Friday, November 10, 2017

B&W Photo Challenge

     I just completed the 7 days 7 black and white photos challenge.  Basically, each day you take a photo that represents your daily life and challenge a friend to do the same.  The catch is, you’re not allowed to caption it and you’re not allowed to use photos of people.  
     The photographer in me was very excited and inspired by the idea, but the writer in me struggled with the temptation to explain what the images meant and why I chose them.  So in an effort to appease both sides of myself and since the challenge has been completed, I’m going to explain the images now. 
     First, know, I chose each item purposefully.  I could have loaded images of my cats, my books, or my laundry (I probably spend 50% of my time doing laundry), but I wanted images that reflected a deeper sense of myself or at least combined the thankfulness I feel in my heart. 
     So here we go…
Day 1:
     I received some love on this picture but also an “eww”.   First know there was no hanky-spanky going on here.  This was taken on a Saturday morning watching TV in bed with my husband.  For me this picture represents the fact that he, the love of my life, never loses an opportunity to show me affection.  He continually supports me, nourishes my soul with love, acceptance and appreciation.  He uplifts me daily, encourages me, inspires me, and I know exactly how blessed I am that he calls me his wife.

Day 2:
     This photo was definitely a favorite.  I received lots of laughs, likes, and love on this one.  Yes, this is a sometimes annoying occurrence for most households, but for me it is a reminder that my family will always need me, even if it’s just for the little things.

Day 3:
          Contrary to what it may look like, pecan pie is not my favorite, but it is my oldest daughter’s, and this special day was her birthday.  Birthdays don’t occur in my daily life but the growth of my children does.  I am grateful to see the beautiful, kind people they are growing into and extremely blessed to be a part of their lives. 

Day 4:
      Okay, this one might be a bit of a stretch but here it goes.  No, I don’t go shopping daily but there are often times when I feel faceless, nameless, and weary.  I think most of us do.  It’s easy to get stuck in a rut in our fast paced lives.  
     That was my initial thought when taking the photo, but the longer I looked at it, the more it transformed my opinion of how it reflected me.   I may sometimes feel faceless but I am also open.  My life is filled with imagination, opportunities and second chances.  I can be whoever I choose to be and I love that about my life, my country and my journey.

Day 5:
     The scariest of all my photos to share.  It took a lot of consideration before pressing that post button.  Surprisingly, I received a lot of love and support on it. 
     I am not vain. I do not have deluded visions of myself as being glamorous or even attractive. Sharing this very private image made me feel vulnerable.  But why should it?  Motherhood is not always pretty.  In fact it is sometimes downright ugly. 
     Motherhood is dirty diapers, sleepless nights, homework that never seems to end, forgotten backpacks, outgrown shoes, tracked in mud, piles of laundry, grocery shopping, tantrums, IEP meetings, chauffeur duty, teenage battles galore, runny noses, stretch marks and thinning hair.  There is so much that we neglect to share about what being a parent really is, it’s messy and seldom picturesque. 
     However, it is also fulfilling and sometimes quite beautiful.  Being a mother has offered me a front row seat to some amazing lives.  I’ve been blessed with long hugs, first words, dreams, hopes, failings, and deep unfathomable love. I don’t mistake their abilities, accomplishments, or exquisite hearts, for anything other than a reward for the scars I carry as their mother.

Day 6:
      Old and literary!  This is me to a ‘T’.  Yes, I’m a writer but I am also an old soul.  I have strong feelings of nostalgia for just about everything, and have recently started antique shopping, as a result. I’ve never considered myself romantic but I think at heart I must be, (just not in a lusty, busty, romance novel sort of way).   

Day 7:
      The final picture, says more about me, than you realize.  I’m not well traveled, but I haven’t been confined to one spot either.  Yet, no matter where I am, my heart lives in Oklahoma, the place of my birth, upbringing and shaping of my soul.
     Open fields like this, is where I played as a child, and oil wells like that one, are what feed my children today.  Oklahoma is where I learned about our father in heaven and in these vast skies I am reminded of him daily.  
     Because of my roots which are embedded in this red dirt, I am kind, I have faith, and I know what it means to work hard.  Because of my Oklahoma and what it means to be an Oklahoman, I will raise children with values, morals and compassion. 

There were lots of pictures in my mind’s eye to share but these were the ones I landed on.  I truly enjoyed the undertaking of choosing photographs that not only symbolize my daily life but who I am as a person.  It surprised me just how much I learned about myself in the process.  I challenge all of my readers to do the same, even if just for a few days.  J