{because i love her}

I've been really slacking lately.  On what, you ask?  Everything.  My house is a disaster, my 365 is neglected, I'm behind on editing the rest of the photos I took for my friend's daughter, Alexa, Kaydence has watched far too much television the last week, and my husband keeps asking when I'm going to make the chicken taco salad that I was supposed to make 5 days ago before the avocados go bad.  I have to say, I'm not proud.  All for what, you ask?  Calibrating my computer screen.

I have to admit, I'm not proud.  But my borderline OCDness kicked in bigtime with this project.  I just couldn't get my laptop to calibrate properly and so I finally broke down and resorted to the fact that I'm going to have to hook up our desktop monitor to my laptop and edit on there.  I've been having troubles lately with my photos not matching my screen when I get them printed.  I don't print much, so it has never been an issue, but now that I'm starting to do some shoots for other people, it really was time for me to calibrate my screen.  I'm a little frustrated though because I do a lot of my editing at night on the couch with my hubby watching tv beside me.  If I have to edit on our desktop from now on, that means I'm not going to be able to be near him since the tv and the desktop are in two different rooms.  I determined to get my laptop to a point where it's at least close.

Sorry to bore you with all those details.  All that to say, I'm feeling some guilt and regret that I lost those moments that I'll never get back.  And not just this past week, but all those moments that I've neglected a relationship in order to complete a task.  I always considered myself a "Mary" (in the story in the Bible of Mary and Martha), putting relationships over and above a task, which I'm embarrassed to say I took pride in.  But I was having a conversation with my husband about it the other day, just casually mentioning that I thought I was a "Mary" -- I don't remember the context of the conversation exactly -- and he exclaimed flat out, "you are totally a Martha."  And I quickly defended myself and said, "What?  I much rather sit on the floor playing with Kaydence than doing the dishes."  And he said something interesting that I never considered before.  He said, "no, honey, that's called laziness."  Laziness in that, I would choose playing with Kaydence over doing the dishes only because I was too lazy to do the dishes.  But if it came to a task that I enjoyed, I would probably choose the task over the relationship.  I kind of let the conversation drop there because I was feeling a little wounded, but only because deep down I knew it was true.  And it's probably not fair to generalize someone and say they are a "Mary" or a "Martha", because we have probably all been both at one time or another.  But this was an eye opener for me and I decided I have a problem.  I am lazy!  Ok, I won't generalize, but when it comes to some things, I am lazy.

The first step to recovery is admitting it though, right?  So I'm going to try my best, for the sake of my family and loved ones, to be better at not allowing a task to overshadow those moments.  Those moments that can so easily be dismissed, those moments when you say, "ok, honey, I'll read you a book in a minute...mommy just needs to finish this."  But when that minute passes, you don't follow through and before you know it you're on to another task, forgetting all about the promise to read a book.  So I'm striving for balance.  A balance of enjoying the things I love, without neglecting the people I love.  I'm brought to tears right now, just thinking of my sweet little family and how heart breaking that a treasured moment with them ever be neglected.

If you're still reading this, you must be a dear friend.  This got a little more deep than I had at first intended, but this is what has been on my mind lately, so how could I not share?  I received an email from a dear friend the other day, believe it or not, in the midst of all this inner reflection, and she said something very humbling.  She said, "...I'm a mom and a pastor's wife and I always say that I make no apologies...photography is not my whole life."   That really hit me because of what I had been dealing with this past week -- trying to get my computer calibrated and neglected more important things -- and I realized that I need to re-evaluate some things.  So here's to striving to live a more balanced lifand not missing out on those "moments" we'll never get back.

So I leave you with a moment I was so blessed to share in.  Before Kaydence goes to bed every night, we read her books on our bed.  It's our special uninterrupted family time and I treasure that time with my two loves.  After we read books, Kaydence usually crawls/jumps around on the bed.  Well, the other night, I had my camera out while her daddy was giving her a tickle session after books...and this is what I saw through my lens.  I'm so glad I didn't miss out on this moment. :-)

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9 comments:

Alicia Smith Osland said...

:)

Jen said...

This was such a touching post, Leah! And if you are lazy, I just don't know what that makes me, lol! You're doing a great job, keep it up!!

Christina said...

Leah, thank you for sharing this. I struggle with many of the same Mary/Martha balance issues -- and your husband's comment about laziness was convicting to me, too! It's solely by the grace of God that I'm ever able to come close to the right balance for my family. And I have to remind myself to not be too "Martha" about trying to be more "Mary," in striving to achieve that balance on my own strength. :) Anyways, sorry for the super long comment -- this post just really spoke to me!

Amy said...

Leah, your words in this post could be mine to a T. I struggle daily with doing what's best for my family and my girls and wanting to do something for myself without being interrupted while doing it or made to feel bad about it. I don't know that I have any words of wisdom for you. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone.

Tricia said...

Leah - I just started a book "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott. It begins with "The very first thing I tell my new students on the first day of a workshop is that good writing is about telling the truth. We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are." I commend you for telling the truth - I found this entry to be a very compelling, interesting, and though-invoking read.

I am often lazy about housework but favor tasks related to technology (emails, photography, etc) over far too many things/activities. Learning how to turn off and tune out technology will always be a struggle for me. Something that has helped me lately though actually came out of trying to husband in his struggle to be more productive. We're both using The Action Method but in different ways. (http://www.actionmethod.com/) I've decided to limit my technology use to shorter, more concentrated, designated periods of time. I've also changed my to-do list to be a bit different - I now have a very short list, sometimes only one thing that I want to accomplish each day, then my larger to-do list is separate - this way I don't always feel that I have a million things to do, that I can be proud because I did accomplish my goal for the day, etc.

Also, learning to forgive ourselves and learn from things is an incredibly humbling activity. It's very hard to forgive ourselves, but, if we don't learn to forgive in the hardest situations how can we forgive in the minor ones? Life is about learning - it is both the joy and heartache of our humanity.

Thank you, again, for your brave honesty - I love this post, and you. I hope you find the balance that makes you feel peace soon.

Nicole said...

What a precious photo. Just beautiful.

Nicole said...

All of your photos are just beautiful. I am your newest follower.

Leah said...

awww...ladies! thank you for all your encouraging words. it's going to know i'm not the only one who struggles with this. thanks for all your support and for reading...you are dear friends! ;-)

Cassandra said...

Oh sweetie - I cried for you with this post. It's an every day struggle to find the proper balance between mother, wife, woman, friend, and the other 45 "titles" that follow our names. Just know that I love you and I'm always here for you. ((hugs))