30 Day Writing Challenge Day #13 - I Didn't Take A Single Picture!

This article has been brewing for several months now and finally bubbled to the top.  As an author, it's so important to stay current on social media and having pictures taken - and taking them - as I'm out and about helps me do that.  While at big events I'm pretty good about it.  And I ADORE taking a pic when we get a big group together! BUT - I find lately when out with just a friend or two, I completely forget.

In fact it just happened this last week with a friend I hadn't seen in a decade. We were absolutely lost in catching up. 2-1/2 hours of chatting on all things going on.  It's was only after I was on my way home I realized we hadn't snapped a picture together.

For awhile I was annoyed with myself.  Why was I forgetting?  My friends and I do occasionally snap a fun candid, but overall the photo ops are getting forgotten more and more. Once I let go of feeling guilty I realized there was something brewing underneath. 

In the last few years I have made a concerted effort to put away my phone, turn off the sounds and forget about it when I'm with people. If I happen to not turn it off and I hear it ring, I usually don't answer it. Instead, I check it when alone and back on transit headed home. I lived many years of my life with just a landline I couldn't take with me and guess what, life moved on just fine without being in instant contact with everyone. 

Love this Unplugged Wedding
ceremony announcement. 
I also take downtime in the middle of the day and do the same thing. Whether closing my eyes, reading a book or taking a bath, I used to leap for the phone or door bell - a real mess if in the bath. Now if the phone rings or I hear the doorbell, I just ignore it until I'm up and about again.  There was so much guilt associated with not responding in the beginning, but it passed. And with it came peace. I deserve to chose to take time out for self-care whatever it means. 

Casual get togethers with friends had to have the requisite selfies taken on everyone's phone camera for years. Every lunch or outing with family needed a group picture. Sometimes they were great, but often it was people just being nice and posing so they could it over with. 

Over the last year I have come to realize I sometimes just enjoy being peaceful and quiet with those I'm spending time with.  Relaxing, chatting, ignoring the phone, just being in the moment and not worrying about capturing the moment for posterity is okay too. We don't need hundreds of pics with every person we know.

That doesn't mean I never want to take photos.  It's always great when it happens organically - we're out doing something and start to ham it up.  Or it's a special moment with someone - they're moving away, a birthday or ??? Those images bring a smile to my face and warm my heart. What's gone is the persistent need to take one each and every time I am out.  Life will go on. There will be other opportunities. 

My best advice is to let your heart guide you. If it feels right, snap that picture. If you're really enjoying the moment then embrace that fully. The memory with be there whether you have a digital reminder or not.