I sink down into the hot water and close my eyes. It burns my skin slightly and I focus on the sensation spreading through my body. My heart begins to race and beads of sweat form on my face.
It becomes too much, and I’m forced to pull my hands, feet and head out of the water. The cold air causes the now exposed skin to cool and feel numb. I keep my eyes closed enjoying the extremities of temperature on my body.
Eventually the feelings cease as the water becomes comfortable. I wash my now slightly reddened skin and sink down peacefully until I start to wrinkle. Then I steady myself for the jolt of cold as I plunge out of the warmth into the freezing room.
Life is so tremendously wavering. The polarity of just an hour can sometimes make me feel like my limbs are being torn in opposite directions. The unpredictability can be exciting and pleasant, but often it leaves me feeling battered.
I need little constants to keep it all tied together. The rhythm of my day tethers me to reality and prevents another slip down the rabbit hole of depression. I’m like a child who will forgo sleep and eat nothing but sugar when given complete freedom. I need structure.
This brings me to Project 365. Last year on this exact day, I decided to try this little photo experiment. I charged myself with taking a picture of something I was thankful for every day for the entire year.
Last night I posted my final picture.
I did it. Every day of 2014, I took at least one picture of my life and posted it to Instagram and Facebook. I didn’t miss a single day, even when sick, stressed, traveling, my phone died or I was drunk. Nothing stopped me from my daily picture.
This might not seem like a huge deal, but it is to me. What started as a way to shift my focus to the blessings around me, morphed into something much bigger than that. It became my end of day routine and a way to chronicle my life. It’s my tether.
All month I have been pondering if I will do it again. Are people sick of seeing my daily photos? Will they roll their eyes and think I’m being self-centered? Bragging?
Yet as I look back on my year in photos today, I am suddenly unconcerned with what others think.
It’s time to do it all over.
Life continues on, and this is one way I make sense of it all.
No, I am not a great photographer. It is true that there are more pictures of alcohol, clouds and books than I would have ever guessed. It’s true that I am a grown woman who actually thinks selfies are fun, and that I find my kids more darling than just about anything else in the world.
It’s also true, that none of that matters. That everyone’s life is worth chronicling in anyway they find meaning and peace. There is nothing wrong with doing what makes you feel happy and will keep you marching along.
If you are interested, my Instagram is bridgettetales. Inspired to join in the fun? Please send me a request to follow you, as I’d love to see what you come up with.
Happy New Year!