There’s this app called Timehop. Have you used it? You install it on your device, then authorize it to cull through your photos, Tweets, status updates, Instagrams, etc.
While staying mindfully present in the present usually helps me stay sane, sometimes it is a fun diversion to take a trip back in time. We live in an era where we capture every good meal, each wacky moment, and any new make up trick or hair-do on digital devices, so there is no shortage of memories at our finger tips. My Timehops take me back over the past six or so years I’ve been on social media, and treat me to photos and status updates regarding my children and family– usually the highs and lows of parenting, but sometimes the perfectly mundane.
This morning, Emily and I are hanging out at home, waiting to leave for her well-child physical which for reasons I can’t recall, I scheduled in the middle of the morning on a work/school day. Whatever. It is nice to be able to take a few moments off from “life” to cuddle and play with my bubbly three year old doll.
My phone prompted me to check out my Timehop, and so I did, while Em watched Curious George operate a subway train.
Modern technology treated me to two of my all time favorite family photos and memories this morning, and they were of a couple of those perfectly mundane moments that are the exact stuff a good life is made of.
They were both “selfies”. The first was one of my children, my husband, and me from a snow day last year. We were all rolling around and playing on the floor, and I happened to hold up my phone at just the right moment. I captured us all looking a bit wild and messy, smiling so hard we were all almost squinting at the camera. It was just a perfect moment. We were all so happy, cooped up in the house on a stormy day, but at that exact moment, getting along with one another.
For what it’s worth, life as a working mom in our society is far from perfect or ideal. We do our best, but there are still so many moments of struggle, confusion, and a deep sense of inadequacy. I never feel like I am doing anything right or “good enough,” or like my kids are growing up happy or well-adjusted. I’m not around enough for them, and when I am, I am usually exhausted, overwhelmed, and frazzled. But this. . . this was such a sweet moment I caught with my stupid, distracting phone.
It only lasted a couple moments, and was most likely chased by moments of frustration with the children fighting, and me losing my cool. Yeah, that happens often enough that I could break the internet if I posted about every single one of those moments. I’m so glad I captured this moment because it was just pure love. And in the end, that is the important stuff.
The other Timehop offering that delighted me this morning, was a picture from three years ago today that I snapped of me and Emily. We had found a cozy moment after nursing and were taking a nap together. I happened to hold up my phone and got a photo of our profiles, nuzzled together in repose. It is actually a photo I keep on my desk at work, so I see it every day, but it never fails to make me smile and sigh. It was one of the most peaceful and lovely moments of my life with my darling little daughter, snuggled safely in my arms, her tiny tummy warm and full with mama milk.
In the end, Timehop is really “the highlight reel.” You know, the photos that reflect all of the great stuff and make our Facebook timelines look like we all have our shit together? I have a weird resentment for highlight reels that tend to taunt us into thinking everyone else’s life is going so much better than ours, like everyone else is eating better sushi, enjoying bigger cocktails, getting better presents, and riding in nicer cars. It is interesting to me how we chose to present ourselves on social media, and how we measure ourselves by the presentations of others. . . but according to Timehop, I do it too.
And my highlights are pretty freaking sweet.
So, it kind of makes me feel like, hmmm, I guess I have it pretty good and should be happy with what I have, rather than envying the good stuff of others. In a weird way, it brings me back to the present, and helps me to feel grounded and thankful with where I am.
It also makes me realize, shit, this time goes FAST!
I’m sure our obsession with our phones and snapping photos every two seconds will come back to bite us all on the ass. I have a lot of photos that I wish I hadn’t taken because I wish I had just been more present in that moment, and actually LIVED it as opposed to merely RECORDING it. You know what I mean?
But these two moments are ones I am glad I got physical proof of.
Do you use Timehop? How do you feel it affects your sense of your life, and being mindful in the present?