My daughter dragged a huge box of photographs out of the hall closet because she needed an actual, printed on photographic paper, picture of our cat for a school presentation she was doing.
There it sat...the huge box of photographs. I might have been able to resist if my other daughter hadn't dived in and spent a good part of Sunday saying, "Oh, Mom, you gotta see this one..."
Soon enough, I was sitting on the floor, piling through hundreds of photographs--more than 25 years worth of things I cared about enough to take a picture. I was struck by the fact that it has been a long time since I felt the need to snap a photograph of anything, and it saddened me. The last time I took pictures with anything other than my phone was Spring 2008, when the family took a day trip to an old fort on the Gulf Coast.
And there we had it...the reason for the lack of recent photographs...the "family" thing. No family trips, no family holidays. No, "Hey, lets take the day and go skiing" or, "Let's head down to the beach for the afternoon", or "Let's go to Mount Rushmore on an 892 degree day". As much as those things might have seemed like forced marches to the children (or me) at the time, the photos don't lie--everyone was smiling.
I am going to cut myself a slight break because during the last year and a half, I've been buried in rebuilding, and too broke to do anything except work and go home. Also, l have been exhausted, just trying to get to a place where I can feel like it isn't all going to disappear if I don't keep ramming away as hard as I can, every minute. I'm just about there.
I'm not so full of myself that I can't admit that if I had never decided to leave my husband, we'd still be doing things together like that--I'd still have a willing participant if I wanted to go do something, and so would he, and the children would mope about it but have fun when we got there. This is something I desperately miss--being inspired to go do things, because you will always have someone to go with you. Even if it turns out to be dumb, you can always just shrug and say, "well, that was a bust--wanna go get a drink or something?"
The lack of willing participants in my grand schemes of late has been rather disappointing. I love my friends, but...they never want to do anything. I say, "hey, let's go to this show!" and they say something like, "I dunno...I can't stay out late, and it's on a Monday, and there's traffic, and I'm old, and they don't have any chairs at that bar so I'd have to stand up the whole time..." blah, blah, blah, excuses, excuses, excuses. It's depressing that a lot of people I know would rather sit at home and watch TV than get out and experience anything. They act more like 70 year olds than 40 year olds. I say, yes, you'll be exhausted, yes, you'll have to stand up all night, yes, you'll have to fight traffic. But more importantly, you'll have something that can't be taken away--good times, good memories.
If you actually recall any specific dates or details involving a television schedule even one year from now, congratulations. But I bet you won't.
And so it is resolved...I shall get out and do more things, and I will take pictures. I will drag my kids to more things, and, I will take pictures. I'll invite other people, but I won't let their lack of enthusiasm prevent me from going myself. Let them get old without me.
Also resolved? Prepare yourselves...I'm going to be sharing some pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. I'm going to flip through my past for you, to make way for the future. A little Shelly Payne memory book. We'll go back to...the mid 1980's. All the cute boyfriends/spouses and funny friends, all the smiling children. And while I will NOT be posting any photographs in which my hair is truly embarrassing, yes, there will be pictures of me, which is kind of a bloggy first around here.
The thing is, I've had a lot of fun in my life. A lot. Lots of funny stories, and love affairs and hilarious kid moments. I'm ready to have some more. Who's with me?