As I sit at my kitchen table and type, U2 is playing in the background. A band that played throughout all of my college years. All five years (and a half) to be exact. And no, I didn't become a doctor in that time period. Or even get my Masters. I just took a really, really long time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I'm still trying to figure that out. There have been twists, and turns and numerous reinventions along the way. All of them leading me home to the me I think I was always meant to be.
Tonight these words struck me with force...
You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And now you can't get out of it
Don't say that later will be better
Now you're stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it
(U2 Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out of)
It's scary how easy it is to get stuck in a moment. I like to tell myself, "Make sure you don't turn your moments into forevers. They are only moments." But when you're actually IN the moment- it feels like a new and awful forever- doesn't it? I mean- only when it's bad and hard and sharp and yucky. "Wow. This is my life and it is awful, and I just can't do this." I think. And minutes or days later, I realize that awful has come and passed. Or maybe it didn't pass- maybe I just learned to live with it. Replacing extra joy to counteract some pain. Finding gratitude amongst the pieces.
"Chrissy- I wish I was more positive. How do are you grateful for the hard things life gives you?" I am asked a lot. Here's the thing my friend- I don't START there- at gratitude or happy. Oh goodness no, not ever ever. I need time to percolate, to process, to figure out how I feel about even the smallest of things in life. And ABSOLUTELY the big things. It's part of the reasons why I must write- it helps me process this crazy and chaotic always processing brain of mine. Sometimes the initial info my brain sends back is rooted in fear and loss. I have to work through that stuff and figure out what I should keep, and what I absolutely need to declutter. I work like mad to color code and alphabetize my thoughts into things I can do something with. I am hard wired to be solution oriented. Glass half full. But it's still a process of getting there. I believe that with the proper guidance, almost anyone can get there. But they have to want to do the hard work.
But sometimes, mistakenly- like U2 says, we actually do get stuck in our moments. It scares me how easily it happens, and sometimes I don't even realize it until I'm on my way out.
I looked at my camera sitting on my counter a couple of days ago, and it looked like a stranger to me. I used to bring that thing with me everywhere. Truly, everywhere. Random real life pictures are my soul food. And one day- months and months ago- I stopped feeding that part of me. I figured documenting moments on my iphone was enough- and it is, if documenting was all I was doing. But using my real camera, selecting focal points, adjusting lighting, experimenting with angles- it feels like making music if I could play an instrument or sing. It feels like coloring. It feels like dancing. I used to do photography professionally- and I didn't feel those good feelings when I took pictures for people. But I absolutely get them when I photograph everyday messy, imperfect, real life.
Somehow between then and now, I got stuck in a moment. But the good news is, most of our moments we actually can get out of. I dusted off my friend, and my fingers started to come alive again.
They are obsessed with this train at our local mall. They both sit in their own cart. No sharing. And not that I'm counting, but it's like $10 for them to each ride it once. With every spin around the track, I'm mentally calculating how many cute shirts I could have purchased instead.
The weather has not been stuck in a moment. It's been all over the place. Hot one day...
Gosh I love details. Kids help people notice details. Especially kids with autism. And cameras pay attention to them too.
And then life turned cold and rainy and I loved it.
It was drizzling and cold and they didn't care one bit. I hate to be cold. I'm realizing that most of my favorite parenting moments were ones that initially felt cold and inconvenient and messy or something not that preferable.
Alone time with Parker
He LOVES letters and spelling out words
Pay attention to the details, for they are your life. Are you stuck in a moment? I give you permission to get out. Thank you for looking at my pictures, and hanging out with me.