A couple weeks ago, my friend Marie posed a pertinent (and somewhat rhetorical) question, “Doesn’t it make you sad when you are the one taking all of the pictures and then you realize there are none with you in them?”
Yes, it does.
It makes me very, very sad.
But that got me thinking. Why am I never in the pictures?
I’ll admit that 99.9% of the time I am the one clicking away, trying desperately to get that perfect shot of my kids. If I catch Mike and one of the kids snuggling or doing something adorably beautiful together, I immediately grab my camera. If Mike catches a moment between one of the kids and me, he soaks it in, but doesn’t usually think to reach for the camera. We’re just different that way.
But, really? That’s not the reason I’m not in the picture these days. The truth is, I’m hiding. Lately, I have been uncomfortable in my own skin. Between my hair, my post baby figure, and excess weight I’m carrying around, not to mention the sudden and inexplicable dry patches and pubescent acne plaguing my face and the wrinkles that have suddenly sprouted around my eyes, I’m just not feeling all that glamorous or beautiful.
The last thing I want is photographic evidence of myself in less than stellar condition.
But last week, I also read this little gem. It made the rounds on my Facebook feed and for good reason.
By purposefully removing ourselves from the picture, we are doing a terrible injustice to our children. When I look at pictures of my mother and me, I don’t see the flaws she surely saw in herself. I see radiant beauty. And I treasure every picture we captured together.
So I’m not perfect in this moment? My kids don’t seem to mind. And when they’re older and looking at photos of their childhood, they won’t care either. They’ll be happy to see the many memories we shared together- wrinkles, bad hair, and all.
I’m trying really hard to love myself for who I am right now while also making lifestyle changes that will transform me into who I want to be. It’s been a slow process in both respects.
But in the mean time, when I purposefully avoid getting my picture taken, I lose out on frame worthy moments with my family.
With all that in mind, I made a conscious effort this past weekend to get in front of the camera. And I’ve challenged myself to continue to do so at least once a week. I’m doing this for my kids, yes, but also for myself. It’ll be nice to look back on my life and remember who I was in this moment. Chances are I won’t see those flaws that I see right now. Chances are I’ll see radiant beauty.
What about you? Do you purposefully avoid having your picture taken? Are you struggling with loving the you in this moment? Why don’t you join me in my quest to be in at least one picture a week? Are you up for the challenge?
Life happens when we get in front of the camera!
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