Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Good Things Can Happen When You Pay Attention to the Everyday

A couple of weekends ago, my friend Cheri and I got together to hang out, and we couldn't think of anything we felt like doing.  Does that ever happen to you?  It sounds ridiculously silly as I'm sitting here typing it out, but it happens.  Maybe it's a Type A personality thing.  I feel like I'm always so busy, and sometimes when I finally make downtime for myself, I just can't think of anything to do that sounds that enticing.  I think part of it is feeling like because I only have so much time for fun, I absolutely must take full advantage of whatever time I have with only the most interesting adventures. It's not exactly something to complain about ("poor me, I just can't think of anything fun to do!"), but as Cheri and I sat at a coffee shop, attempting to make plans for the day, we both started to get frustrated.  Eventually we realized that we were trying too hard, and that we should just go outside and walk around.  We decided to grab our cameras, take a walk, and snap pictures of whatever we saw along the way (which ended up being the photos that you see here).  Going to cool places to take pictures is something that Robbie and I do often, but it's a little more challenging to step outside without a plan, and photograph things that you normally wouldn't even notice.  It ended up being a really fun afternoon, and it kind of forced us to stop and take a look around.  I'm one of those people who is always rushed and so easily distracted that I unintentionally ignore my surroundings.



The next time you can't think of anything fun to do, I highly recommend just taking a walk with your camera (or phone) and snapping some pics of the things you see.  You don't have to try to take technically perfect pictures.  You don't even need to try to seek out interesting things to photograph.  Instead, just focus on what's in front of you.  Even if you just venture down the street or into your backyard, you'll be surprised at the rad things you notice when you're paying attention.  It's a really great exercise in slowing down and being mindful.  I'm a pretty stressed out person by nature, and I spend a lot of time locked away in my house (much of it alone while my husband is on the road) working.  And I think the combination of these things causes me to fall into the habit of convincing myself that I need to fill my breaks or time off with only the most exciting activities.  But somehow, it usually seems to be these little, unexpected outings that leave the biggest mark.  They help me calm down and feel grateful, and I always end up feeling satisfied with the way I chose to spend my time.  Good things can happen when you pay attention to the everyday.

Photographs and top image design © Bubby and Bean.

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26 comments:

  1. Totally agree with this, sometimes we're so busy and forgot about what really matters, which is enjoy life as it is

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  2. What beautiful photos!

    I did a whole art project in uni on "seeing the unseen". I basically walked my usual route to the train station, which I had done every day for months, and looked out for the details I had never seen before- a footprint in the painted lines, a crack in the pavement, a paint drop on the telegraph pole. I photographed them and used them as the basis for my artworks.

    It was really interesting and I got the highest mark for that project out of all my assignments over my whole degree.

    Becky
    xx

    http://www.beckybedbug.com

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  3. Such gorgeous photos!!! I think your right, it's a great lesson and remind. I'm printing the top image to remind me :-)

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  4. It was definitely an afternoon well spent - these pictures are just beautiful!

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  5. Haha you just described my inner monologue every evening...

    "oh I only have so much time to have fun, so I'd better maximize my adventures! What can we do?!?! Oh, we're trying to save money...ok what can we do for free that is a crazy adventure? Really all I want to do is hang out with Logan and listen to music and draw. But that's not crazy enough!!"

    And then we often cycle around getting frustrated with not having a clear idea of what we want to do. Eventually we get hungry and cook together and just bop around the house and it's really enjoyable, but the stress and pressure we put on ourselves to maximize every second is such a waste of time!

    I find myself the most content in the in-between times....walking back from the store and just taking time to be. :)

    Keep on keeping on lady friend :)

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  6. oh, sometimes it happens. i also have such moments when i hang out with friends after work etc.. so yeah I'm also definitely type A <3 :)
    http://coeursdefoxes.blogspot.com/

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  7. lovely photos. your images are so vivid! what kind of camera do you use?

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    1. I use a Canon T2i, usually with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. All of the cameras and equipment I use is outlined in this post. :)

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  8. So great!!! I just dumped my camera, and realized how many pictues of random happenings I had, I couldnt even remember where some were from. You look like you had an awesome walk!!

    The quote "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. " comes to mind.

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  9. What a great day! I'm not the best at focusing on the present, but I'm trying to get better :) so many wonderful things can happen. Love this post!

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  10. I love the photographs you took. Macro shots are awesome because they reveal the details and textures of things.

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  11. love this. it's funny how much you miss every day. im going to try this out soon...such beautiful colors & things.

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  12. Yep this has always been one of my favorite things to do, just wander with my camera. :)

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  13. ... so true.
    Great post!
    Gorgeous photos!!

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  14. Such a sweet and inspiring sentiment! I have my little digital camera with me wherever I go (I am quality picture phone-less) and whip it out whenever I see something I want to take a picture of. You just never know when that will be so I always try to be prepared. I do take outings to take pictures but never of the "everyday" things like this. I should to more often I think : ] Yours turned out awesome!

    P.S.--Photoshop has been calling my name for over a month now. Yesterday I couldn't stand it any longer so I came to your blog and clicked on the link you provided in your layering tutorial for where to buy it online and BAM! Yesterday was the last day of a promotion to save $30 when buying Photoshop new. I couldn't believe the odds! So I quickly purchased it up and have been playing with it nonstop--even trying my hand with that tutorial you shared to make some pretty photos for my new Etsy shop. And this is a long story, but basically I just wanted to say thank you for being an awesome Adobe Ambassador and inspiring me to finally get myself Photoshop to play with. I'm SO glad I did and have you to thank for it : ]

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    1. Awww, you're so sweet. Yay for getting Photoshop (and the discount!) :)

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  15. these are so beautiful and inspiring!

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  16. I also love taking pictures of everything I can see. That was in one of my las posts on my blog. Would you like to follow my blog?

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  17. love this. i think it is so important to actively take a moment to slow down and be FULLY present in the moment. so good.

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  18. Thanks for your comments your guys! xo, m

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  19. I really like this! I love taking a closer look at things that you would just normally glance at and think "that's pretty", but then move on. Its incredible how many details are in one little flower!

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  20. sounded like exactly what you needed. which shows a great friendship when you can have fun doing the simple. this just proves that robbie isn't the only one with excellent photography skills! yes, i mean you. i bet it inspired you with patterns, shapes, & colors too, didn't it?

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  21. Good stuff. I sometimes capture little surprises in my 1000 Gifts app based on the lovely Ann Voskamp memoir.

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