Thursday, January 04, 2007

Putting my money where my mouth is. (AND Friday Felicitations)

Well, if 2007 is going to be a year of growth, I need to start putting away all of my old crap. One of the things I need to put away is my hatred (yes, you read that right) of any and all photos of myself. It's MY bloody blog, isn't it?! WHY have I been so nervous and strange about photos of me? So here we are - cute eh?!

This holiday I was lucky enough to get to spend a day going through the six boxes of photos and home movies that my Grandmother left us. Two cousins, two uncles, one aunt, my parents, my brother, Mark and I all sat around my Mom's quilting table alternating between reminiscing and questioning. There was a lot of, "Aunt Wendy, who is this?" and "Does anyone know who this is?" But there was also a lot of, "Ooh! Look how cute..." and even more, "Oh, remember this?" Stories and people long dead or forgotten were remembered again. We made fun of old hair cuts and talked about friends and families and camping trips. We sat around and watched home movies on a projector with no sound. The 'grown-ups' struggled and rubbed their foreheads to remember the names of their old playmates, but could easily talk about where they used to play. For a few moments, my Grandparents were alive again.

I love old photographs. I love looking at the faces of the people who were responsible for me being here. I never really knew my great-grandparents, but I love and respect them just the same. Their lives created mine. I get goosebumps writing that. People wonder why I need photographs of them young when I never knew them that way. I need them because I need to remember that they were young. That they had dreams and loves and a life beyond what I know of them. I need to keep the perspective that my life will be short. My grandchildren will look at the photos I leave them and see me young. I want them to be proud. I want them to know me.

So from now on I am going to try to be okay being photographed. My Dad always says that if you don't get photographed, you won't have pictures and he's right. I want to remember. I want to sit down in 20 years and smile the way that my family smiled the day we went through Grandma's photos. I want to be surrounded by the happy memories and the spirits of the people who mattered to me. And I want to always remember that life is very, very short.

P.S. This should be my first week participating in Friday Felicitations but we are going away first thing tomorrow and I won't be able to post anything then. So I will add to this already long post my tentative first post on the subject. Megan explains it like this:

"It’s time to help each other throw out all that negative thinking and acknowledge those things we have to celebrate. Friday is now the day to blog your compliments, your accomplishments, something nice someone said to you, or maybe even something you are stiving to make better."

So this week I'd like to:
- acknowledge the incomparable Thea for starting her etsy store. I am definitely going to own one of her 'Blue Skies' pendants as soon as the money starts rolling in again!
- celebrate my drive to make this new year special and real and abundant
- enjoy that people have told me I was inspiring - sigh!

I'm new at this so I am going to leave it there for this week... love to you all!!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to spend time with family, sharing stories while looking through photos. You´ve reminded me of my goal to put together a family album...better get started! You are both gorgeous by the way and I´m looking forward to seeing more of you!

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine the amount of love around that quilting table. I remember sitting next to my dad on the couch while we looked through old photo albums. Ah, such memories!

Sacred Suzie said...

Good for you! I suffer from this anxiety myself and feel that putting yourself out there can be very exciting. You have a lovely smile and there is such vitality in your eyes.

blackdaisies said...

how beautiful ~ your smiling photo and your words, so true that photographs are so much more than a captured moment, they are the memories and discussions and love and energy :)

krista said...

Hey! Good for you! Nice to see you. I am like that with photos too. I only post photos of me where I think I look ok ususally.

They are few and far between.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

liz elayne said...

look at your beautiful faces and your gorgeous smile.

i could hear your voice as i read this, as though you were here again in my home, sitting next to me on the couch. (i miss you)

this opportunity to look at all these pictures, all the history that makes up where you come from, is so beautiful. how it led you to think about your own photographs...

i am so glad we are going to see more of you it!

amy said...

you have such a beautiful, warm smile! i feel the exact same way about having photos taken. but i love images of people and places i adore. i would like to let myself become part of those images... without my hand up blocking the camera or the surly snarly face. thank you for the inspiration to be Braver in 2007.


