the sweet light » Film photography and natural light.

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being present

There are never enough hours in my day.

There are so many thing I’d like to do, try, and create.  And it’s pretty hard to look at all of the inspiration online and think that everyone else has it together – more time, energy, and means to do everything I would like to do.

It’s a challenge to prevent myself from feeling the need to constantly update this blog, my instagram feed, flickr, etc.  Like not doing so somehow means that I am not making progress towards my goals.

And then, I read an Rebecca Parker Payne’s “Undocumented Hours” in Kinfolk, Volume 4.  And her words spoke to me,

The past few years have levied a strange burden of proof upon our backs, a burden to account for our hours and days, to prove to all who care to watch from the screens of their phones and computers that we are doing something worthy with our lives.  In the meantime, we have forgotten how to be content in being present.

How guilty I am of not being fully present.  Of feeling that I must jump into a race of constantly producing more material to prove to my productivity.  When one is not directly linked to another.  It’s about quality, not quantity.

So I’m giving myself permission to do what I can, when I can, with what I have now.  And be happy.

  • Niru - August 5, 2012 - 10:14 pm

    My blog presence has always been based on this belief… to be content in being. Thank you for sharing this. I’m so glad someone else feels this way too.
    ‘the sweet light’ is definitely a place of quality for me.ReplyCancel

  • Anne - August 5, 2012 - 10:38 pm

    That’s really sound advice. I’m going to take you up on that. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Klo - August 5, 2012 - 11:15 pm

    I fully support that. Enjoy being and being happy! I gave up trying to blog regularly, a long time ago. While I feel like my business doe not look “busy” enough or as busy as other photographers’, this is all I can do at the moment. Enjoying time with family has come first.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia - August 5, 2012 - 11:27 pm

    You are worthy for who you are, not for what or how much you produce. Your work always reflects your honesty and integrity. You are doing enough.ReplyCancel

  • Paula - August 6, 2012 - 6:26 am

    Yes to all of that. Beautiful post xReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - August 6, 2012 - 8:34 am

    I often remind myself of this quote, especially in context of what you’re talking about here: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” We can never keep up, and that’s OK. We all should be kinder to ourselves, and I’m glad you’re giving yourself permission to be. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Caillier - August 6, 2012 - 9:48 am

    Beautiiful and oh so true.ReplyCancel

  • sarah - August 6, 2012 - 10:46 am

    your words fill me to the brim. i often think about facebook and flickr and all the other forms of social media, and how a lot of people (myself included at times) have used them not as a means to connect to people, but as a form of validation – and it doesn’t seem to have any roots in healthiness.

    i love your polaroid shots with the hassy, always.ReplyCancel

  • traceykinohio - August 6, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    Same for me. When I first started the blog, I felt like I had to post daily. It was almost such an obsession that I had to remove the ‘followers’ tab; if one person dropped off my list, I knew it was because I was boring, etc. Then I let it go. I post when I have something to say,or cool pictures to share; same thing for FaceBook, & I’m not on Twitter or anything else. I even let go of the “365 Photo” project because it pressured me into everyday. It’s easier to let it all go & do what moves you. When it moves you. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Jade Sheldon - August 6, 2012 - 5:26 pm

    Gosh, I can completely and enthusiastically relate! It’s so hard not to compare yourself to others. I am constantly afraid that I’m not doing enough and forget to live in the present. My husband and I are both trying hard to work on this. Being newly married, we are always talking about the future and worrying about the future, so much so that sometimes we take for granted the life we are living right this instant.ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen - August 8, 2012 - 12:57 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I just got back from vacation visiting a friend who spend so much of our time together documenting what we were doing on her phone that I felt like she wasn’t even with me some of the time! I want to be sure to spend my time being instead of showing.ReplyCancel

  • Amy De Ruyter - August 12, 2012 - 7:47 am

    I totally agree with you. I haven’t been bloggin long and already feel the same way. I wrote something of my own about the same thing and mentioned your post in it! xxReplyCancel

  • Christina - August 13, 2012 - 12:46 pm

    such true words. and i happen to adore this photo.

  • twiggs - August 13, 2012 - 6:40 pm

    great perspective! i also feel the same and the decision of letting things go for a bit, it’s quite amazing and it can set you free!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - September 16, 2012 - 3:51 pm

    I do hope you have been successful with your choice to embrace being more present. Just over a year ago, I found the same thing that you posted (Payne’s quote) to be the case in my life. I became upset with myself that I had allowed that to become my way of being. So … I shut down my Facebook account, kept away from my computer but for once-a-day and allowed myself only minutes at the time to check emails and respond. It made a huge difference in my life. I began to truly live in the moment — in real life, real time. I still do but now (no Facebook, however) I do allow myself to be on the computer though if I find I spend more than an hour, I get up and walk away more determined than ever to make up for lost time outdoors or enjoying life beyond the screen. Whew! Sorry for that long harangue. Anyway, I understand those thoughts and hope you are doing well in being present. Warm wishes – Diane.ReplyCancel

  • october » the sweet light - October 16, 2012 - 8:52 pm

    […] I’ve been working on a few projects which I’ll share soon.  And spending a lot of time with my girls, being present. […]ReplyCancel

  • almost spring » the sweet light - October 4, 2015 - 9:52 am

    […] Sometimes it feels to good to take a step back, disconnect from the internet and really be present in the lives of those who mean the most to […]ReplyCancel