I had an interesting discussion with a friend a few weeks ago. She asked me how in the world I keep up with this blog.
I explained that, first of all, it has to do with my memory. I feel like I must have a photo of things to really grasp them before they slip quietly out of my brain never to be remembered. To me, the photos and written descriptions are like a safety-net, holding on to those things I cherish most in life.
I’m also all about moments.
The moment in time when my son learned how to catch with his arms stretched out, waiting for the ball to land precisely in his tiny hands. Or the moment when my newborn soothed himself by clutching his nose. Or all those moments when my boys seemed to magically bond, unaware that anyone was watching.
I don’t want to let any of those first smiles slip into the past without lassoing them first with the help of my camera. I don’t want to forget the funny things my children said or the clever connections they made without recording them. I want to make sure my babies are “bottled up” to a certain degree while they are still little.
Keeping a current documentation of our lives is part of my sanity. Somehow spilling out how I feel makes me more conscientious of how I live my life. I feel like it makes me a more deliberate mother and it makes me feel great to have a record of our life under my belt. And because of that, I make it a priority.
Obviously not everyone has the same priorities. Not everyone adores yoga like I do. Not everyone feels rejuvenated when they get their feelings written out. My friend I had that discussion with is a runner. Running is a passion for her. She’ll run up to ten miles some days. As for me, running is definitely not my forte. Sure, it’s something that would be nice to do more of, but it’s not a priority for me right now in my life. It is hers. And she is a better person because she is taking the time to pursue what she loves. She’s more balanced and ready to embrace life when she’s done with a run because in doing it she is becoming herself.
The problem with all this prioritizing mumbo jumbo is that sure, we all know we need to prioritize, but how do we find the right priorities in a mothering world where it seems everyone surrounding us needs part of us every minute of the day. What do we prioritize? What is it ok not to prioritize?
As long as we know that we are prioritizing the right stuff, (families and faith are at the top as far as I’m concerned…we all want so much for our husbands and kids to feel that we prioritize them above anything else, right?). But sometimes we forget that we need to prioritize ourselves in order to “be there” more wholly for our families. We need to get out and run that marathon or take that class or document our lives to become ourselves.
As mothers we have to neglect some stuff. No matter how hard we try, we can’t do everything. And that’s ok! I often neglect working out or making an elaborate dinner during nap time because I feel more recharged by making sure all of our moments and memories are accounted for. It is a just a priority for me. I can relax at the end of the day knowing that moments have been recorded and I no longer have to keep the details in the forefront of my memory.
I am so glad that I make our records a priority. I look back with pride through our archives, knowing that someday my big kids will be able to read all about the moments they won’t remember when they grow up. The rest of the priorities in my life don’t just go away as I organize photos and journal about events. They still swirl on; but nothing burns down, we are all still alive, and my mind is refreshed because I took the time to write about the people I love the most. That in turn helps me to become myself.
This is very interesting because we are all so different in what works with each person is so different. I had this conversation with someone once and it did not end well. I think that as long as we are all okay with the choices we have made with the way we prioritize is also key. Do what works and feel good about it, and do what makes you happy. I also love to blog–it is our family journal and we have it published at the end of the year to have forever. So I make sure to put it all down.
Clearly you and I have the same priorities.
Now that blogging is a huge part of my job, it's a little different. But for the most part, I do feel happier when I am able to put all my thoughts down in the written form. It's like a little form of relief that I know I'll always have those memories there — even if they're bad memories I'll be able to look back and see how far I've come.