across the stage and had HIS moment with the Dean. Why? Because I was trying to capture it with my camera. Good news is I got the photo. Bad news is I missed seeing it live. I was snapping away making sure my camera was in focus. I realized it right away and vowed to never miss another moment because I was trying to capture it.
As a result, now I strive to always live in the moment. It’s more important to experience the moment and have those mental memories than capture the perfect photo. Because at the end of the day, showing up to this party that is my life is what’s most important to me. So I try to be 100% present no matter what I’m doing. However, to be honest; it’s impossible for me to be 100% anything…so I think 95-98% is a more realistic goal!
And while I’m on this honesty kick, I’ll just admit to being a photo hoarder. I have boxes and boxes and boxes of printed photos. They get shoved in a closet and I think, “I’ll do something with these one day.” Guess what? That day never comes. The boxes collect dust in the closet and are never seen again until the next time we move. And let’s not even talk about or mention the thousands of digital photos that have taken over my phone and computer and extra storage drives. About once a month my phone laughs at me and says “sorry charlie – you are out of storage.” Ohhhh phone, how I love and hate you at the same time. Grrrrrr! That’s when my husband steps in, refraining me from throwing my phone out the window, and miraculously fixes my storage problems.
Years ago my grandmother asked family and friends to go through her collection and take any photos they wanted. Then she got rid of the rest. I think there is merit to that idea. I like the idea of having less stuff cluttering up my life and only keeping/displaying the photos that I love. But that would mean getting rid of decades of photos! And that’s scary.
However, as a mom, I still want photos capturing all the moments with my daughter. I just don’t want them taking over my closets and electronics anymore. In an attempt to address this photo problem, I consulted my trusty friend, Google. Here are a few of the ideas that are my favorites:
- Sort and toss. Then store photos in cute boxes or albums (decide how to categorize – by year/decade, events, family member, etc.)
- Hire a company to digitize my stash of printed photos
- Use an app to create a yearly photo book from digital photos
- Create a habit of regularly deleting and organizing digital photos
Now I just need to implement these ideas so there’s no more guilt over not doing anything with those precious memories. Ummmm…helloooooo blank, empty baby book (my daughter just turned 4 years old!) I’m pretty sure she’s going to ask me one day to see her baby book. Then she’s going to say, “But it’s blank.” Uh ohhhh! My response, “Well I thought it would be a great project for us to do together one day.” That makes me mommy-of-the-year, right?!?!