#487 Fading sunset

Again I find my gratitude from the inside, looking out.

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Photos, certainly those from my phone, do not give the reality of this image justice. The bright orange in the centre horizon, fading out into a soft tangerine, and then light yellow, before meeting the brilliant blue sky above, was, well, worth taking a photo of.

If only it looked as good here as it did from my bedroom window. I’ll keep trying to capture these beauties, nonetheless.

#479 (Un) Expected Parcel

Lately it feels like we are BILL-city. We have payments and fees and unexpected notices and amounts outstanding coming out of our every orifice. So it was nice when I received a package today that I’ve been expecting for a few days now…

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I was so happy and surprised to receive a phone call from Harvey Norman late last week, telling me that the photo print competition I had entered only a month or so earlier, when I was printing 200+ photos for memory boards for my parents anniversary party, well, I had won! Well, one of the prizes on offer, which was the above-posted Bluetooth portable speaker!

What a nice and pleasant surprise! We know how cool it is since my bro-in-law has one and positions it around the house depending on where we’re sitting when we’re over, so it’s awesome to think we now have one, and we got it, for free!

Winning a competition! I feel as excited as I did when I won some comps from a kids mag when I was about 11, and got an Ariel doll in the mail…

I’m grateful for unexpected moments like these 🙂 Helps ease bill-tension and stress, too 😉

#453 Photos

My sister always says, that it is so worth taking heaps of photos, for the memories that will come to you later as you look back on them.

She speaks with a lot of experience. She takes, HEAPS of photos.

She doesn’t have many photos of when she was a baby, and so I think she has spent the majority of her life, kind of making up for that fact, and making sure that her kids, will have tonnes of them.

I think I’ve kind of taken that from her. I too, love photos. Currently there are approximately, no exaggeration, 2000 of them waiting to be filed into photo albums at my less than likely leisure. I fell behind before baby girl was born, and thinking like the stupid parentless ‘know-it-all’ I was, that I would catch up while on maternity leave with her…

Yeah, right. Like that ever happened. 3 and a half years later and they’re still PILING UP.

But anyway. I love them, and in the most old school way – hard copy in a PHOTO ALBUM.

I’ve been doing heaps with photos lately, and it’s just reminded me how amazing and beautiful these snapshots into time can be.

In just over a week we’ll be celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We’re doing a few special things on the night, and one of them, to highlight their 5 decades together, is the photo collage I’m putting together, of one decade each per large cardboard sheet of paper, with as many photos as I can possibly muster crammed into all 5 sheets.

When I took my usb stick of anniversary photos over the years to the photo centre, there were 647 files.

647 photos.

I knew I had to scale that back, BIG TIME.

I told myself I’d only select 150…

then I got to 150 and said I’d select up to 200…

then I got to 200 and said 250 MAX.

Which is how I ended up at 255. Close enough.

Today when I took the developed photos to my sister’s place, for our little debrief over the anniversary party (who would sit where, what we would say, what would go where, what time that would occur, etc, etc), she flipped through the photos quickly, grinning and letting out “oh wow!”s, complimenting the broad selection, and happily going back in time to as far back as the late 60s, as she saw my parents journey again from start to current day.

Seeing the reaction on her face was great, and later at home as I trimmed the photos back, removing blank spaces and tightening it up so I could surely fit 50 photos per large page, I couldn’t help but pause and smile several times, observing my parents youthful looks, almost laughing out loud when my parents were too laughing in the photos, grinning with fondness at family photos through the decades, and just generally reminiscing with warmth in my heart.

I know, I sound like a hallmark card. But really, I loved it. I love photos. And I think the guests at the party, my parents’ family and friends, and my parents especially, will really enjoy the snapshot through the ages.

50 Golden Ages. 🙂

#450 Online cloud storage

Still on technology.

Isn’t it one of the greatest ideas of our time, that there is an imaginary place up in the clouds that stores our much-needed data, and keeps it safe in case our hardware goes kaput?

Isn’t it great, that this imaginary place, is REAL?!

I first used online cloud storage with my old phone and its hand-in-hand Dropbox app, storing all my photos online. This was insanely useful at the time, since we had baby girl, and as any parent knows, your camera roll will contain 10 photos of the one moment, with just a move of the head or an expression on your baby’s face being different.

And I couldn’t possibly delete any one of them! They were of my baby girl for goodness sakes.

So I dropbox’d them. 🙂

Now, with my new phone, the app is Drive. Although I’m seriously behind in many organisational facets of my life, today I made some progress in uploading and then downloading said photos to Drive and my laptop, and knowing that not only do I have hard copies on my computer, but also up in the clouds, is actually a relief.

