Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Present is Now

by Dotti

The other evening when my husband and I went out for dinner, I saw this sign on the side of a store and I knew I had to snap it with my iPhone because it is the essence of my post today. Normally, I’d share this post on my personal blog but since my personal blog is on permanent hiatus, I’ll share it here. I always feel like I’m among friends here and I do think what I have to say is something you’ll all relate to. In fact, I know you will, because we’ve discussed it amongst ourselves many times here in our little FOL corner of the inter webs.

Last week we took our almost-annual beach vacation. Since our son-in-law wasn’t able to join us, we had our girls all to ourselves. It was delightful! Normally, my big girl camera is in tow with me everywhere I go but this year, I decided to pull back. Instead I made a conscious effort to take photos only of those places and activities that were important or special to us. I was not constantly pointing a lens in somebody’s face. Instead, I took the shots I wanted, then put the camera down, and enjoyed the present. The here. The now.

Yes, I took the obligatory photos of my granddaughter perfecting her boogie board skills (which I won't bore you with) as well as the beach scenes and coastal flowers and wildlife.

 But it was these photos of my girls that made the trip special.

A mother-daughter portrait while waiting for our delicious meal at a low country bistro.

This photo that perfectly captures the 8-year old personality of my granddaughter, the “now” that is her. In fact, today, June 15, she is now the ripe old age of 9. I can’t.

One of the things we love about our favorite beach is the nearby fruit and veggie stand. It is beautiful and awesome. One day when my husband and I were over there by ourselves, I just walked around taking photos. Bliss!

Another favorite is the little retail village just outside the island gate, filled with lovely boutique shops, a yummy ice cream shop and a pizza place that is always our first, and last, stop on the island. We’ve enjoyed many a scrumptious meal at this establishment.

And, of course, there was the obligatory sunset photo at the marina on the neighboring island.

However, there are far fewer photos in my Lightroom folder than usual after a trip. Embracing the idea that “living in the moment could be the meaning of life” enriched my beach vacation this year. Believe me, I still have enough photos to make a memory book, and although it won’t be as long as usual, it’s nice not to have to wade through hundreds of photos.

But the most important take away is embracing the moment. The here. The now. And I encourage you to do the same in your travels this summer.

PS - The other important thing I did, other than checking FOL each morning, was to limit my social media time. During our week at the beach, I spent almost no time on Instagram or Facebook. Not only was it relaxing, it served to help me keep my heart and mind anchored in "now".


AFishGirl said...

I really think you have hit the nail on the head about the being present, the "less is more," the whole pacing of things. I could not agree more. I've been waiting to see these photos. Ahhhhhhhh, so good, so good. Thank you for sharing what you see and learn along the journey, Dotti. The trickle effect is greatly appreciated from Seabright. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the 9 year old! Nine! Wow. Blows my mind.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Dotti! I have been moving in that direction more too. In our Bahamas time this year, I made and shared fewer images and focused those on what I loved the most. Also being forced off social media due to poor or non existent connections was a blessing in disguise -- it made me realize how much more present I can be when not checking in all the time. And how much more I notice and appreciate what is going on in my own life. I still enjoy keeping up with my favourite kindred spirits like you and other FOL gals of course…you all inspire me. Great post and images Dotti! And happy birthday to sweet Campbell.

kelly said...

I am right there with pam and sherry...making a conscious effort to pull back from social media a bit. staying present is my number one priority this year. will be taking your sound advice as we enter into the fullness of the summer months with lots of activities. so happy to hear you had a lovely vacation, and happy birthday to Campbell! xoxo

Focusing on Life said...

I totally agree with you, Dotti. So many times I've capture the picture, but missed the moment. My face was behind the view finder rather than soaking in the feelings of what was occurring. We all need to think more about just being there. Happy, happy birthday to Campbell!

terriporter said...

Completely agree with all you and others have said. There have been times I was so "in the moment" I didn't take any photos at all and was sad about that at first. Then I realized I had captured the important things in my heart. Being behind the camera all the time keeps you from really enjoying what is going on. And focusing on just the things you love is a great balance. Happy birthday to sweet Campbell! Nine??? Wasn't she just six?

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