Recently I took a day off from work and neither my wife nor my kids were home. This is a rare occurrence and I was planning on doing something that I would enjoy which is most often watching a movie or reading a book. Since I had some photos on the camera that I took with my boy, I thought I’d transfer them to the PC and have a look. That started me down a path that would keep me in front of the computer for the rest of the day looking at photos.
When you look through your photos and you have a little time to do it, it really is an enjoyable thing. Most of us these days have digital cameras that we can mount up with more pictures in a month than our parents would take in a season. Digital photography has really been a huge breakthrough over the past ten years. Gone from our youth are the fotomat booths that used to reside in the middle of parking lots. Like most things that seem to forever change our lives on a go forward basis, there’s a downside to it all and that’s the time we have to look at all those pictures.
When I was a boy, my dad used slides instead of pictures. My dad was a photo guru at the time and always had the best equipment. I remember we would set up the slide projector in our living room and our family of five would watch these photos projected up onto our living room wall and they were great. The projector we had shown a picture on a white wall not much different than the TV projectors of today. The great thing about this was that we did it; we made time for it. We looked at these pictures as a form of family entertainment.
Fast forward thirty some years and there’s so much going on and so many more things to entertain you. We have cable, DVR, internet, MP3s, DVDs, and Playstations on top of all the things we had available in the 1970s. For as far as the photograph has come, it still lacks luster these days because it’s competing against so many other fun forms of entertainment. After you take your photos, you plug your camera into your computer, you do a quick slide show and you’re off to the next thing because you’re so busy.
Do you ever take time to look at your photos as a family? Do you ever group some photos together and send them to your mom and dad? Do you ever put on some music you like and just scroll through your photos for a ½ hour and see how fast your kids are growing and how fast life is zooming by? These are some questions that seriously beg your attention. Usually the best we do is group some photos together and upload them to facebook. There’s nothing wrong with this, and it’s better than nothing, but my point is that you know there’s a goldmine right there on your PC if you only make the time to enjoy it. Now it’s not everybody that is letting his or her photos slip by. I think it’s safe to say our wives do a much better job of looking at these pictures and taking them in than we do as men.
If you do take the time to look through some of your photos, you’ll probably realize the same thing I did. You’ll realize that all the things you hear about your kids growing up so fast are true. You’ll probably see the growth of your children in a span as short as three months. Usually it takes a funeral for us to slow down and think about how short life is and try to embrace what is really important. But, just looking at our photos the other day gave me that same feeling. It was a reminder that my children will only be this precious age now and for a very short time to come. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed with work, chores, obligations, events, visits, and the like. Make sure not to let it get to you. Make sure it doesn’t prohibit your mind from doing what’s most important: being grateful for today and the opportunity to play with your kids. Carpe diem!