I have a new blog post up on Flagstaff Moms Blog. And this time – it’s not the writing I am most proud of. It’s the pictures – and not because they’re particularly brilliant, but because they are the result of making time for joy.

Back before I took my big scary leap from workaholic world I strived for perfection in everything I did. I had been so caught up in “perfection” for so long, that I didn’t really know what or how “to be” unless there was a perfect end-goal for every action in my life.

One of the assignments my counselor gave me (to unwind the crazy in my life) was to make time for joy.

It was a long conversation, but here’s a synopsis:

“What makes you happy?” she’d asked.

“I don’t know…my kids, of course, my husband…” I’d replied.

“No – I mean, what do you do for you and no one else?” she pressed.

Dang. I didn’t have an answer.

I loved to write, but it was still more part of my job. Now I write because it brings me joy…not always cash.

But at the time, when I searched my soul, I said this:

“I love photography. I’m not very good at it, but can recognize amazing photography and appreciate it. I’ve thought about taking a class or getting some lessons?”

And my counselor – bless her heart – lay the smack down on me.

She pointed out that I don’t HAVE to take classes or be very good at something to love it. That the thought I can only take pictures when I’m excellent at taking pictures feeds the perfectionist in me, and so my assignment was to go out there and TAKE PICTURES.

I scheduled 15 minutes every day to just go for a walk and take pictures of whatever interested me. And I did. And I loved it. It brought me joy…”just for me” joy.

I took a zillion photos and stuffed them into a folder on my computer desktop called “fun fall pics.” I shared a couple with my counselor to show I was in fact doing my homework. And I said to her…”They’re worthless, but I’m glad I took them.”

I’m sure she countered with something really deep…but to me…the pictures were not a part of a project. They weren’t a task on my “to do” list. They held no value other than the joy I felt when taking them…which at that time, meant they weren’t all that valuable…even to me.

But you know what…a few of them are being used for something TODAY. My new blog post on Flagstaff Moms Blog about fall color in Flagstaff. It was a last-minute thought…to send some of the pics I had taken of fall color in and around my neighborhood. And it’s live. The owner of Flagstaff Moms Blog liked them enough to publish them with the post – and she has one heck of a good eye for photography.

It doesn’t mean the photos are comparable to anything that could be achieved by a professional photographer. But they wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t made time for joy.

I could wonder how many other opportunities in this life I’ve missed because I wasn’t making time for joy…but instead…I’m going to focus on how making time for joy resulted in an unexpected #win for me in my life today.

You can check out the photos – and the best places to enjoy fall color in Flagstaff – on the blog here.

Are you making time for joy…true “just for you” joy? Think about it. And let me know.

Much Love – H

 

 

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