I have always loved the beginning of a new year, the resolutions and the commitments, the fresh starts. I know it is so cliche, but I have done it all-- I’ve written down my “word of the year”, I have vowed to focus on loving more or eating better, I have made list after list. And some of these resolutions I have kept, some have faded as January becomes June, becomes December. But I still love it. I love goals and I love hope.
I know we are already halfway through February, but I have finally taken some time to think about 2016 and have set some goals and written some lists. One phrase I heard a while back that has been resonating with me is this-- Exist in Photos. And I have decided that this is something I will try to focus on a little more this year.
I have a chance to see first-hand a lot of insecurities. You want to remember what you don’t like about yourself? Have someone point a camera at you. :) Even if someone doesn’t tell me with their words, I have gotten pretty good at reading it by the way people act. I see the wedding guest who always drifts towards the back of the group photo, because they think they are overweight and like having people in front of them. I see the bridesmaid who never gives me a full smile because she doesn’t like her teeth. I hear the mom, who laughs and asks if I can take off 20 pounds and ten years-- she winks as she says it, but sometimes I think she really wishes I would. I know the senior doesn’t pick certain photos of herself, because she thinks her arms look too big.
So this year, I would like to inspire you to step out of your insecurities just a little bit, and exist in photos. Why? Because there are a lot of people out there who love you. They want to remember this beautiful time in your life, right after you’ve had your third child or turned 18 or said I Do. They love your big smile, the one that lights up your whole face and makes your eyes sparkle. They can almost hear you laughing in those pictures. This time in your life, the year you may not have it all together, or the year you gained 3.455 pounds, it is so full of lovely memories that deserve to be captured. Like baking cookies with your kids. And playing in the snow with them. And being at your cousin’s wedding, or standing with her at the alter as she says I Do.
This year, let’s Exist in Photos. Let’s take too many pictures and post too many on Facebook. Instead of shrinking to the back of the group, let’s jump in with them and smile big. Snuggle with your kids and ask your husband to take a picture as your little ones fall asleep on your lap, even if you’ve already taken your makeup off. Make 2016 the biggest photo album yet. And then at the end of the year, maybe we’ll look back and see how much fun we’ve had. Like those late night dates to Wendy’s because we were craving a frosty. That beautiful beach vacation that made all your friends a little jealous. Instead of taking too many pictures of just your dog, see how many you can take with your dog. And maybe in 2017 you can keep it going. Be intentional about it, have fun with it. :) I will try, too. Because I’m guilty of taking more pictures of my coffee than I do of the ones I love, with the ones I love.
So let’s try this together. In 2016, let’s build more tangible memories. Let’s take a few seconds to record this amazing life that is going by way too fast. Set a ten second timer and jump in the picture. Be present and laugh and love like crazy. From the big moments to the small, sweet ones, let’s create a little paper picture trail of our year. Whether with an iPhone and Instagram filters or with pictures from a pro, in 2016, let’s Exist In Photos.