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Then and Now

Last week, on a dark and rainy day, I changed up my routine. I often go out during my lunch hour, mostly for a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air, but that day I skipped it. I didn’t feel like getting soaking wet. Instead, I pulled out my tablet, and spent half an hour reading knitting blogs.

It made me wistful for the Old Days. I used to start my day snuggled in bed next to my younger son, reading Posie Gets Cozy. And after the kids were safely off to school, and Neil was off at work, I’d brew a cup of coffee and enjoy some more favorite reads. Sometimes, I’d write a post for my own blog instead.

These days, I wake up with the New York Times, and have my morning coffee in front of three monitors and a screen full of PHP code.

It’s a different world.

Not necessarily bad, mind you. Just different. And sometimes I miss how much those old mornings felt like a cozy warm blanket.

Now more than ever, I feel the importance of finding beauty in my surroundings. I began taking photos in earnest in 2007, and one of the biggest motivating factors for me was better appreciation of everyday moments. And really, it was easy then. I had adorable little kids and I was full of creative projects to capture. These days, the kids want very little to do with my camera, and the moments I spend at home are not exactly flooded in natural daylight.

I’ve tried to inject some beauty to my work surroundings – the number of crochet coasters and do-dads topping my desk are a testament to that, as are my flowery polymer-covered thumb tacks. I created a Dropbox folder that connects my home laptop with my work computer, and when I’m processing my photos at home, I drop them into the folder to be used by my work screen saver. I always have a month’s worth of recent photos playing on my three monitors during my lunch hour.

I don’t really have a point here. I have just been thinking about those old days, and all of the pictures I used to take of everyday things. Occasionally, if I’m home, and the lighting is right, I still find some shots to take (I mean, that dishwasher rack was just dying to be photographed during my day off last month!). And once in a while I take a photo or two at work with my phone (which is miles ahead of the actual camera I used to use in 2007) but I have to be careful about that. I’m not there to make things pretty, after all. I’m there to be a programmer. I generally restrict my picture-taking activity to first thing in the morning (I tend to get there 5-10 minutes early) or my lunch hour. Either way, there’s only so much that can be photogenic in a cubicle, anyway.

I think the harder it is to carve out time to notice the pretty little things, the more important it is to do it!

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