It's January 20th and I am finally mailing out my "holiday" cards, which, as you can see, are actually "New Year's" cards this year.
The perfectionist in me grumbles a bit to myself about this, and gives me a familiar look of disapproval and disappointment - like something one might expect from the stereotypical hyper-critical mother-in-law.
However, the person who's learning to be a little more gentle with herself is tossing confetti since I'm putting them in the mail, high-fiving myself for not giving up and celebrating the fact that New Year's Cards actually make a lot more sense. Who's idea was it anyway to add one more stressful thing to our list of things to do, smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season? *wink*
Either way you want to argue it, the photo on the card has a story;
A humorous one actually - with some life lessons mixed in with it.
The storyline is all about "perfection".
One of the ways I happen to be utilizing my One Little Word, (LESS), this year is with regards to perfection. I'm making a concerted effort to choose less perfection because PERFECTION IS AN ILLUSION, friends. And I'm working on ways to stop chasing after it.
So, speaking of illusions, let's talk about that photo on our New Year's Cards;
It's one of the reasons for the delay in sending out our cards in the first place.
First of all, as many of you have experienced, it's no easy feat having family pictures taken.
And for me, it's always a dilemma because I'm the photographer, making it harder to get a great family photo because I'm on the other side of the camera typically.
This being said, wrangling up all three of my girls on the same day is difficult - especially with one of them in college now. So, we decided on a day in November so Clara could meet us after work one afternoon in downtown Mt. Dora. This really gave Clara very little time to change and try to meet us before the small window of natural light disappeared on us. But we went with it anyway.
Clara was thirty minutes late, I was stressed and grouchy and this, my friends, is what ended up happening...
Lots and lots of overexposed, blurry photos.
I couldn't believe it! I was in such a hurry, scrambling to utilize the disappearing light, I wasn't paying the least bit attention to what my camera was trying to tell me. I kept dismissing the overexposed images that kept showing up on the LCD monitor as if they had something to do with my 12 year old DSLR that had been giving me strange error codes previously.
So there I was, staring at photos upon photos of blurry photos on my computer I couldn't possibly use for my Christmas cards, knowing there was no fathomable time to gather all three girls together again for a do-over.
I thought all was lost. I seriously made the decision to not even send cards out. After a couple of weeks of stepping away from the photos, I looked at them again and decided one picture out of the bunch showed some potential for being salvaged; The very last photo in the bunch...taken just as the sun had literally disappeared from the sky.
I altered the lighting a bit...
A little bit better.
I could totally pass this off as an intentional "artistic" image of my girls. *blushing*
I wasn't convinced I could really get away with it but uploaded the photo to Shutterfly anyway.
Is the photo what I had originally envisioned? No.
In fact, the girls have a sort of "ghostly" feel to them which creeps me out a bit.
But you know what I do love?
I love that this photo tells a story.
It tells my personal story of progress...not perfection.
This perfection-seeking mama of three has come a LONG way my friends. I still have a long way to go but I can tell you the previous me would've stressed out my kids, (and myself), with a re-do photo shoot.
This messy and imperfect and "not what I had dreamed of" photo will remind me for years to come that perfect is an illusion and that letting go of perfection keeps me humble...and human and HAPPY!
To the family and friends receiving these this year...
"Now you know the whole story!" *wink*
Thanks for being here you guys! And for being part of my journey!
KEEPiNG iT REAL
Until now, I've been too embarrassed to confess to my family that my camera settings was what was responsible for the blurred photos. Although I'd assumed it was from my ancient camera, I discovered later, the dial on my camera had been changed. (by a higher power I'm presuming? To teach me such an important lesson, perhaps?) *blushing*