Independence & Being Truly Present
Tomorrow is the big day. Yep, Independence Day. 4th of July. Fireworks day. BBQ day. Hang out with family until they drive you up the wall day. Drink a lot, set shit on fire day. BLING YOUR AMERICAN FLAG SHOES BECAUSE YOU CAN DAY. Yep, that’s right, I did it. Don’t hate.
Tell me you love them!
Whew, sorry, tangent… SPARKLES – gets me every time.
Whatever day you choose to celebrate, tomorrow is the big day. As I write this, poor Frankie is hovering under my desk, scared because there are already fireworks going off outside our home right now. Poor girl doesn’t understand that this is a celebration!
A celebration of what? Yes, we all know our history. But on this holiday, I would encourage you to celebrate something else – the freedom to have fun with your family, and spend time with the people you love most. You’re probably saying, well duh. Let me take it a step farther – step away from the phones and screens and cameras, and ENJOY your family. Make s’mores with your kids without having to get the perfect photo. Light their sparklers without worrying about them holding them still just right to get that Instagram post. Watching them play and run and laugh, without checking to see what everyone is up to on Facebook. Holding your toddler on your lap as you watch the fireworks above and feel his breath get taken away ever so slightly when there is a truly beautiful explosion above you.
Yes, I take photos. Yes, I have been THAT mom, and sometimes, I still am. “Please just hold still, just one photo, okay not that way, look over here, smile, now hold it a little higher, look right here, smile, no not that smile, a nice smile, come ON once we get one photo you can go.” Yep, been there, done that, probably within the last week or so. As my son has gotten older, and we have a new little life in our family, I have been better though, about truly being present. Enjoying my littles, doing the weirdo crazy stuff with them without worrying about the perfect photo and what everyone on Facebook is going to say. Laughing with my husband at “That’s what she said” jokes while our son tries to figure out what the heck we’re talking about. He’s almost there, so I want to enjoy the time when he has no clue.
I was going through past year’s photos, trying to find an amazing fireworks photo to post. I went through 10 years of photos – no exaggeration – and couldn’t find one that was just amazing. Why? I know how to take them, I know the technical side. But fireworks take my breath away. I get choked up watching fireworks – yes a weirdo, but it’s true. Watching such beautiful lights twinkle above me with my family close by means SO much to me, that every time I swear I’m going to get an amazing photo, I never do. When I was going through past year’s photos and couldn’t find one, frustration started to set in. Then I took a step back and was kind of proud. I don’t have a single awesome firework photo, and I’m perfectly okay with that. Because that means that I was just holding my camera out at a distance, but not really paying attention to the camera. I was paying attention to what was going on around me, and drinking in the experience.
Photos are important, those memories are priceless. Yes, take some photos, remember those times. But DON’T spend your day behind a camera tomorrow. DON’T spend your time on your phone, or on social media. Enjoy your loved ones, and be truly present in the moment. I am going to aim for that as well.
Love to all and happy bling your American flag shoes because you can day.
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