Saving memories one photograph at a time

Friday, January 13, 2012

Unique Joy

I am not one for New Year's resolutions, but I always think about it when the New Year rolls around. The last 9 years of my life have been filled with many health issues and when the New Year comes again one thing I hope for is less pain, more energy. Sometimes when you don't feel well you get caught up in your own head, see less of what is good around you. As the end of last December approached I decided to think differently about the New Year. Health wise, chances are, things will be about the same but I can get back to finding the little things that bring me joy every day. Now, as you are reading this you are probably thinking, "Wow, she must be a real downer to live with", not true (I hope). Years ago I made a mental decision to not let my health problems effect my positive attitude. Sure, I have plenty of 'Pity-Party' days but overall I am a 'the glass is half full' type of girl. Just because I don't feel well everyone else around me doesn't have to suffer.

Finding joy in my everyday life is not a new concept. It has been rolling around inside my brain for quite a while. I have always found such incredible joy in my beautiful - sweet girls, my husband, my animals, and my family and friends. No the joy I have been seeking craving goes even deeper. It is a unique joy that is just for me. A joy that fills my spirit, a joy no one else has to get, or approve of. Too much of my life has been spent worrying about what others will think, full of too much approval seeking. Don't get me wrong I am not going to run out and get a tattoo and join the circus, I am just going to find ME again.

So, I started thinking about what do I enjoy, what is it that makes me, me? As I mulled over all the things I like to do, photography kept bubbling to the top. Taking pictures makes me giddy! Photography has been a huge part of my life since I was little, developing pictures in our darkroom, with my dad. This is one thing that brings that essential joy I am looking for, let's me share my joy, and helps capture the things in my everyday life that brings me joy.

Taking 'A Picture a Day' in January came out of not so much a New Year's resolution as a determination to help me find that unique joy my soul craves. Buckle up, keep your hands and legs inside the car at all times, and enjoy this beautiful ride that is joy!

January 1, 2012
 Wilted Spider Mums. Sometimes wilted is more beautiful than fresh.

January 2, 2012
 Mexican pasta, a family favorite. There is nothing like preparing and eating food together!

January 3, 2012
 Yes, that is me sewing. If you know me, you know I DON'T sew. Sewing intimidates me and truthfully makes me a little nauseous! My daughter Taylor gave me the courage, instruction, and yes, supervision to sew a new pillow for my bed. Thank, you Taylor!

January 4, 2012
 I hate, hate, hate pictures of myself! My thought was, "maybe this will make it easier to have other pictures taken of me". Nope didn't work. Maybe, it will get easier one day, cross my fingers.

January 5, 2012
 My beautiful boy, Bob, who loves me enough to take on the dog so he can sit next to me.

January 6, 2012
I forgot my camera when we took this trek to the "Up House". So this is taken with my iPhone just as it was getting dark. Pictures not so great, but the memories made with my girls, priceless! This picture show my daughter Cheyanne in the red jacket and her sweet friend Jori in the blue jacket.

January 6, 2012 #2
This is my oldest daughter, Taylor (isn't she cute!).

January 7, 2012
This is the pattern on my new comforter. I love walking in my room and seeing my bed, it makes me feel like I am on vacation.

January 8, 2012
A slice of my heaven, my scrapbook/craft room. When I walk into this room I have a noticeable drop in stress and tension levels. This room is filled with things I love. Many childhood and adult memories are tucked away in this room.

January 9, 2012
My daughter, Cheyanne. It is not often that I can catch her unawares. Watching her makes my heart expand. It is a privilege to call her my daughter. It is hard to put into words my feelings for this bright, beautiful, stubborn baby of mine.

January 10, 2012
This is Joji, my baby girl. Not because she is the youngest of our animals,it is because she is
so sweet. Recently she had to have her left eye removed (she was shy and didn't want it to show on camera). Her resilience and lack of feeling sorry for herself has been an inspiration to me. She has taught me to take what you have been given and make the most of it. Get over yourself and move on.

January 11, 2012
This is part of a flock of Chickadees waiting for the feeders in my backyard. I am so bird obsessed that I have bird books on my kitchen table at all times so I can identify and read about birds at anytime.

January 12, 2012
I have 5 orchids and love everything about them. All but this one pictured above are at least 10 years old (this one is about 2 years old). They have moved from house to house, city to city, state to state with me. They are like old friends that get more beautiful with age. Just a few more weeks and I will have a kitchen window full of beautiful blooms. I can't wait.

This month I am focusing on how photography can help me to find my own unique joy. It isn't about technique it's about content. It's about showing my joy through and with photography. I feel like if I can fill my soul with who I am, I will be better able to share and help grow my daughter's own unique joy. I would be a failure if I didn't help my girls reach their full potential as incredible daughters of God.

If I can recognize that sweet joy that is mine I can thank my Heavenly Father for all that I am and all I have been given. For you dear reader, I hope to plant a seed, a notion, a belief, that you are also worthy of your own unique joy, a joy unto yourself.

More pictures to follow - I hope your still along for the ride!


Megan Goates said...

So many beautiful sentiments here, Susann! I love it--the photographs, your purpose in taking them, and your amazing resilient attitude. I'm so glad we are neighbors and friends.

Nicole Norris said...

What a fabulous post. It was so personal and inspiring. You are amazing. I have so much respect and admiration for you as a person and an artist. I can't wait to get to know you more through out this month as you share more of yourself.