I read this book a while back (I’ve mentioned if a few times now) called The Happiness Project. I also happened to read the stand-alone sequel Happier at Home, too. While I make no claim that either book revolutionized my life, some of the tangible examples continue to resonate with me. One common theme is the idea of preserving little moments, the ones that too frequently get swept away with the tide of hectic living. The author talks more specifically about the cathartic nature of recalling mundane intricacies of life. She laments not snapping pictures of the university laundry rooms where she passed so many hours, or the library nook that became a perennial favourite for late-night cram sessions.
We tend to take pictures of the extraordinary or, at the very least, something beyond ‘ordinary’. We focus on pictures that seem picture ‘worthy’. We wait for the right light, the right clothes, the right pose, the right ______ – unfortunately, those “right” moments are pretty few and far between (at least in my reality).
Then there is that oft-quoted Huffington Post piece that encourages mothers everywhere to put down the camera for goodness sake and just get. in. the. picture.
I’ll admit, picture-taking has been pretty patchy lately. I prefer to enjoy the moment instead of spending that time with my head glued to a hunk of plastic. But I’m equally conscious that phases, especially as they relate to toddlers, pass in a heartbeat. I can’t take any more videos of tentative first steps. I can hardly get a picture that isn’t blurry these days as she runs from room to room. Our video-taking has been scaled back too, but sometimes, we manage to catch a little gem – like the ones below.
Or this one, complete with hair askew, that highlights her absolute obsession with re-watching videos from our summer vacation at the lake (“picture Abby canoe” – she would watch these videos of riding in the boat on repeat all day if we obliged).
And then I can’t help but remember this one. Pure joy – this is what it sounds like.