Sunday, January 8, 2012

52 Weeks

The very last night of last year, I fell asleep on my son's bed reading stories to him while he nodded off himself. It was 10:00 p.m. perhaps. 10:30 at the latest. And when I awoke, the clock read 12:05. I kissed his brow and wished him a happy 2012 and then crawled into my own bed and began to dream.

New Year's Eve has felt, for many years now, more than a tad anti-climactic after what is my favourite, festive Yuletide "hollyday" season. And it's been a couple of years at least since I even thought about anything concrete for a resolution never mind more than one. Life has felt too fast and too full and certainly, some days, too exhausting to worry about any such list.

This year began the same way for me. But one thing I have resolved for myself is to commit to a self-portrait photography project. I have started and failed at completing two 365-day self-portrait projects on flickr (projects other flickr friends of mine were able to successfully complete). Inevitably single-parenting left me taking last-minute-of-the-day-in-front-of-the-bathroom-mirror shots just to get my submission in for the day. Plus, I was fairly bored with the subject matter: my tired, food-on-the-shirt, unwashed hair, bags-under-the-eyes single mommy face. My days were just too full for me to have the enthusiasm to commit, never mind the energy.

Curious as George...

This year, I'm taking it easy on myself. Along with two other photography projects I plan, I will now attempt a 52-week self-portrait project. As a single mom, I think I can manage at least one photo once a week and have the energy to be a tad more creative than a daily late-night-shot-in-the-mirror before flopping into bed.

Already, I failed to take my first shot on New Year's weekend. Not a great start, so I've cheated and used a selfie I shot of Sonshine and I Christmas morning as my first submission for the project. It's a magical moment for us both and captures us reading one of my Christmas gifts to him: Curious George in the Snow.

To make up for the bad start, I felt the need to be more creative, make more of a statement with my second submission. I was thinking about this coming year and how I'd like to get back in touch with the other parts of myself that perhaps have been sorely neglected since becoming a single parent. My first thought was my femininity. For  almost 3 years, I have been wearing jeans and cords and tshirts and fleece and stretchy yoga wear and keens or mukluks. Generally, I am almost always without makeup. Time is just a luxury for this kind of attention. Inevitably, the moments I take to glimpse myself in a mirror are brief (and for a reason). I shy away from them. Who wants to constantly witness food-splattered clothing or scratches on skin etched by tiny fingernails or tousled, bed-head hair? Not me!

Yesterday, while he napped. I put on a dress and heels for my second shoot for the project. And let me tell you, it felt great to be creative and feel pretty and to have a goal, an actual statement to make with the project: that aside from being a mommy 24/7, I'd like to get in touch with my feminine side, the woman I am, not just the mother. And to allow myself moments to rediscover those many other sides to myself that have been relinquished for some time now. Sides I am missing.

Best foot forward for 2012...

The wheels are already turning for next week's shot, when my birthday happens. Wonder if I can pull it off!

My 52-week project goal is not only to share with the visitors to my stream Who I Am, but to present opportunties for me to discover more about myself and see just where this self-digging and exploration takes me. The main goal is to have fun with it. It's proven a chore in the past and I hope the once-a-week timeline will free up my energy and creativity. Perhaps this is a resolution in some small way: for me to tap more into my own artistic nature and set that free using my lens and my imagination. Not a bad first commitment as 2012 begins...

Happy New Year to all of you and hope it's a magical one!


Tricia Orchard said...


Good for you for taking on the project, but on a more manageable scale for yourself. I am really looking forward to seeing your beautiful and creative photos!

What day is your birthday? :)


Terri said...

I love this shot!!! Good for you for taking on a creative project. My creative vision went out the door a long time ago. I love your photography! Keep it up girlie.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Happy Birthday, fellow Capricorn...I like your take on the self portrait. Doesn't have to be your face does it? I find this idea much more interesting.

Ellen said...

I loved your photos and the official new self-portrait was a story. And I really like it when a photo does this as it captures questions..who is this, what do they do, etc...

Your Sonshine is growing so handsomely..what a sweetie.

Happy New Year to you and all the pursuits you step at a time..and most of all enjoy!