Breaking all the “Rules”

Easter Picnic

This is the photo I took with my Blackberry of our blissful lunch in the snow on Easter, at the tail end of an incredible day of skiing. At 2:30 pm Robby and I sat on a “snow bench” looking out over the valley eating our sandwiches… In four days of skiing in April, this was about it for the sunshine.

There is a certain phenomena that I call “laser focus” which has both its positive side and a dark side. I see it in my kids. They can sit in a chair without moving for five or six hours reading a book. The rest of the world ceases to exit.

When Charlotte was three years old, her favorite movie was “The Sound of Music”. She would watch all three hours without moving. If the old wall telephone, mounted directly above the basement couch where she was sitting rang, she didn’t hear it. She didn’t hear or see me unless I interrupted Julie Andrews by standing in front of the television screen. She knew every word of every song in the film, and could sing along.

Only since giving myself a break from publishing a photograph and a piece of writing daily am I able to see the pressure it was putting on me. I was so totally “lasered” in on posting something daily that I had lost my sense of perspective on it. The wall phone might have been ringing, but I couldn’t hear it. The same characteristic that allows me to see a project through all kinds of obstacles also causes me (and my kids) to get completely overwhelmed or to let that project take over our lives.

I’ve only pulled out my camera a few times in the last week and only written in my journal a handful. By giving myself permission to step away from the commitment I made to post a photograph a day, taken that day, along with a written passage, I quickly dropped the whole thing… like a hot potato.

That was a lot of work! I’m not sorry I started this project, but I do have to change the rules. I’m not sure who made those rules, but if they aren’t changeable, they are breakable!

Starting with last Friday, I broke the “daily” rule. Now I’m breaking the rule that “says” the photo has to be taken that day. Clearly, this image was not taken today. Had I published something taken today, it would have been soccer and frankly, I didn’t feel like uploading those photos and sorting through them yet. It was only when I found this one on my phone that I decided to write a post today. I didn’t really have any intention of doing so until I decided that it was valuable to simply record the effect that my hiatus has had on me. As soon as I took my foot off the gas, the car came to a screeching halt. Simply thinking about getting together a post for my blog makes me tired, but actually doing so apparently doesn’t. I’m kind of having fun with it tonight. That’s an interesting thing to note… I think I’ll just post something from now on when it occurs to me that I have something relevant to this “location” to say, or a photograph from “inside” my life that is worth sharing.

Soon I will have photos from the garden. The arugula and lettuce are up. I’m hoping to plant beets and peas tomorrow (I know, its a little late for peas, but it still feels like February outside)

1 thought on “Breaking all the “Rules”

  1. I stay at home and I my kids are grown up and I am not really retirement age. I love it, except when people ask me ‘what do you do all day’. Actually I do lots of things, many of them for no better reason than I want to. But when I hear that question I always feel slightly guilty, as though I should be doing something with a clear definition.
    I think that is why I make myself ‘rules’ about what I have to do – and then, like you, tend to become a bit over-focused on my own rules.

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