Sometimes I have subtle reminders that my children can feel the tension that comes with dividing a family. Every once in a while I have an intense reminder. Maybe that comes from having a teenager in the home. Maybe it’s because it’s just hard. I wish I knew the right things to say to my children when I see that they are struggling, or hurting. Seems like under these circumstances sometimes there is no right thing to say, so I don’t say anything. Instead I wake up at 3:12 A.M. to go buy milk, make banana bread bundt cake for breakfast, or squeeze fresh orange juice. Sometimes I might make their beds or let them stay up an extra hour for a family movie. I’m making this up as go, and sometimes I make mistakes, all the time I show them how much I love them.
Showing my children that I love them and I’m here for them makes me happy.
Organization is the most comforting word to me. When my life is organized, I can see more clearly, I can focus on the present and plan for my future. In my mind, I see my life, my calendar, my everything as a desktop on a computer. Neatly organized folders, labeled and arranged in an systematized fashion, each folder containing exactly what I need to be accomplish a task, complete a goal, plan a trip, and keep it altogether without losing myself. When my life glitched it was pandemonium in my mind. I found pieces missing from folders, unlabeled folders, things I have never heard of showed up and everything seemed to be floating in a gentle breeze that often changed direction. Suddenly I could not breathe.
As time went on, I found ways to slowly gather the pieces of my life as they drifted by, taking small breaths as I decide where to start. It took me time, courage and love to see that it is safe to change my desktop. Recycling what was holding me back, making new folders as I discovered new pieces and fragments of me that had been missing for years, and taking what I was holding onto tightly and putting it back into place. Everyday breathing more deeply, more completely.
My desktop isn’t in perfect order, but its close. I’m organizing my life a little bit more every day. I have discovered that I need people in my life. I have learned it’s ok to accept help from my loved ones. I have decided that it’s alright to be a single mom.
I have found happiness among disarray, although I am looking forward to my life returning to it’s organized state a little bit more every day.
The first time I picked up a camera I was in high school and had just become the new sports photographer for the school newspaper, The Viking Voyager. I instantly fell in love with two things, looking at the world through the lens of a 35mm camera and the sound of the football players’ pads crashing into each other on the field. Using the camera become second nature to me as I learned to adjust the aperture and shutter speed to capture life as I see it. Learning to process film and develop prints gave me the
opportunity to show others the world through my camera lens. I was stubborn as technology took photography to new levels of creativity. As I learned to embrace new technology I have grown to love photography more.
Looking at a photograph I can feel the image, the warmth of the sun melting the snow, the hope in the eyes of a mourning widow, the love two people share has they promise to be loyal to one another, or the emptiness of place that was once alive. I can see the color in a colorless picture and feel the emotion in its contrast. I can hear the laughter of children playing, or the soft sounds of a creek trickling water over rocks. I can smell the orange blossoms that surround a country road, or the rain falling on the sand in a dry desert.
I take photographs for me, so that I can capture these emotions, sounds and smells, so I remember they way I feel in the moments that inspire me, teach me and help me experience life around me. I share my photographs so others can feel and be inspired as well. I desire for my home someday to be filled with my photographs, to cultivate an environment that inspires and motivates my children in their lives, and for those that enter my home to leave feeling the world through my camera lens.
Searching for and capturing images that facilitate emotions within me brings me happiness.
I walked into the hardware store with O to pick out the paint for our new living room. I knew exactly what I wanted, Solo Cup Green! I think O came because she didn’t believe I was really getting that color. She didn’t have plans to convince me otherwise, she just stood back watching in disbelief. Her sassy comments about grass growing on the walls and her not helping paint were not unexpected either. I just smiled as I told the gentleman at the paint counter what I wanted. O still in disbelief blushed as the man volunteered to come help me paint, of course I politely declined but in my head I heard myself sing, “oh baby you, you got what I need but you say he’s just a friend…”. I rolled my eyes, smiled and laughed a little at myself, when did Biz Markie get in my head, and that song does NOT even apply here.
I painted all three walls of the living room green that night. At 2 o’clock in the morning, I sat in the middle of the living room in our empty apartment feeling peaceful and exhausted. I no longer felt overwhelmed with emotions about living as a single mom in an apartment. In that moment of feeling sore, burnt out and completely exhausted I realized what was missing from my life. Color! My life had become dull and uninspiring. Solo Cup Green brighten my life again and inspired me to create a fun environment full of color, with happy nostalgic memories hanging on the wall. My living room has become my favorite place in our home.
I have found happiness and inspiration in Solo Cup Green.
I think the most beautiful creature God has created is the male peacock. The brilliant colors of his feathers are stunning. The length of his tail as he lays resting under a tree, awesome. The full fan of his vibrant feathers as they stand erect, showing off the beauty and basking in the attention is positively astounding. The beauty of this bird has inspired me and my happiness. I choose to surround myself with brilliant greens, rich blues, deep purples and touches of warm gold and oranges in my home. Ironically I have found peace in resting quietly surrounded by these bold and brazen colors.
Recently I have started to visit a near by park where peacocks freely roam. Bringing berries and grapes to feed them as I enjoy watching them rest under the trees, run from excited children, and saunter while showing off their beauty.
It has become a happy place for me to visit.
*photo credit goes to my son, who sent me this picture he took at the Idaho Falls Zoo while visiting his grandma.