Our Lives, Unscripted | Volume 2
Well, we've made it six months. Six months of life with our William Blaine, of being a mother, of learning and questioning and laughing and crying and trying to figure this parenting thing out. It's been amazing, but it's also been hard... To be honest, I think it's the hard that makes it so wonderful. If things weren't hard in life, would we recognize when things were good? Would we appreciate the small things as much or be aware of the blessings in our everyday? Over the past six months, I've set my focus on "practicing what I preach" - to live in the day to day moments, the ordinary everyday, and to see the beauty in what those moments offer. It can be so easy to set our eyes on the future, our dreams and goals, what we wish for and want to happen. But when we do that, we don't see as clearly the gifts and blessings God has given us today. Don't get me wrong, this can be hard. It can be hard to see the beauty when my six month old wakes up five times a night and doesn't want to nap during the day. It can be hard to see the beauty when it seems like my husband and I are running in different directions most days, passing the baby off so the other can get work done or have some "me" time. It can be hard when the house needs cleaned and laundry is piled up and dishes are in the sink. When each day is filled with an appointment or a meeting or a session and work is piling up. I share these things because I never want it to seem like we've got it "together", whatever that may mean. I don't want anyone to think that our life is perfect, because of course it isn't.
With social media today, it can be so easy to compare your life to others and feel that you just don't have it together. Others seem to have a bigger house, a better job, more well behaved children, a nicer body, a more stylish wardrobe, a more exciting and adventurous lifestyle... The list goes on. But what we seem to forget when we're scrolling through our social media feeds is that everyone has moments and chapters of their life they don't read out loud... They don't dare share with others. Those moments that aren't pretty or "share-worthy". But we all have them. We struggle with insecurity and seeing the beauty in our own everyday life because we too often compare our behind the scenes to everyone else's highlight reel. I'm not by any means saying it's wrong to share the highlights of your life with others... Things that make you happy and the beauty that you find in your everyday. I'm just saying that as observers we have to remember that there's not a single person's life that is perfect, and that we aren't seeing the whole picture. When we observe others and play the comparison game then we are preventing ourselves from happiness and from seeing the own beauty in our own lives.
Theodore Roosevelt said "Comparison is the thief to joy." I'm learning this to be true in many aspects of my life. As a photographer, it's easy to look at other amazing artists and feel that I'm not as talented. As a mother, it's easy to look at other mamas and feel that they are doing it so much better. As a woman, it's easy to look at other women and feel that they are stronger, prettier, sexier, more outgoing and fun. I'm learning that when I compare myself to others, when I look and observe others through social media, magazines, and what you see on television, then it's easier to allow yourself to believe the lies that comparison tells. And in turn, it's harder to notice the beauty and blessings in my ordinary, day-to-day life.
So what do we do then? In a world that seems to get crazier and scarier by the day, I think the answer is to look at yourself, rather than those around you. When we truly know our own hearts and work on becoming a better version of ourselves then true change happens. Knowing that I don't have to be better than anyone else and striving to be a better person than I was yesterday helps me be a good mother, wife, daughter, friend, and person in general. When I strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value, I'm teaching my son that your worth doesn't come from having things but from what is in your heart.
Each day I try to ask myself the question, "What does my son see when I don't notice him watching me?" I know he's only a baby now, but he's watching and he will keep watching. Am I proud of the person he sees in me? When I spend my time comparing myself and our life to others', rather than focusing on the beauty and blessings we have right in front of us, then I'm missing out on the gift that God has given me today. You all - the beauty of our lives happens in the everyday, seemingly small moments that we too often let pass by without noticing. Don't you dare let anything or anyone trick you into thinking that the life that happens in your "ordinary" days isn't special and meaningful. It is! The only comparison we should be making is to who we were yesterday. Are you more loving today than yesterday? More compassionate? More understanding and patient? More joyful? More grateful for what you have? These are the comparisons we should make. These are the everyday choices that shape who we are and the life that we live. It determines what we are teaching our kids and the model that we are being for others. It's choosing that our life is beautiful right NOW, despite the everyday challenges, and to be thankful and live in a way that reflects that.
What you don't know and can't see while reading this is that I've had to get up three times to help my crying baby get to sleep. You can't see that their are baskets of unfolded laundry in the living room, that I'm still in my pajama pants, my hair is a mess, and I still haven't brushed my teeth (and probably won't for another several hours because I keep forgetting to eat breakfast!). So, I hope you understand if my thoughts and words aren't well organized and if I repeated myself over and over. I get pretty distracted and side-tracked these days! I do hope you get my point, though. Despite what is going on in this world and the day to day challenges you may face in your own life, please remember that there is still beauty all around you. Somedays it may be hard to see, but it's there. When we choose to focus on the beauty in our everyday lives, we grow and become better versions of ourselves. That has a powerful ripple effect, ya'll, even if you can't see it. Your kids see it. Your spouse sees it. Your coworkers see it. Your friends and family see it. The work you do in your day-to-day life doesn't go unnoticed.
Our day-to-day life seems to be flying by at a pace that I'm a little uncomfortable with. These past six months have gone by way too quickly and I know that the next six months will go by even faster. Below are some photos from the past few months, and I am admitting that these photos are snapshots of the "good" moments. You don't see the sleepless nights, the difficult days, the questions and doubts and tears and tough discussions. But, it's because of all those challenges that I'm able to recognize the beauty in our everyday and appreciate the moments, big and small, that are becoming a part of our story and shaping who we are. Our life is ordinary, but I sure do think it's special and am very much thankful for it. I hope and pray that after leaving my little home here on the web you are reminded that your life is beautiful and valuable. That YOU are important and loved and blessed. I hope that after reading this, your eyes are a little more open and your heart more in tune with the beauty that's around you today and everyday, no matter the circumstances.
Thanks for sticking with me while I rambled. :) Till next time, do good and be love. <3 Kelly