Monday, May 30, 2016
The last time I wrote and posted here it was Rosemary's birthday and the middle of winter. As a mother I am always changing, but with these seasons, and this last year in particular, I feel I have had a refining. As obvious from some of my previous posts, my transition to three children was harder than I had hoped. Many elements play into why, but all of that seems behind me now. In response to some of the hardships, I have been on what I jokingly call "a minimalist journey." I have read several books about minimalism, and have basically touched every item I own and thought through why I would need to keep it. As an emotional "feeler" type of person this has had a powerful effect on me. My main motivation in reading such books was to find an easier way to keep my house clean with three kids four and under. What has come from it though has been a stronger sense of self and what I want in life.
Maybe it sounds funny to have gained so much by getting rid of things, but the process (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) really leads a person to find out why he or she hangs on to certain things... or maybe what he or she wishes she had instead. Honestly right now my house feels a little bare. The walls are as white as they have ever been. Something I read though was the last true stage of this process was to add a few things. A splash of color. Maybe flowers or a painting I truly love. I have gotten rid of so many things just taking up space, that now I get to take my time deciding what I love enough to display in my home.
Deep down I have known that a big desire is to have more of my own photography printed and hung. One book I read recommended going through all of my photos. ALL. And only keeping those that I love. As a former photography major, I have a lot of photos. In my lightroom catalog, I had gotten in a horrible rushed habit of editing but then never deleting the other photos. This resulted in over 20,000 pictures that needed to be looked through. I have looked through and deleted 10,000. I have saved 2,000 and now still have about 8,000 more to look through. Why this process may sound like torture to many, I actually enjoy organization. Another aspect I hadn't thought about, was that I am strengthening and regrowing my photography skills while doing this. I am making so many decisions about what is good. For awhile after having children every photograph felt "good" to me because it was of my child. But I am seeing more clearly that not only are there many that are not that great, but I actually have a desire for certain pictures that I haven't even captured. I realized I had gotten in a bit of the instagram phase where I was mostly just documenting. Sure the composition can be nice sometimes. And I have kept many pictures taken with a phone. But all of this editing has shown me to slow down, use my real camera, and to stop and capture the faces of my children. Those are the pictures I want. Their faces. Their growing and exploring selves.
With realizing how much less I can own, I have also come to see that less words and pictures on a blog may be necessary for this stage of life. I have been writing more in my own journal, with more raw and open text, strengthening my writing as well. I am happy to know that I am pursuing the things that make me feel like me, writing and photography.
These last few months have really flown by, but the pictures above are the ones that touched me the most. I feel and know that all my children are going through extreme stages of growth. Blanche is becoming more of a five year old that is ready for more than the days of toddlerhood. Rosemary is becoming more of her own person, sometimes growing faster than her little body can keep up with. And Foster, Foster is a lover. He cries, don't get me wrong. But he cries about things like trying to crawl and rolling over instead. And he grabs my hair harder than anyone ever has to pull me in for a kiss. My children take every ounce out of me during the day, but the memories of them restore me each night. I have come to understand the work of taking care of three. It never really ends. There will always be more to do, but I have what many people wish and hope for, and these little wishes call me mama.