by Bethany Maines
Several years ago I realized that over the course of a year I would collect an assortment of what I would call one-off photos. Photos of memories that I didn’t want to forget, but that didn’t necessarily rate printing out and hanging on the wall. My solution was to create a “Year in Review” photo album. The genius of this plan is every single time I or someone else says, “When did we do that one thing in that one place?” I can look up the answer. The problem with creating an album that tracks all the mundanities of the year is that you can see at a glance just how boring you were in a given year.
And in looking at my most recent batch of pictures it’s pretty clear that my 2015 was pretty boring.
I blame my daughter. My husband and I spent 2015 repeating the new parent mantra: We’re making it. Yeah, we’re totally making it. Nope, no, no, not making it. No, wait, we’re back. We’re making it.
Any life where the bar for success is set to “just making it” doesn’t leave a lot of energy for doing new things or going new places. Now, I know, I know, I’m supposed to be reveling in the day to day joys of parenthood and treasuring every tiny moment with my adorable baby, blah blah blah. You know what reveling in the day to day joys of parenthood does NOT include? A vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I love each and every one of the the2000 pictures of my daughter I snapped over the last year, but the banner event of several months was literally a walk in the park. Which, while lovely, is not the same as actually going somewhere or doing something.
So as with every other person who has reached the end of the year and realized that their life hasn’t been heading in the direction they would like it to, I made a resolution. In my case, it’s to seek out new experiences and get a few pictures of things that aren’t my daughter. Which is why I kicked off the year by testing out all of my waterproof make-up and participated in a Polar Plunge into the Pacific Ocean. Sound cold? It was. But now I have a new memory and a new photo for the 2016 book.