Thursday, January 3, 2013

Breathe {Inspiration for whenever!}

What does a new year mean to you?  A clean slate?  A reservoir of possibility?  Maybe the turn of a year is a deep sigh of relief that the past year has ended and can be left behind.  I think for me, a new year is a time to reflect on the past year - to see what I want to repeat and what will (hopefully) be put out with tomorrow's trash.  It is also a time to look forward - to hope, dream and pray for what this next year will hold.  

Perhaps these two strands are necessary - the looking back and looking forward.  In fact, I think they may be essential to one another and we should not ever separate them.  To only look back makes us sit in either regret or a glorified version of a false history, and to only look forward means we live unexamined lives, never gleaning from the past those practices that need to change.  (And thus, history repeats itself!)

2012 was a year, like every year, full of really difficult things and also great moments of joy!  My business did really well and I am so grateful for every single client (who are now considered friends!) who hired me to capture some part of the story of their lives.  However, I also discovered my tendency to move into a frenzy to get projects finished to the neglect of my family, relationships and my soul.  I realize I stopped writing these {breathe} posts somewhere in the summertime, because as I look back I know now, I was exhausted with no words to write.  (Let's be honest...2012 showed me that I was a hypocrite!  I forgot to live in my daily life what I was writing in my {breathe} posts!!)

2012 was also a year of great beauty!!  I have just gone through many, many pictures from this last year to update the website and I was again struck with how beautiful each and every person I have had the privilege to photograph is!!  I really mean matter the body shape, the amount or lack of wrinkles, the color of hair, or the whiteness of the teeth....people are beautiful and I am grateful I get to photograph them!  But as I reflect, I realize I also had to face the dark parts of my life too.  I became aware that I had probably been struggling with depression for the last 2 years or so.   I am a super functional and friendly person, so I think only those closest to me would have know this, but I had areas of deep grief that I needed to work through (and am still working through).  I began anti-depressant medications a few months ago and I feel joy returning to my being.  (Now, to be honest, I've been a little cautious to share this because there are lots of opinions about mental health issues in this country.  However, I share it so that if my little story can encourage one other person to seek help, then it is worth it!!)

If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you many know that I do not do New Year's Resolutions.  Partly because there are so many resolutions I probably should make; partly because after the Christmas season I've eaten everything (and I mean EVERYTHING!!) that was put in front of mean (and it was all delicious!), so of course a resolution should include working out; and another part of me knows that I can keep resolutions for all of about 3 days and which point I begin to justify that life as it is right now is really great and needs no change at all!

Instead of resolutions though, I usually pick a word for the year...kind of like a theme to keep circling around.  This year I don't have one word, I actually have two:


As I move into 2013, there are some areas of my life that I need more of and others that I need less.  Each month (or so) I want to pick 2 areas for my MORE and LESS theme...and sometimes my family will join me!!  Our first is here:

I am starting with the word MORE, so my brain doesn't feel deprived and thus, feels the compulsion to rebel against my intentions!  Yes, "move more" is one of those sneaky ways to get in a workout theme, but it takes the pressure off of me to be super rigid.  Plus, it just reminds me to get up off my butt (I work in front of my computer A LOT!) and get moving...not just a trip to the gym!  And "read more" is my way of reminding myself to get away from a screen (for me that is Facebook, email, Netflix and Hulu) and enjoy soaking in someone else's thoughts in a noise free atmosphere, with no need to respond!

I will probably continue to blog about my MORE and LESS journey through the year, though hopefully the posts will be shorter!!  Sheesh!!  However...if this has struck a chord with anyone reading this, I'd love to be inspired by you.  What do you need MORE of in 2013?  What do you need LESS of?
(Leave a comment on the blog or on the Facebook page)!!

May this year be full of MORE great things for all of us...and a year of learning where we can live with LESS!!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.


Anonymous said...

So thankful to be included in your 2012 year - I smile everytime I see our pictures! As Kieran says when he sees them - "We're a FAMILY!"

I love your more or less - what a good way to make intentional choices for your life! My focus for this year is "as to the Lord" (and not unto men). Because I'm supposed to be doing it for Him anyway!


Tara Malouf said...

Thanks Tricia! It was a pleasure to photograph your family! And as I think of you guys, I will be praying for your focus this year!

Erin McFarland said...

I love you Tara!! You words...More or less...I like that! SO so applicable. I have many areas of life that need more or less lol!
You have a gift with words, as with photography, so I'm excited to read/see both from you this year. You have impacted me as a photographer- not sure you know that ;). Especially with weddings, I find myself channeling my inner Tara and saying "just tell their story". I find myself enjoying my work more that way too. Thank you thank you for that.
Hope I get to see you in person sometime in 2013...always love time with you.
Love you friend!

Tara Malouf said...

Thank you, Erin! I am honored and humbled by your words. And yes...I think MORE of Erin in 2013 is a goal of mine!