I have to tell you guys that I had such an interesting experience with my guiding prompt today.
This morning when I first started thinking through the lens of "tough stuff" it felt like an ill-fitting coat. Part of the reason it didn't feel right is that the season I'm in now is generally positive (and I'm super thankful all the time knowing that it's not always like that). It struck me that I spend a lot of my time looking through positive lenses - finding the silver lining, practicing gratitude, looking for the good, and figuring out ways to embrace real life for what it is and keep moving forward without getting caught up in the negative in a debilitating way.
I know and embrace that the tough stuff is simply a regular part of life.
I ended up thinking about the many ways my life is different. I am significantly more emotionally healthy at this point in my life. I attribute that to a variety of things including medication that has evened out my mood swings (I am able to be so much less reactive), marrying Aaron (not just marrying anyone but him specifically), the kids being older and more independent, my work life being more balanced, and simply knowing myself so much better.
My past and current struggles are a piece of the story of who I am. They impact how I see, live, and tell my stories today.
Here's a look at some photos from Thursday:
Eyes on the road.
In my Instagram stories today I shared a lesson I learned when Simon was in elementary school about paths and black/white thinking and advocacy. The bottom line was that sometimes the solutions to the things we are banging our heads against the wall about are actually wonderfully simple if we are willing to let go of specific expectations of when things are “supposed” to happen.
Simon did the morning drive today where we drop Anna off first before circling back to his school.
On the drive we talked about the reasons I like to leave early in order to not have to be in a hurry. When you're not in a hurry you can just enjoy the drive, no matter how bad the traffic might be along the way. If you're not in a hurry you are a whole lot less likely to get easily frustrated.
I love that he gives me a hug when he gets out of the car after driving before I get back into the driver's seat.
Back at home and back into my office.
Today included an hour long phone meeting to go over future project directions.
After the call I came downstairs and found Aaron having breakfast (he told me not to tell you what time it was) and I made another cup of coffee.
And moved the laundry around.
So much of our lives is the chatter happening in our heads - the stories we are telling ourselves and the words we repeat over and over. I thought about that a lot today as I went about my day. Was I saying nice things to myself or was I being self critical? Was I telling myself the truth or was I creating stories or relying on old narratives that might not actually be true any longer?
In my office today I filmed videos for the next kit release on the 13th (the new theme is Listen) and thought about my working life.
I’m not someone who grew up imaging I would own a business (there were times I imagined a completely different existence) but I did know that I hoped to live a life that served others in some way.
My path has been one of privilege and I always want to remind myself of that when I tell my own story. I had support, I had an education, I had safety nets. I was also lucky and the timing was right within the industry I found myself excited about after Simon was born. I put in hours + months + years (I sometimes forget this piece of the story) and found myself in a position to do work that is meaningful to me personally.
As with everything there have been highs and lows and choices and sacrifices and missteps and hard lessons learned and personal changes I’ve had to make and times when I’ve just held my breath through decisions I hoped would be the right ones. From the beginning I have been thankful and have always tried to keep learning along the way. Who knew that telling stories with words and photos and sharing that passion with a community of like-minded memory keepers could have such an impact on my life.
I am grateful and I plan to keep on learning as I go.
A few more minutes at my desk before heading out.
There is always more on my list.
Today included a long afternoon/evening of driving around: picking Simon up from school with a snack ready and taking him to an appointment, killing time for 45 mins - I usually go to Whole Foods while I wait, picking him up from that appointment and driving him to his 3 hour drivers ed class (I’ll grab dinner for him at Whole Foods that he will eat in the car), driving to Anna’s last soccer practice for the season where they have an annual players against parents scrimmage, then grabbing dinner for Anna and me before picking Simon up at 8pm. Aaron’s schedule is similar with the other three.
At Anna's soccer practice, before the parents vs. kids scrimmage, I had a bit of time to play around with some shots (I had both my DSLR and my iPhone).
I love looking through the lens with curiosity. What happens if I get down low, what happens if I get up close, what happens if I play with my settings, what happens if my focal point is on the grass and what happens when it’s on the girls playing?
These girls as tough and resilient and fun. Most of them have been playing soccer together since pre-Kindergarten (they are almost done with 4th grade now).
Anna might have not quite packed her soccer bag appropriately this morning (she forget her cleats, socks, and shorts). Tough lesson. She played in her Vans and called to ask me to bring her some shorts before she realized she didn't have her shoes or socks.
After practice Anna and I stopped for dinner at a dim sum place she's been asking to go to for weeks.
We picked Simon up on our way home. He'd had a tough time on a written test at Driver's Ed tonight and was definitely feeling frustrated.
He was ready for bed.
The girls had a conversation about Anna wanting to move their beds around again. Audrey's not on board. Anna wants to be in the corner. You know, general sisters-who-share-a-room-before-bed-conversations. Anna ended up moving her head to the other end of the bed for a change up.
I was able to catch the end of the Blazer game. GO BLAZERS.
Elliott washing out his dishes as he makes his lunch for tomorrow.
He's a really good kid.
This house is full of good kids that are loved by a village.
You are invited to share a link to your Thursday words + photos in the comments below.