Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Project 365: Happiness is ..... (week one)

So it's welcome to the new year. And for some of us, or lots of us, it is a time to start a new, to refresh, reenergise and put all the crap that the previous year threw at us, behind us. For me though, I didn't have a bad year. I had a great year. Some of us make resolutions for the new year, but what was mine, was I going to have a project? some proper resolutions?? Firstly I wanted to look back on the year I had just said goodbye to.

2011 was special to me for lots of reasons. It saw me grow  a big fat belly (for the last time). I loved being pregnant and still get a little tweak when I see a pregnant belly, but I know that my family is now complete. I grew that bubba, and birthed him. He has grown into a healthy strong and very happy little man. I have a beautiful little girl that has gone through kindy, only one more term left, to become a strong, questioning, happy social little soul who I know has a wild and exciting life ahead of her. I also have a 'middle man' who is almost three. He's had a big year, going from not wanting to go to ELC to now loving it and asking to move from half days to full days. He has become more independent and has begun that great trip down the toilet training road. (I can't wait for the end of that road).

I decided to make photography my 'business'. Going head on to progress from it being a hobby, to making a real and definitive step towards becoming a professional, has re-energised my passion for photogaphy and I am ever so grateful for that. Towards the end of the year I have 'put myself out there' so the saying goes, and I have received a lot in return. Some of the results of which are still in the works. I have plans, I have bookings, I have inspiration, I have study, I have a new D700 (yay me!) and have dreams of some new (and very expensive) lenses. As they say, the future looks bright, with my rose coloured shades on of course.

So I have a lot to be thankful for... but I know I am not always as grateful or as happy as I should be. As beautiful as it is and should always be, I am still a mum to three messy kids. I need to cook, feed them , wash their clothes put the clothes away, clean the house... you get it,  lots of you get it. That, a lot of the time, gets in the way. I know it shouldn't but it does. Sometimes I just want the quiet that I used to have when it was just me.. then if I ever have the opportunity to get it, it always feels like something is missing! Mmm, what is it I am really after then??

So after pondering the year of 2011 and thinking about the year ahead. My thoughts went to resolutions and I have made some, professionally and personally. So my photo challenge, well I decided it could revolve around a resolution, a resolution to see the joy and the positive in everything.  I decided that I might need reminding of the small things. The things that should make me happy but often don't. I decided I wanted to breathe it all in, what I feel like is the monotony of life and turn it into something else. I want to take a photo each day of something, something simple that makes me happy, or that should make me happy. To not sweat the small stuff. I want to come away from this project being happier, less stressed, more generous, more open, more patient, more loving. I want to not be irritated by those things that sometimes drive me crazy, but learn to turn them into something that might instead make me smile, or even give me a laugh.

So begins my 'Project 365: Happiness is....'

Week One
Day One: 1st Jan 2012. Happiness is...being disorganised.

I missed it, photo taken as an afterthought. Oops, bad start!!

Day Two: 2nd Jan. 2012. Happiness is... three kiddlets.
Three pics (to make up for day one, he he). Everyday these three bring me joy.

Day Three: 3rd Jan 2012. Happiness is...a clean, tidy, well stocked pantry.

Part of my deal to myself for the new year was to start on an organised foot. These things take time, as my front room and kiddies rooms will attest to! But I got a delivery of groceries today. It was a big one. I thought ok, lets do it now. So finally clean, re-arranged and organised, this is the way I wish it to stay. I looked at it and it made me smile.

Day Four: 4th July 2012. Happiness is...friends with a sense of humour.

When Benjamin was born he received some gifts. One of which was this...(made me laugh the first time I saw it, and still does).

Day Five: 5th Jan 2012. Happiness is...doing a job I love.

I love taking photos. I am grateful that I can do it for 'a job' and spend my days creating and capturing gorgeous images for families. I love that they will pop them on their walls, see them and that the images will bring either a smile to their lips, or possibly a tear to their eyes.

Day Six: 6th Jan 2012. Happiness is...getting your bum wet for the sake of a good photo.

Inviting myself , and family, along to join in someone elses day out is not normally something I would do. But a friend said she was going down to Victor with her family, I thought since her kids are best friends with my kids that it would be an awesome opportunity for all of us to have a relaxing and fun day out. And wow, it was an awesome day. It produced some great memories and some lovely photos. The one below though is one I remember because I was in the waves trying to get shots of the kids faces as the waves came in. I knew I had to squat to get the angle I wanted, so sacrificing my dry state I sqautted and got this shot of the gorgeous Alice, I think just as I pressed the release the wave came up and wet my bum. I didn't care. It was a beautiful day.

Day Seven: 7th Jan 2012.  Happiness is...the rain.

I love the sound of the rain on the roof and the smell of life after the rain. When the rain stops, the droplets sit idle on the trees.  It makes me think about the cycles of life and lving and dying; how the rain plays such a big part, in so many ways in nourishing us. It makes me happy that I live in a place where the rain falls easily, and I have food to nourish myself and my family. Then my thoughts go to those that don't have all that, the rain, the food, the lucky life that we have. We have three sponsor children, and i feel happy that we can help them. Then I smile to myself, all of those thoughts, just from a few drops of rain sitting on a leaf.

Day Eight: 8th Jan 2012. Happiness is...sleeping in.

Since Benjamin was born I don't think we have been to bed before 11:30 pm. He likes to be with me from about 7-11pm to be cuddled and to suckle. Sometimes I feeel exasperated that I don't appear to have much freedom at that time of night, and helpless to anything but to give in to his needs. He has never really slept through the night, usually waking for two feeds. He won't settle unless he has it, so again I give in. We have been getting a bit stronger and letting him cry a little more. Last night I put him in and he slept, he fell asleep on his tummy, he cried a few times and was patted off to sleep. He woke up about 8am this morning. He had slept all night and in the meantime given me a sleep in. I am happy about that. But it has also made me realise he is growing up and the cuddles (eventually) will become less frequent. It has made me think about really what is important. If he needs my cuddles at night and my milk, then hey, he can have it. I don't think I will ever regret spending my evenings this way. But if he wants to allow me a little more sleep, yep, I'd be happy with that too.


  1. Great post Mel. It's nice to reflect on these thins sometimes. Loving the first of your pics and looking forward to seeing more as the year goes on!

  2. What a great way to start the new year- love the concept of "happiness is...". I always starting my decluttering/tidy ups in the pantry cause it's always messy in there - worse than the tupperware cupboard. :-)