This last week was just not in my favor. I had a baby with a serious sleep strike going on. I woke up each day irritable and short tempered. That attitude overflowed onto everything I did. It seemed as if the kids were intentionally being terrors and trying to get under my skin, when the reality is that I was just acting like an asshole and being a bad mood Betty was the cause of all my strife. After a day where all hell broke loose, instead of pouring myself a stiff drink that night, I filled up a large glass with water and raised my white flag. I went to bed early and defeated and tried to be very intentional with my thoughts when I fell asleep; that tomorrow would be a better day.

I woke up, still cranky, but determined to get this monkey off my back. While still chilly, we have had some incredible weather lately, and I had an itch to get out and shoot. I figured fresh air and a heavy dose of vitamin D could cure my blues. Sharky hopped in the back of the car and we left the house early afternoon, just as both boys were ready for a nap. The setup seemed perfect. They both fell asleep quickly. The warm sunshine beaming through the windows, and the open road ahead of me, it was bound to be a success.

The boys slept the entire time and while I didn’t get off the beaten path to much, there were plenty of places for me to stop and let the dog roam free and stretch, and for me to crawl on top of the car and shoot.

I felt refreshed. I felt renewed. No one will contest that spring in Alaska isn’t beautiful. I came home pleased with the shots I had and happy to have something to edit that night. Noticing though that I needed to clean my screen. I did my very best to hold off letting the kids use my IPad, but I eventually broke down and they are allowed to watch on it at times. Consequently, their grubby little fingerprints covered my screen.

We got ready for bed that evening, all of us cheerful from the days activities. I tucked Hayden in and whispered that if she got up early the next morning, that I would let her skip the school bus and take her to school. Stopping to get breakfast on the way. Who wouldn’t have sweet dreams thinking of McDonalds breakfast!?

I grabbed my camera on our way out of the door, knowing that I could probably get a couple chances at some great morning light, while we burned off some time before that 9 am drop off.

Man. I felt so productive and proud that I had turned my bad week around. Until I noticed when I went to post the photo above on social media. I had cleaned my IPad screen, yet that pesky spot I had noticed on my photos from last night was still there. With a sinking feeling, I grabbed my camera and quickly scrolled back through all my latest photos. That spot was on all my shots. That smudge was not on my IPad but on my FREAKING LENS!

I spent the next few minutes cleaning my lens and wallowing in self pity. I was heartbroken that my photos now had a flaw that was completely preventable and my own fault. I scrapped the Instagram post I had started and removed the other photos from the Scrapbook Sunday post they were set to be in. Ugh.

That smudge nagged me all day. The smudge had teamed up with the monkey and made their way to my back.

It took me a while to realize that my own perspective was the cause of my frustration. There is a solid chance that most of you won’t even notice the spot. Or if you do, it’s not as distracting to you as it is to me. Perhaps this was the universe trying to tell me to get over myself. There isn’t a single person out there who doesn’t have struggles. Our imperfections and flaws are what make us original. Unlike anyone else. My baby who can’t sleep through the night will grow into a toddler who wants to sneak into my bed. Soon, school age and arguing about bedtimes. My three year old that gets into all sorts of mischief will eventually be to busy with his own life to need me to clean up his messes. That little spot that “ruined” a few photos is insignificant. I didn’t leave the house that day with the intent of getting award winning photos. I needed a fresh start, and I got it. Maybe that’s what our imperfections are there for. Reasons to make us step back and realize when we need a fresh start. And if that’s the case, things are going to stay fresh around here for a long time. 🙂

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