In my family, I fill a number of roles. They include, in no particular order, the role of primary caregiver, wife, mother, friend, housekeeper, bookkeeper, librarian, storyteller, nurse, educator, cheerleader, and comedian. I have to put on my pants and fill the role of democrat, republican, and independent. I am a chef, artist, singer/songwriter, engineer, seamstress, stylist, decorator, journalist…
The list goes on.
Finding a balance between all of these roles may be one of the biggest challenges in my life, aside from trying to fix a hole in the soft organza fabric that details the 15 princess dresses that are taking over my dining room table. Not to mention trying to figure out how to get my 3 year old to eat. Or sleep. Or stop screaming all the time, especially when the baby is sleeping. And to my 4 year old? No, I have no idea where the warthog toy is that you haven’t played with in 2 years but are suddenly obsessed with finding sostop asking me before my head explodes from repeating myself.
It’s all about balance, but how do you find that balance?
For me, it is all about moderation. In regards to photography, and filling the role of the journalist, I find that I need to allow some moments to pass by, unrecorded. Picking up my camera was one of the most significant choices that I’ve made in my life. Since then, I’ve taken thousands upon thousands of images. It has become a part of who I am, and it has made birthday and holiday shopping for me incredibly easy.
I often need to remind myself, however, that my camera is an extension of who I am, and I cannot allow it to singularly define who I am (though it certainly does contribute to that definition).
I think (I hope) that we all have moments that we would just like to leave our cameras at home. Times that we just want to live in the moment and not be the one to document it.
I try to have an ongoing dialog with myself, and when I wake up in the morning I promise myself that I will be there, and be present in my life and the lives of my husband and children. I will use my camera with intention, and that moderation will allow me to find the balance I need to not only enjoy the time with my family, but it will save me from the guilt and regret of not getting any shots along the way.
How do you moderate yourself? What sort of dialog do you use? How do you come to the understanding that sometimes it is ok to leave your camera at home? That sometimes it is ok to allow the moment to pass, unrecorded?