29 Jul going easy
Yesterday was one of the first real full days of sunshine we’ve had this summer. Despite the work that needed to get done, summer (and the beach) beckoned. I thought what better excuse to take out the new baby for a spin.
When we arrived at the beach, the wind was whipping (sand and cold air). We forgot our beach blanket, and only brought a few towels; one of which was used earlier to dry off a dirty dog and could not be used for people until it was washed. Note to self: check bag that daughters pack before leaving.Once we got settled close to the water’s edge, teeth chattering, we decided to relocate, seeking out warmth inland. Luckily, laying close to warm sand helped. A little. But with all this, there was really no way I would be able to shoot. I struggled with snapping off 2 shots. And called it quits. No big deal. I’ll shoot more next time.
In the past I would have let an afternoon like that whip me up into a frenzy. I might have regretted going, been mad about the lack of towels, agonised over wasting precious time with little reward. But, not this time. Instead, we enjoyed our perfectly imperfect few hours. Each time aggravation began to flair up, mostly in the form of sand being kicked up into our faces, someone would make light of it. We cranked the music. I put away my camera not to think about it again. We snacked on the small (too small) bag of chips my daughter packed. My husband used a towel fit for a 6 year-old which meant most of his body was just on the sand. We chalked it up to one of those days, and shrugged it off. We were still spending time together. That was enough. It had to be.
It’s instances like these that I am reminded of all the ways we can be kind to ourselves. Sometimes they are done in sweeping gestures like the declaration of being enough. Karen Walrond shares one of those stories with the Collaborative this week. It’s awesome. But acts of self-kindness can come in the smaller ways of just going easy on ourselves. Sometimes that means just embracing imperfection. We might as well, because we all know that perfection is not only over-rated, it’s an impossibility. And it’s really way too much pressure. Chris Sneddon shared a terrific post at Shutter Sisters addressing this exact thing.
I’m learning slowly but surely, with everything I am that expectations of the ideal scenario totally trip me up. And so, I’ve been trying to step forward with a lighter heart, an easier spirit, and a more flexible and forgiving frame of mind. And, you know what? It’s working.
Case in point: the above shot is one of the only 2 pictures I snapped off at the beach the other day. I love it more than I could have loved any other shot. Maybe it’s because there were only two which makes it more precious. Maybe it’s because it’s a reminder that imperfection can be a gift, if we choose to see it that way. No matter the case, I have that image to remind me that even those days can be gifts.
What reminds you to let go of impossible expectations and go easy on yourself? I would love to hear!