Confession. I'm a picture addict. Okay, if you know me that's no surprise. Every day contains savoring God's creation, consuming dark chocolate, and taking advantage of any photo ops.
I burn at least a CD a month of photos and have purchased numerous replacement rechargeable batteries. Should they burn out so quickly? Oh, yes, I do take that many photos. Bugs, plants, and views; my daughter and my family; my dog; myself. Yes, myself. I actually think it is delightful to be in pictures. Especially when I am with someone who feels the same. Maybe because I cherish a good reminiscing. And when I look back at pictures I'd like to think that I was there too.
I often get caught up looking at photographs. It starts with an agenda. A list of chores or items I would like to, and probably could, accomplish if I used my time wisely.
Then I come across them. Online, on my computer, in the living room, stored in the closet, or on my wall (I guarantee I have more photos on my wall than you!). Next thing I know, the filing wasn't done because I just flipped through a pile of photos a few times. Or the email wasn't sent because I just browsed Facebook albums. Or the bible devotions failed to start because I relived all the photos on my phone.
Wedding photos. Get togethers. Holidays. Special occasions. Trips... Memories on file. I love to open these files. See all the things I never thought I'd do. All the wonderful people I never thought I'd be close to. Life is full of countless blessings. I love to reminisce because I know that. I know that I should be grateful for each opportunity. I have been given more days than some, more opportunities than others. I don't know what tomorrow will, or will not, bring.
I'll be very honest here. There was a time my motives for photographs weren't out out of love and gratitude. I wanted to prove that I had a life. That even though I wasn't a good friend as a teenager, I had developed good friends. Even though I had made mistakes, my life wasn't a waste. I didn't treat myself like crap like I used to. Instead, I took care of myself. Even though I got my "family" later, I had an amazing family.
But I know existence has two sides. What you choose to show, and what life really contains. And most people also know that enigma. The smiling face could actually be in pain. The adventurous person may actually be afraid. The wonderful life could actually exist out of photos because someone hates their picture taken. Or just never thinks of if.
I don't take pictures to prove anything anymore. I take them because I love to remind my husband of times we shared. Because I want to increase my daughter's relationship with her family. Because I enjoy art and nature. Because we all-- most of us-- like to keep our fond memories. So I try to catch as many as I can. "Wait! Stop. Do that again. I have to take a picture!"
I can get neurotic trying to get these photos too. Like at my step daughter's graduation when I didn't get any that I was pleased with. Or at the events I wasn't permitted to take my camera (what?! If I don't have photos it didn't really happen!). Or the fact that every Christmas I have a melt down when I am not getting the happy family photo I want and declare we just won't do one this year. Then I feel guilty every time someone comments how merry we all look.
My husband had to get used to the constant clicks in his face. And to smiling at that clicking intruder. For the first year it required me pinching his bottom so that he would laugh to get a big smile. It totally worked. But then I guess he realized the camera came along with me. Actually, he understood it was pretty much attached to my arm.
It would be marvelous if the camera I took most of my pictures with could be of higher quality, but I just haven't gotten there yet. I can't seem to spend so much on something so fragile. I want it accessible. Not in a padded box. And I've suffered too many near heart attacks thinking I lost the less fancy one I have. So I just keep hoping technology will improve and a better point-and-shoot, drop-proof, and water-resistant, AKA, take-anywhere-without-worrying camera will be available soon. Until then I'll just take advantage of digital's benefit of taking a trillion photos and saving the favorites. More tasks to take my time.