the good, the bad and the beautiful


Putting aside my most recent vapid post I thought I might delve into something a bit more serious. Looking over my last series of posts I seem to be writing only about the exciting and seemingly glamorous aspects of my life. Which I suppose is intentional, since blogging is a bit of an escape for me. I like to spend some time not dwelling on laundry that needs to be done or the cleaning of toilets or the constant challenges of working freelance (deadlines, billing, finding the next one). But everything else... the picnics, the parties... wouldn't be possible without those less exciting parts of life. So despite what my posts might suggest, let me assure you that those other parts exist. In fact the less exciting bits probably outweigh the rest.

Every so often I get a comment from a reader saying that I must live such a beautiful life. And for the most part I would agree. But much in the same way that when I post photos of myself I try to disguise my less than define jawline I do the same for my life. For a while all the stress of the other bits silenced my writing. I was either too sick or busy with finding work to write about anything good that might have been happening at the time. I must have been so unpleasant to be around.

What saves me from remaining in that endless state of negativity is taking a moment to observe all of the positive things going on around me. It helps when some of my freelance work involves photography because I am transported out of my everyday routine and get to experience something different and make me excited about my life again. That makes up for the unpredictability of freelancing.

Back in May I got to work on a short project for a nearby school division to document some stories about different volunteers and role model students. One story was about a retired police officer who now volunteered in his wife's grade one class. The morning bell had rung and the volunteer went to the door to let the students inside. He told me that he and the students would always play a little game, where he would open the door a crack and peer out while they would excitedly push towards the door hoping to squeeze through with their oversize backpacks. Slowly he would open the door the students would walk under his arms to get inside.

It was a really simple and beautiful moment, repeated day after day, the kids always being excited to come inside. It was completely immersed and remained that way for the duration of the project. When I got home later that night I was telling the gentleman about all the cute characters from the day and he remarked how markedly different my mood was after spending a day focusing on positive things. I wasn't complaining to him about where my next contract was coming from or venting my frustrations about the garbage needing to be taken out. It's so easy for me to fall into that trap and become that depressed person who spends her non-working hours complaining. I dislike when I get like that.

That is why I am trying to write more about the good than the bad, celebrating ridiculousness like a good hair day or the simple pleasures of the summer.

They could be as simple as enjoying the view from my desk. I in love with the view right now. I adore looking out at the trees and watching them move in the wind. It reminds me of when I got glasses and I realized what it was like to see leaves for what seemed like the first time. I have not taken them for granted since then.

Sometimes, when I'm working I find myself looking at the reflection of the clouds in the surface of my desk. For that moment that my gaze is affixed on the reflection of the slowly shifting clouds I feel at peace. All my worrying stops and I'm reminded to think about my life as something more beautiful than dreary. If you're feeling a bit low I suggest you try the same.