Ever have a time when you were in need of quiet reflection? Away from work. Away from home. Away from your kids and spouse? Away from life.
That was me today.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. Things have been rather chaotic with a lot happening in my life and in the lives of friends and family. In a word, it’s been overwhelming. So instead of facing what has been happening, I have been focusing on work and my family – all things I enjoy and love. What I have not been doing, however, is focusing on me and what I may be needing.
So, today I found some time to just get away from the noise of home, away from the work waiting for me, and away from the needs of my kids and husband. Today, I took some time for myself. What a concept, I know.
I was on the way out the door to the grocery store, but instead of heading out the door immediately, I grabbed my camera and then headed out.
My camera. My friend. The friend I’ve been neglecting for the past while. The friend who got me through so much – brought me back from postpartum depression I suffered after my second child. My friend who kept me company and helped me focus on everything beautiful around me when all seemed overwhelming and dark. My friend who always made me smile as I looked at the images we made together. The amazing captures of nature and the smiles and laughter of my children.
Oh, how I had missed taking photos. I didn’t really realize just how much until I took my camera and stopped at a local park and went for a walk.
Things have been a bit dismal this days. While I keep my head up and keep a smile on my face, things have been rather difficult. Not difficult because of anything that has been happening to me personally. But, it has been heart-wrenching to watch close friends and family go through difficult times. It has been difficult to hear about a friend fighting the good fight against a disease that never seems to give up. It has been difficult watching a close friend be diagnosed with MS and then find out she can’t take the medication she’s been using any longer because her kidneys cannot cope. It’s been challenging to know how difficult it is for these friends. It’s been difficult to watch as friends’ family and friends have been diagnosed and lost battles with diseases. It’s been a struggle to know how to support these friends. I’m just not sure what to do for them. I can be there. I can be an ear. I can be a shoulder. But, is that enough?
So, I took my camera out in hopes to find some solitude in the fresh air, and re-discover the beauty around us. This allows me quiet time to just be present with my thoughts. It allows me a quiet time to reflect on my life and how truly fortunate I am for all I have.
It brings me to focus on the beauty that surrounds me and I was struck by a number of things.
There are so many beautiful flowers blooming in the fall.
The colours of fall are a gift, truly.
Fresh water droplets on plants and leaves are so precious and delicate.
Reflections on the water are stunning in fall.
There is beauty all around us, we just need to find time to take a breath from what we are doing to take it all in and truly enjoy what we see (and hear and smell).
Here are some of my photos from my time of solitude . . .
It is so difficult to watch friends go through these difficult, life-changing times. It is important to remember though, one cannot help others unless they take care of themselves first.
How are you taking care of yourself?
How are you helping to ensure others take care of themselves.
14 thoughts on “Quiet Reflection”
Lovely post and the flower photos are really pretty. I know what you mean about doing something for yourself and getting really busy with other people & things. Last month I went on a 9-day cycling trip to get away from it all; it was fun, exhausting and really brought all of the important things in my life into perspective again. I blogged about my getaway experience here: http://elketeaches.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/cycle-queensland-2012-a-break-for-mum/
Thanks for sharing your adventure, Elke! I loved reading about it!
Not sure I’d be able to get away for 9 days though. Good for you!
Thanks Tia. The trip was a big deal; my first trip away from the family actually. Fortunately my Mum & Dad helped out with the kids while my hubby worked hard at work. So that hubby couldn’t talk me out of it I registered and paid for the trip while he was away on a work trip in Colombia, lol, and he ended up being one of my biggest supporters of the adventure anyway.
That’s great, Elke! I’m not so sure my husband would be too keen on an adventure like that. We don’t have parents who would be able to care for our children either though. Good for you! I bet your parents loved having your kids with them!
A wonderful post Tia. Thank you for sharing it.
Thanks Karen. We all need some quiet time to think and reflect on how things are going.
Beautiful photos Tia! I’m so glad you found some time for yourself.
Hmm, I’m trying to think of your challenge to take care of myself today. Took my vitamins and … darn, the day’s over. Going to bed hardly seems like taking care of myself. Tomorrow I”ll take care of myself by making a few calls to various doctors (and take my vitamins) 🙂
Let’s get together soon. It’s been too long.
So glad you’ve taken your vitamins at least tonight. Yes, you need to find ways to take care of yourself and let others help you do that as well. If you need anything, please let me be there with/for you.
Yes, we need to get together real soon! We should do an early dinner one night soon! What do you think?
Very inspiring and reminds me that if I don’t take care of myself, nothing will get done. I tried to start taking care of myself last week and the storm will give me a chance to work out again today and tomorrow-IF we have power. Before I had the kids, I took very good care of myself. Now, everyone else’s needs come before mine. I need to find time to change that-I have known this for quite some time. The pictures are absolutely beautiful! Very tranquil and grounding. Thank you for reinforcing what we all know but don’t always do.
Thanks for your kind words, Laura. You are right though, if you don’t take care of yourself, you will bury yourself and it will be much more difficult to get out. Oh, yes, before kids…. I have three of my own so I completely understand. Everyone’s needs seem to come first – my kids, my husband, my work. It’s important though that our needs are met as well. It is so important to take some time for ourselves in this quiet reflection or to do something WE want to do. This isn’t selfish – it is survival.
Thanks for your kind words about my photos. I sure do miss taking them. It’s time to ground myself and look at what’s most important. It’s also time to ensure that those around me do the same – friends, family, and people at work. So important.
I hope you get your workout in – you can always do it in the dark! 🙂
Great post from the heart and to the heart of the matter; that sometimes as care givers we forget to give some TLC to ourselves. It seems like a constant struggle to keep this in balance, and most times it seems like until something comes along to remind me, it is hard “to remember” in my gerbil wheel, to do what I need to do to stay in touch with my own needs, dreams and hobbies. Today finally (Oct 29th!!) I am going to the gym after school, after putting it off for all of September and most of this month. How does that happen??!!
Your pictures are beautiful and so is the sentiment of this post.
Thanks for sharing,
Oh yes, the gerbil wheel! I know it well! You are right, time just flies. It’s so hard to believe it is almost November 1! How does the time go so quickly? I am glad you got to the gym today – you’re right, we need that time to give ourselves some TLC.
Thanks for you comments. I appreciate your time,
Great post Tia. Sometimes we just don’t reflect consciously on what is going on in our lives and how it is affecting us. We lost one of our beautiful dogs about three months ago and our other dog was feeling quite lost. Regular walks had become a thing of the past as Mary had got older and less active. We now walk Ellie every day – although I miss some evenings as I go to Pilates classes. This has made such a difference to me as I think I am disconnecting from my work a little more and seeing the beauty in the environment in which we live. Good on you for getting your camera out again – they are beautiful photos and, for me, are testament to the reason why we should get out more and appreciate what we do have.