At some point today, amid all the OHMYGOSHWASTHATJUSTANEARTHQUAKE that was happening on Twitter AND INSIDE MY HEAD, I happened to click on a link posted by Christine from Coffees and Commutes. It was to a new writing initiative called Bigger Picture Moments whose goal is to encourage everyone to take a step back and take in the life we're living. I thought, hey neat, then went back to reading all the #earthquake fun.
(And believe me for those who missed it, once the shock wore off -pun intended- people really brought on the funny. Who knew you could make so many jokes about an earthquake??)
(On a more somber note, how blessed are we that WE CAN ACTUALLY MAKE JOKES ABOUT AN EARTHQUAKE? Although an earthquake of 5.0 isn't normally catastrophic, in many, MANY areas of the world it would mean untold tragedy and suffering for thousands. We. Are. Blessed.)
The Bigger Picture Moments stuck with me though. Originally, I had no intention of participating. I already have too much already that hasn't been blogged, too many pictures not edited and uploaded, too many stories not shared.
And then it hit me.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in projects and ideas and everything that I want to do -and everything I have to do- that what I am doing loses its importance. And more importantly, what my kids are doing loses its importance.
It passes me by.
While I'm editing pictures or doing laundry or refinishing furniture or organizing my bookshelves by colour, I could be playing with my boys. My precious boys. I find myself saying, "not right now" or "just let mummy finish this" or "give me a few more minutes" too often. Not always, but more often than I'd like.
I'm not saying that these other things aren't worthy pursuits. Be it cooking or cleaning or crafting or organizing or working from the home (which is what I consider my photography to be), it all has a place.
I think it's a matter of priorities. And while my boys are undoubtedly my top priority in my heart, sometimes in the daily grind they get pushed aside. Not roughly or rudely or harshly, but they nonetheless find themselves wanting me and having to wait.
Sometimes this is a necessity. The reality is that I can't focus on my children a hundred percent of the time. I do have to cook. I do have to clean and organize. I need to have projects and creative outlets. I have paying clients and deadlines. I know that I can't simply drop everything for them whenever they want me to.
But when I am with them, I really want to be all there.
I want to relish their childhoods. I want to savour these precious little people they are right now and the amazing little-bit-bigger people they are becoming every day. They are a blessing. They are each a little gift. A precious gift.
I don't want it all to pass me by while I'm standing over the stove, or bend over a pile of laundry, or sitting in front of the computer, or stuck behind my camera. I want my boys to know that they are my priority. Not just in word, but in deed. When they are grown and look back at their childhoods, I want the images they see to be of me reading to them, me sitting next to them playing Lego, me having lightsaber duels with them (and pretending to be knocked over by the Force, which gets old very quick for me, but they love), me baking with them and painting with them and jumping in puddles WITH THEM.
This is the big picture I hope they see.