Letha Sandison said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!! Ahhhh, I love that smile and those eyes of yours my friend! That pic made me get a terrible pang of missing you!

I know what you mean about the new year...I feel like it is going to be an important one. I big beautiful and amazing one! Here's to it!

Oh, I posted, finallly :)

Miss you like mad, how's about a phone chat when you get back??? We have skype ya know.

PS: Keep the pics coming!

melba said...

It is nice to see your face!
What a cute photo!

Cynthia said...

Welcome to Friday Felicitations.
I love doing this challenge, so good for me.
Looking forward to hanging out here at your blog a bit more, getting to know you.

Amber said...

This is good! A good thing the leave behind, because you are beautiful and warm in this photo. Your grand kids will love it!

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

I love that photo, more please! I'm very, very visual and I love having an image of the gorgeous women whose words inspire and warm me. I lov having a face to put to the motivation I'm taking from your half marathon achievement - a smiling face at the other end of the treadmill!

Jessie said...

The list for the Create a Connection Mug Swap will be posted tomorrow (Monday)--don't forget to check the list! :)

I'm glad you're participating!

i have you sending to someone in the USA. is that ok??? let me know if you prefer not to.

la vie en rose said...

there's my meg--just the way i remember you, with those big, beautiful eyes and that fabulous smile. it warms my heart. open your arms to that beautiful girl...she deserves it!

Anonymous said...

oh, meg. thank you for sharing even more of yourself with us. i think i must sign up for this friday felicitations, now.

Anonymous said...

Photographs can trigger all kinds of feelings. Good for you and your willingness to face this challenge! I have a lot of trouble with pictures of myself too. It's actually something my therapist and I will start doing together soon.... me looking at (unedited) pictures with her support there. It's gonna be really hard.

p.s. Just found your blog and this post spoke to me.

ceanandjen said...

Absolutely...please continue to grace us with your sweet and beautiful face! I love that you spent so much time devouring old photos and that you hold them so dear. I feel the same way, as I know that those photographs represent family that actually "lived" long before I was on this earth. They experienced life's ups and downs and they are why I am here.

Thank you for sharing both YOU, as well as this special time you had.


HoBess said...

I loved hearing about your family gathered and celebrating its history. What another wonderful memory to have! Looking forward to seeing more of your amazing smile here!

Laini Taylor said...

You two look so cute!! Nice to see a picture of Mark, too. About photos, I know what you mean. I have to come up with some sort of "press" photo soon and I just cringe at the thought. But old photos -- yes, I love them too!! Sounds like a nice time around the sewing table. And Happy New Year, Meg & Mark!!

Anonymous said...

Those eyes-that face-oh what a shame not to have tons and tons of photos. I love staring at your photo here in my home. Darling you are so beautiful-and it radiates through your face in pics.

More more more!

You my sweet are very inspiring to me:)

I discovered that calling you is not free as I once thought...ooops..but worth every penny.

I think we need SKYPE.

Love and hugs and kisses gorgeous one.

Susannah said...

baby, there needs to be more pics of you out in the world cos you're so fricken gorgeous (and i know - i've *met* you) Sending you and your cutie big hugs xxoo

Anonymous said...

Megg, an absolutely beautiful photograph! And a lovely post. The Friday Felicitations sounds good.

Anonymous said...

'No photos - no pictures' so true. And you needn't be afraid of your own image - it's warm and pretty and cute ... so there! (And that goes for the man-in-your-life - tho' probably more good-lookin' than pretty! ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh, this picture makes me happy!! You are so beautiful...I'm thrilled to hear of this decision to start having more pics of yourself. Indeed, pictures capture moments, youth, love, experiences of a life lived well. Pictures will live on long after we have passed and will carry our spirits on to those that come behind us.
As always, I find my heart uplifted when I read your posts. I have missed you and hope you are well, sweet one.
I must write you a proper email soon...too much time has passed and you are right, life is very short.
lots of love and hugs,

Marilyn said...

Very cute photo! And we did some of that rummaging through old photos when I was home last weekend...big fun.