Sunday, April 1, 2012

How P365 Changed My Life

My name is Emily(aka mle Card) and I am a mom to two wonderful little kids. Meri is 4 and Benjamin is 18 months.  And wife to a very patient husband, Tom.  I’m pretty much in that part of life where you feel like you’re constantly moving and accomplishing very little. Life is just pretty much a blur. At the end of last year, I sat back and thought of 2011 and all that happened: our 10-year wedding anniversary, a trip to Vegas, my husband’s birthday, a visit from my mom, a huge trip to Seattle for a wedding, Meri’s 4th birthday, her first day of preschool, her first day of ballet classes, my son’s 1st birthday, my 33rd birthday, a 1500+ miles road trip to Florida, Disney for the first time, Thanksgiving in NY, and then Christmas at home. That was 2011 in a nutshell. Crazy, huh! And while I consider those moments to be ones worth treasuring and certainly should be recorded with pictures, I found myself wondering where the year had all gone. To be honest, I felt a little panicked. Here I was with my 4-year-old and 1-year-old, and I didn’t know how they got to be so grown up. Sure I could look at my pictures I had taken (and I’ll be honest that is no mean feat, I like to take pictures). But I felt there were so many gaps in our year because my photos were all taken around those big events with nothing in between. Were the gaps important? I think yes they are. We aren't defined just by the big events. I think we are more defined by the daily life. The routine and yes sometimes the boring. As I sat there I could hear the echoes of advice from that older generation of people: “Cherish these years they go so quickly.” “You’ll miss these days when they are all grown.” “Ah these are the good times”. And I try to cherish them, but man is it difficult some days. And then the guilt sets in. I should be enjoying this more. How can I not remember those little moments? I know that I had them but I can't remember any of them. How can I possibly remember all those little moments? There is no way for me to write it all down as I am just not that organized. There is something wrong with me. So as I sat there reflecting on 2011 and all that happened that I didn't remember, I decided something needed to change. But I had no idea what.

As I often do when I don’t know what to do with myself, I got on Facebook and just started to zone out. In my feed was a picture that one of my friends had posted in their project 365 album. I clicked on it and I started perusing through her year. I had known about p365 for several years, but didn’t think that I had it in me to keep up a project of this magnitude. I am one of those people who gets excited about a project, I go full steam ahead until the next project that interests me comes along, and then I lose sight/interest in the first project. Hence the half-finished cross-stitch projects and the unframed paintings that I keep meaning to get up on my walls. So I truly thought that starting a p365 journey would end up to be a huge disappointment. Wow, I could not have been more wrong. Day one, I captured this photo:
And I thought, this could be fun. And how neat would it be to look back and remember this moment forever? And over 90 days later I do remember yelling to my husband who was in the other room to come and take picture quickly. And even though it was just a camera phone picture I was in love because this is a picture of our real life. A somewhat serious 4 year old who has a fairly long attention span and a 1 year old boy who likes to get into trouble. Seriously, whoever said boys were different, they weren’t kidding. I get nothing done when he’s awake wreaking his cute little havoc. Like a good little p365-er I went to my Facebook page and I created an album. Under the description I wrote “Let’s see how long I can keep this up.” I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I have been doing this for a quarter of the year and I have yet to miss a day(though there were some near misses). And I have yet to run out of ideas for pictures(more about that in another post).
  So, onto the changing my life part. As I started taking pictures, I thought, “What do I want to remember about this day? Is there anything important going on that I might like to document on this particular day (i.e.birthday, a first something for one of my kids or me, anything new or different, etc.)? And if there is nothing new/important happening, what haven’t I photographed yet this year that I think is an important part of our daily life.” After 90 days I have captured some really interesting moments. Like these:

Temper tantrums, random face painting, beautiful moments, frustrating moments, silly moments, PICTURES OF ME (which to date have been so rare). Each day I think of and find new and interesting moments of our life that I know I will look back on and treasure. I have found joy and humor in even those frustrating moments. Being behind the lens each day has giving me a new perspective on life. It has made me step back and look at these moments and realize that I have the ability to slow down time. I know it has been only 90 days, but I truly feel like I have discovered a way to CHERISH the moments that everyone has been telling me to do. P365 has changed my life! I feel so much more appreciative of even the mundane things in our life. And I have found beauty and satisfaction in things I often found frustrating and boring. I feel happier!

  If you know me well then you know that I love God and I can’t finish this article without giving Him a mention. Excuse me for getting a bit religious. But it is important to my journey and I think it could be important for others. For me, I feel like I am better able to see the beauty of this world He has created. I feel closer to Him and I feel a greater longing for knowing Him by acknowledging the beauty of this life. Even in the mundane parts I see Him working in me and my family. Photography is turning somewhat into a form of worship for me.
  Now you don’t need to be religious or anything to experience the positive impact of p365. I think p365 has the ability to make just about anyone’s life better. And it is not too late to jump on this exciting journey! You can start your p365 today!!! Day 1 for you will just be the middle of the year. And honestly it might be a better starting point because you’re not also dealing with the post-holiday vacuum, or the other New Year’s Resolution. It’s never too late to slow down your life and appreciate its intricacies. Just hop behind that lens and start clicking. The rest will fall into place! I will be back next week with some ideas on how to make your p365 journey a bit easier on you and less stressful!


  1. Sarah's done a few photo-a-day projects. Some were shorter. She's only done one p365, though. I love looking at her pictures, for that one. Sarah's Pics

    I'm glad you've seen the value of taking at least one picture every day. I hear you on the little moments you just don't remember a month later. I'm not very organized on the memory stuff, either.