Giving Myself a Break
I have decided to give myself a break.
As was the case in the previous three years, I took on another Project 365 commitment in 2013. I have written often of the many benefits of this practice. Of how this daily communion with the camera was my form of meditation. Of how walking out the door, even when I didn’t feel like it, was important. Many times it seemed like nothing more than a worthless exercise – and yet, those were often the days when I was most rewarded.
So I understand the importance of persistence and commitment and endurance. Of sticking to the plan. It’s how my mind and personality are geared and it has served me well.
But there is also a darker side to this project commitment. I have this irrational fear that if I let down my guard photography will desert me. That if I give up on my daily commitment, I will never pick up the camera again. That it is my insistence on the “daily-ness” of this practice that is its key component – the thing that insures its relevance in my life. And that if I drop the routine of daily photography, I will somehow forsake it completely.
But this past month has been a tough one. And so, more than has ever happened in the past, there have been multiple days of no new photography. Where the camera stayed in its bag. And I stayed inside, where it was warm, unable to face the cold and the wind and the gray. Even when I told myself that I “should”.
So that’s where “the break” comes in. I have decided to re-write my Project 365 rules – instead of a photo a day, it is now a commitment to being creative every day. Whether that is through creating new images or processing old images (like the one above) or tangling (my newest obsession being the fascinating art of Zentangle).
And I will trust that photography is so entwined in my heart and soul and life that it will withstand the missed days. Knowing that letting go of this internal obligation is the right thing to do; that it is my responsibility to define what works for me. That blind obedience, especially to my own internal taskmaster, is not healthy.
So here I am, letting go.
And speaking of “letting go”, what is your personal challenge? How can you push yourself to step outside your comfort zone? Join us for the March edition of the Third Thursday Challenge – the link is open through the end of the month.