Stress & Photography [Family Life Project]
I don’t take pictures when I’m stressed.
My creativity sort of turns off and the usual appeal photography holds for me turns into a deep drudgery and sense of obligation.
I guess I’m weird like that.
We recently returned from an adventurous family vacation to North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. It was exciting to see family we rarely get to spend time with. It was thrilling to see parts of the U.S. that I haven’t seen before.
And it was absolutely super stressful to travel with a 2 year old.
Wait. Life in general is sort of super stressful with a 2 year old.
Someday, when I get this whole mothering and patience thing figured out I’m going to have a big party.
So…out of two weeks of travel, the bulk of my photos stem from one evening excursion.
The most peaceful moment of our trip for me was a blessed rainy evening in Townsend, TN.
Ironically, Buzzy and I had just left Ben to finish dinner by himself in a nice restaurant because we were causing a “scene”.
It was one of those thrilling moments in public when your child is obviously out of control and surely all the stable minded people at the other tables are praying for you to leave or guiltily enjoying the dramatic entertainment of someone on the brink of breakdown.
I tossed Buzzy over my shoulder like a sandbag–kicking and screaming–and we proudly walked outside in the pouring rain.
The rain drops poured down my face in perfect unison with my tears as I tried to clear my mind from the constant thoughts “LIFE IS SOO HARD. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE A MOM. I’M CARRYING TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY RIGHT NOW. IS THERE EVER A MOMENT OF REST?” that have been hounding me like thunder the past few months.
It was in this state of mind that we came upon this rickety suspension bridge.
Buzzy was all for running across and trying to keep his balance, completely enjoying his new freedom outside.
I let him run so I could try to find my sanity once again…(which is hard to find since it’s been missing for far too long.)
The walk across the bridge was unstable and frightening at times. I daringly glanced across the edge to measure my fate if this old thing were to break, but instead of seeing my demise I began to sense the peace of my surroundings.
Cliche as it may seem, it made a great analogy to my life. Right now the path is shaky. I loose my footing daily. And its raining. But even on a shaky scary bridge, it’s still possible to pause, to feel peace, and to witness an incredible view.
I think too often I focus on the fear. I focus on the stress and all my shortcomings. I focus on all the uncertainty in my life right now, when really, I’m truly surrounded by beauty. I’m surrounded by peace if I will open my heart and mind to it’s presence. Life is not going to get any easier for me for a while.
The bridge I’m on may be shaky, BUT IT’S STILL A BRIDGE.
It’s leading me somewhere and allowing me to progress to even better destinations.
Here’s to life looking up, if not in circumstance at least in attitude and perspective:)