Bits and pieces of memories fade, resurface and transform when we recall important moments from our lives. The happy thing about photographs is that they have the transcendent power to capture these memories, to immortalize the visual details, and help ‘paint the scene’ when we ‘remember the times.’
The absence of a photograph, however, speaks just as loudly, perhaps providing even more detail, than an album of memories. How is that so, you wonder? The undocumented moments occur when we’re too caught in the moment, too busy laughing, enjoying, and just, well, being, that we forgot to snap a photograph or 7. And you know what? Those moments, despite my love for photography, are my favorite kind.
Fill my days with laughter and activities and people that make me forget about my phone and my camera. Give me sunshine that begs to be enjoyed rather than documented. Let me sit in the grass, read away the morning, and then spend the afternoon hitting balls with my brothers. I’ll drink sweet tea and chat with my baby cousins as the sun goes down.
I boarded the homeward bound train wishing I had photographs of Thanksgiving in Chicago, but as I muse about my lack of documentation, I am grateful for the special moments that made me forgot about my camera. Those moments helped make memories more valuable than a collection of photographs.
Jon woke me up this morning with tea, a granola bar, and a kiss. The breakfast was thoughtful and perfect, but the best part was that he was home — he usually leaves for work at 6, I wake at 7, and then we see each other when he comes home in the evening. Sharing my morning with him is my favorite way to start the day, and in this case, it’s indicative of something even greater: we’ll be spending the next five days together in Chicago. As in, five days of vacation, family, food, theater (we’re seeing Wicked!!), and absolutely no working. Let the laughter and silliness begin.
Is there a more important task than cultivating a grateful heart? When we learn to recognize the smallest blessings, we’re able to truly appreciate the people and moments that make our lives special.
November inspires reflection on the multitude of gifts in our lives, and gratitude lists seem to be pop pop popping up on all sorts of social media. These lists are wonderful, but I think it’s important that we remember to actually give thanks for our blessings.
Today I wrote gratitude letters to a few people who consistently make my life more positive. To make the project a little more fun, I put the letters inside confetti poppers. That said, make it pop!
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
Practicing gratitude is a win-win situation for happiness. A grateful person recognizes the importance of the people in their lives, and a recognized person (the person receiving the thanks) feels connected to their social network.
Gratitude is on my mind with Thanksgiving just around the bend, and so today’s rah rah rah project involved leaving little “I am thankful….” notes around 50th&France in Edina. Hopefully, the recipients paused to reflect on their blessings, and, with any luck, felt a bit of happiness when they reflected on what they’re thankful for.
How would you fill out the card?
eek! i’ve had a wonderful summer, but september is my favorite month and i woke up this morning just.so.dang.excited. about the upcoming fall festivities. so excited, in fact, that i channeled some of my enthusiasm into a graphic about why i love september so much. hope you find it inspiring:
To be honest, I’m even a little excited about the fall outfits that come with the chilly weather. These are the looks I’m planning to rock once the temperatures drop low enough to bring out my boots: