Frame of Mind

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I was listening to NPR this morning and tuned in halfway through a story about a famous photographer. One photo assignment that she would give to her students was for them to bring in a picture of the place that they lived. By that, she didn’t mean for them to bring in a picture of the physical place where they resided, but instead, she was asking them to reflect on their frame of mind.

This got me thinking, where do each of us live? I have to say that for the most part, my life is about order and peace and the inside of my head feels like this.
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Tranquility reigns supreme and as a rule, I don’t sweat the small stuff. I feel so lucky in life to have a healthy little boy, both of my parents still alive and a job that I love. I generally don’t get my feathers ruffled. With that said, I’m far from a Buddhist monk and at this point in the semester, I start to feel a bit like this.
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It feels like I’m barely keeping head above water and that the work is piling up faster than I can get it done. It’s that slightly panicky feeling of impending doom. The house gets a bit messy. My hair gets a bit messy. And I generally spend the last weeks of the semester with a slightly feral look in my eyes. Silly in the long run of course, but there you have it.
Usually on the heels of the impending doom, I feel like this.
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I crave the open road and freedom. I have always been a ‘pedal to the metal’ kind of girl and when I feel everything coming to a head, I just want to hop in the car and drive. In my mind, I don’t care what my destination is so long as there’s an open road in front of me and a full tank of gas. At this point, I usually check out of the world. I skip my voicemails and texts and generally duck into my proverbial cave and wait for the storm to blow over.
But, this is reality and not Oz, which means that my work and other obligations aren’t just going to go away. So, I put my big girl pants on and I fix this imagine in my head.
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And slowly, I remind myself what matters. I stop hiding from my deadlines and resolve to get them done and before you know it, I’ve regained control, harnessed my inner chi and in no time at all, I’ve found my way back to this.
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Peace at last…for now.

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