Often I think that the abundance of too much technology makes us feel more pressured and obligated to abide to certain routines: that is, of backing up, updating, moving folders and files, printing hard copies, etc, etc. Life certainly seemed easier in our parents’ day, but then again, they have no where near the amount of photos of us, or the memories we shared with them, as we do with our kids.

So, I will take the obligations, if it means more smiles as we look back. Tit for tat.

#414 The Crew unites

Tonight, Good Friday Eve. It’s not often that me and my high school friends get together. I mean, the original group. Although the last time it was December, before that, it was years. And before that, more years.

You know when you are so busy, that pre-confirmed plans just bug you? Well sorry to say, that’s how I felt about tonight.

The house is a mess,…I need to get ready for weekend work… I need to clean… I need to put clothes away… and I have a tonne of Easter baking to do…

These were my thoughts. They kept whirring around my head up until about 4pm today.

And then I went ‘screw that.’

I got dolled up, embraced the girl club spirit, and headed on over to the Fitzroy Social to meet up with the other 5 gals of the crew. It was a great catch up, and we of course had the required end of night photo, both smiley, and goofy faces present.

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18 year old me would have been in shock horror at my stupid excuse of ‘the house is a mess’ to even contemplate not going out for a catch-up… and yet my 33 year old self was just feeling like it was all too much.

But I realised something as I drove home later from this great night out. I thought:

If my house is a mess…

If I’m late getting ready for work on the weekend…

If my house remains dirty for a day or two longer…

If the clothes hang around unfolded a while longer…

And even if I don’t bake all that I intend to for Easter…

IT WILL BE WORTH IT, because I had a great night catching up with dear friends. My time will feel well-spent, as I would have had fun in my precious time – not spent doing some boring household chore, but instead, reconnecting, bonding and having the bestest of convos and laughs with my high school friends.

I am still baffled by how our minds and thoughts change as we grow older. Sometimes for good, sometimes for stupid! I mean, worried about a clean house as opposed to a catch-up? Come on.

We need to think more like teenagers, like children. Then maybe the world’s problems would be solved. Then maybe the world would be a happier place 🙂

The boring stuff can wait. The boring stuff should always wait.

Screw the responsibilities. Have fun!

#409 Freeway Comparisons in Photos

6:20am, Saturday morning. Driving to work.

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3:50pm, Saturday afternoon. Driving home from work.

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I love the serenity and calmness of the first shot, yet in the second photo find a severity that is exciting: that ‘hand’ of the storm coming down from the heavens, ready to unleash some major damage on us mere mortals in a matter of moments.

Those ‘moments’ came in a massive downpour only 10 minutes later.

I like to appreciate the little things in the every day, and seeing the stark contrast between dawn and storm, going to and from work, is something small to look forward to.

Yes, even when it is a work day.

The scenery, set amongst the cold, grey freeway… just reminds us how much more powerful and vast Mother Nature is. No man-made structure can top her strength, influence and impact.

And again, the photo-taker on this day was my trusty in-car robot assistant… 😉

#346 Driving in to work

I think you might just be killing the gratitude game if you, like me, are finding things to be appreciative of when driving to work.

What?! Happy and grateful, going to work?!

It’s true, it’s true. And what was on today’s special forecast for gratitude you might ask?

Sunrise, foggy landscape, and music.

Simple, but sooo awakening.

First up. I loved these photos my ‘car personal assistant’ took while on the M3. The first is of the pretty pink sky, and in the next photo you can even see the fog along the horizon.

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Of course, my ‘car personal assistant’ didn’t really do the scenery any real justice, you just had to be there to see it for yourself. But, you get the picture (pun totally intended).

Second, the music. It was 6am, and all the music coming out of FOX FM was pretty damn good. It wasn’t just all repetitive commercial crap: I found a few current boppy ones I liked, yes, but the playlist interlacing all the recent stuff seemed to be from a few years back, and they were all songs I liked. The songs that had me bopping and singing along even before I had any breakfast in me, were:

Cosby Sweater – Hilltop Hoods

Shape Of You – Ed Sheeran

Firestorm – Kygo ft. Conrad Sewell

I Don’t Wanna Live Forever – Zayn ft.Taylor Swift

Shine – Years & Years

She Wolf (Falling to Pieces) – David Guetta ft. Sia

The whole point of this gratitude journal is to show all the different ways and places that gratitude can be found… and if you can achieve that on a cool Saturday morning on your way to work, after only 5 hours of sleep… then I think you’re doing ok.

😉