Darling – will you hear me for a second? Don’t forget to love the things you love. I relearned this for my own self recently, and I think the story is important. Get cozy.
I used to take my phone with me everywhere not so much for phone things but for the camera. In fact if there was a pretty aesthetic somewhere, I’d go and get my phone so I could try to find a way to photograph it. Raining? Let me find the prettiest view of raindrops through the right window. Sunshine? Maybe I could blow some bubbles and catch rainbow reflections. A pile of pillows in a coffee shop window? Excuse me while I’m the weirdo trying to subtly get the lighting just right and keep that lady working on her computer out of the photo.
Two summers ago we moved up to a summer camp for my husband’s job and there was no cell signal. We had wi-fi in a few select locations, but I began to use the lack of reception and internet as a good reason to disconnect from my phone on a regular basis. I don’t think that was a bad idea, but I began to lose my habit of cell phone photography. I wasn’t a professional by any means – I just loved trying to capture moments of beauty. But slowly that capturing slipped away. A whole year went by that way. I even started taking walks at home without my phone. I don’t think that was a bad practice either, but maybe I was too thorough. I went through our second summer at camp and have scarcely any photographs to show for it.
But now I’ve realized that since I’m not looking for beautiful pictures, I’m not even looking as much. I don’t notice the beautiful things that would have captivated me a year or two ago. And I miss that.
I set out to spend less time with my phone and I accomplished that goal, but I should maybe have been more specific with myself. I should maybe spend less time scrolling through social media from the comfort of my cozy corner chair, and more time out photographing the pretty things I love to share on Instagram. So darling, don’t forget to love what you love. You can find yourself missing pieces of you that you never intended to let go of, and that would be a real heart-break. The world needs all the beauty you have to offer.
It’s true that sometimes you need to step back from the things that you love for a little while. I stepped back from writing for a while and came back refreshed and ready to do more. It was wholesome, if tumultuous. I understand that we need breaks, time to rest, moments or months of quiet. But I came back and I think the coming back is important.
I’m just now coming back to taking pictures on my cell phone and it’s giving me life in ways I had forgotten about. What beautiful things have you forgotten to love? What favorite habits or life-giving places have you been setting aside for too long? Don’t forget that it’s ok to love the simple things – taking walks or going for a run, walking through a greenhouse or planting a garden, sitting at a coffee shop or practicing a pour over. These little habits of ours are restful and nurturing and odds are when you neglect them they’re taking more from you than you know.
Set aside some time to be frivolous. Take your phone with you on a long walk. Stop to photograph anything that catches your eye, big as a house or small as a leaf. Lace up your running shoes and do the extra mile, even if you feel like you should be home doing the dishes. Bake something and if you’re worried about that baking habit sticking to your hips, look up a new recipe and discover ways to make your favorite foods love you back. Just don’t forget to love the things that you love, babe.