Archive for May 14th, 2011

May 14, 2011

Photography with a four year old…

In the interests of balancing lots of interests and spending great time with my family, I try to put the two together. Often the results are not quite as expected. Baking for example, is enthusiastic, but not terribly hygienic and photography becomes more about me holding my breath and trying to encourage discovery and experimentation, without the camera hitting the the floor…

To illustrate, here are some of my daughter’s photographs. We’ve been learning about photography together and to be honest, she’s getting to grips with it as fast as I am and she’s only four years old! I’m not quite sure what that means about my technical skills, but I love learning together.

Aurora in Italy

Aurora in Italy, by Eve

I know it’s a bit blurry, but I love it. This was actually taken in Pisa, 2009. And here’s a more recent one. Princesses are very important in our house!

Snow White in Temple Newsam

Snow White in the bluebell wood, by Eve

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May 14, 2011

Being Present.

Being a scanner often means that your mind can race when you’ve started thinking about something new; a new subject to pursue, business idea or project to develop.

This is fine if your day is clear of other responsibilities. You can just open that blank white page and pour yourself into it.

For someone  like me, who has a Good Enough Job as well as two children, it’s not so easy. Very often I have to stick a pin into an idea and try to wait until there is space in my day to develop it further. Ooh, how frustrating this can be, for two reasons.

Firstly, when an initial thought takes hold, it’s the most exciting time. The first spark of a thought, the frantic scribbling down of ideas and plans and the initial planning is the only thing I want to do and not being able to is really tough. I worry that things will get lost or forgotten.

Secondly, and much more importantly is that it takes my mind away from the present. Which often includes my children. How horrible it feels to be waiting for their bedtime just so I can spend time on myself. When my first priority is always to be a good mother but my mind wants to indulge in my scanner self, I feel a huge conflict.

There are several ways I am going to try and deal with this:

  • To stick the pin in and deal with it. I am a grown up. Sometimes it just has to wait. As my priority is my family, sometimes I just have to accept that I don’t come first. This means trying to stay in the moment with them and not let my mind continually wander back to my plans. It helps if I can get at least some initial things out on paper.
  • Better time management. When do I want to do this? Lunchtimes, early mornings, when the kids are at Grandma’s and yes, when they’ve gone to bed. Which means I need to deal with my tiredness at the end of the day and get on with my projects instead of slumping in a heap, wine glass in hand, in front of the TV!
  • Sharing my plans with my family. As long as I am guided by them, and allow them to share their own ideas, and realise that what happens might not be exactly what I had in mind, there is lots of scope for just trying things out and involving the kids. This works especially well with some things that I am interested in – usually the Barbara side of my mind, by which I mean things like gardening, craft, home baking.
  • If I do this, I have to remember that the primary goal is their enjoyment. If they’re not having fun, then I stick the pin back in, and wait for another time.
So, it’s time to start putting these plans into action!