Changing my Default

I wish I knew what I was doing with my life.

I made that statement to Chad last night just as we were going to bed. Surely, he appreciates that I tend to muse about things such as life direction, the purpose of it all and everything in between in the late night hours just when he needs toothpicks to prop open his eyelids to even pretend that he is listening. (It’s true, I married a saint.)

Still he offered a quick, but not glib, response, Not knowing makes it an adventure. Since you don’t know exactly what life is going to look like, there is a sense of excitement.

There is truth to his words. (So the rational part of my brain tells me.) There is a feeling of adventure in not knowing what is next or what direction is the best. There is a sense of excitement in seeing more than one path, or 14 paths, and being uncertain about exactly which one is the “right” one. But lets face it, a trip to an amusement park will find me on the tea cups or maybe, if I’m feeling really adventurous, the swings, but the roller coasters present zero appeal to me. Standing with my feet firmly on the ground and looking up at the crazy people who chose to flip and dip and scream their way through a 60 second ride is plenty adventure for me, thank you very much.

Whatever the case, I find feelings of uneasiness and anticipation mixed as I look toward the days and months ahead. The changing of seasons. Moving from having a child with nearly every moment of nearly every day for the past 12 years to having nearly eight hours to fill with. . .

Therein lies the unease. My mind stretches to get a picture of what lies ahead and it’s like trying to picture holding your first born for the very first time–it’s just impossible to know until you experience it. My default is to fret about it–fretting comes quite naturally to me. Constant questions swirl in my mind. . . what does the future hold? What will it look like? What am I supposed to do? What path should I take? How should I spend my days? My months? My years? My life?

Not to toot my own horn (beep, beep), but I’m a gifted worrier.

In the quiet moments, though? When darkness falls and my soul rests, truth whispers to me. It calls out to me in the gentlest of ways and reminds me that all the important things are right here, right now. This moment is the one that matters most. In the quiet moments I am reminded that my days, months, years and my life are made up of a multitude of nows. Now is what matters.

I think that is why I’m pulled so strongly and deeply to photography. Each night after our little people go to bed I sit down and pour over moments from our days. On most days, our moments are nothing spectacular. We settle neatly between the Jones’ and the Smith family, but they are our moments. Our simple life will not be found in historical texts or documented in books, but it’s ours and when I allow myself to slow down and see what is right in front of me, I see something miraculous.

Each evening as I pour over moments from our day, I pause and reflect on the gift of today. I gather up our moments and hold them close and breathe them in as a prayer of thanks, realizing that even in the unknowns, this moment–right now–is a treasure too deep and too grand for words. . .

One night as I was gathering up the treasures from our day Chad came into my office and looked over my shoulder. The house was quiet and the chaos of bedtime had passed and I felt tears come to my eyes. . .

In that quiet moment I felt it, the gift of this moment. I clicked through images and mused to Chad, whatever I do with my life, this will be the most important. Seeing our story, writing our story, telling our story. These moments, while they are gone in an instant, will give us memories for our lifetime. . .

So, while the unknowns loom before me, I am doing the best I can to change my worry default, to a default of gratitude. When those gentle whispers of truth come my way, I know it’s true. . .

I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. . .

Doing exactly what I’m supposed to do. . .

Have a spectacular weekend, Friends.

  • Anne Blochlinger - Your words are such a gift! ?April 28, 2017 – 2:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Eiden - Summer,
    This really hit home for me. I have been so worried about my future lately because I have been without a job for the last year and the search for a new one isn’t going well. However, when I’m spending time with my family or friends doing things we enjoy, I find myself taking joy in the simple things and knowing what and who is really important. I try to hold onto those things when the uneasy feelings creep in. Thank you for reminding me of that.
    JenniferApril 28, 2017 – 3:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Summer - Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing a piece of your own journey. It feels good to know that while our journey’s might be different, so many of us feel the same feelings surrounding them. Jennifer, I wish you all the best as you continue to find the place where your supposed to be while also enjoying the place where you are right now.

      Thank you for letting me know you are out there. . .April 28, 2017 – 3:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Jacquelyn - Beautiful!!! May 1, 2017 – 5:53 pmReplyCancel