Life is like a playground sometimes. With time and a little practice, you gain the confidence to conquer obstacles that once seemed impossible to climb.
Earlier this summer the postman rang our bell, delivering a package that wouldn’t fit in the post box. My other half instantly comments, “What on earth have you ordered now?” I don’t remember ordering anything (at least not this time) and so am as curious as he is about its contents.
Inside, I’m surprised find two copies of a book, This Is Happening. I search my brain. Why has someone sent me these books? I have no idea.
Then, as I look at the book a little closer, it clicks and everything comes back to me. Because there, on the cover, just above the “PE” in Happening is my photo, the photo I’d submitted ages ago to Chronicle Books when they put a call out for submissions to their crowd-sourced Instagram book. I’d only bothered to submit this one photo, and I’d totally forgotten about it until this book showed up on my doorstep.
I’m a big advocate of mobile photography and the collection of images that editor Bridget Watson Payne has curated really demonstrates the power of this creative medium and the depth and breadth of images that people can create with their phones. These images serve as reminders that it’s always the camera we have with us that captures the best images and moments.
This is Happening highlights that single, fleeting moment that makes us happy and just begs to be photographed—the perfect cup of coffee, a scenic moment on the morning commute, the joy of new shoes, a loved one’s shy smile.
And I’m excited to be part of this book and share this space with so many photographers I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with online, talented photographers like Meghan Davidson and Lindsey Garrett.
So, if you’re looking for a nice little photo book to stuff in someone’s stocking, look no further. And, because it’s the season of giving and Chronicle graciously sent me an extra copy of the book, I’m giving away a copy to one lucky commenter. Simply leave a comment below and I’ll draw a winner on December 10th.
Or if you want to get your copy now, the book was just released a couple of weeks ago and is now available at Amazon and other bookstores.
Congratulations to Amanda! You’ve won the copy of the book. I’ll be in touch to make arrangements to get it to you.
Getting rear-ended as I stopped to pay the 5 pence toll on the Swinford Bridge wasn’t the most auspicious beginning to race day. As the woman who hit me and I pulled over, I only felt “slightly” awkward having this conversation on the side of the road dressed in full race gear, including my race number which was already pinned to my vest. She wanted to strike up conversation and make excuses and I struggled to impress upon her that I didn’t have time to chat and was on my way to a race. Surely my attire should have been a clue.
After we exchanged all the important details, I regrouped and continued on my way to Eynsham. I chose this for my November race because it was local, just a short 15 minute drive (assuming you don’t get rear-ended on the toll bridge). I’d travelled last month for the Great South Run and really wanted to focus on staying close to home for my next few races.
Like many of the races I’ve done over the course of this challenge, it was a small race, full of club runners and sporting a table full of trophies waiting to be awarded at the end. As I looked around the school hall where racers gathered and picked up their timing chips, I noticed that I was starting to see some familiar faces at these events. And at the start I happily found myself running next to an 80-year-old man I first met at a ParkRun about a month ago.
The race consisted of two laps around the town of Eynsham and, as the roads weren’t closed, there were strict instructions that no headphones were allowed. Many races are getting quite strict about this and will disqualify runners caught wearing them. I prefer running to music but in these situations, it’s totally understandable as it was important to be aware of traffic and the marshal’s instructions. And, hats off to the marshals who worked this race, lining the road like connect the dots and keeping runners and vehicles separated. At least I was running around to keep warm on this cold day, they were just standing in the road shivering.
I had hoped to improve upon my best 10K time at this race, but that wasn’t in the cards. My legs felt like lead and, although I’ve trained plenty, they weren’t up to the challenge. I’m placing the blame squarely on the cold I’ve fought for the past couple of weeks. It certainly wasn’t doing me any favors and I know it’s affected my breathing and stamina. At the end of my sprint to the finish, I could even hear the wheezing in my chest.
However, I did manage to chase down and pass a woman in front of me who was wearing the same running shirt. Sometimes is just the small victories that make you smile.
I’m taking all of this as a sign that I need to take a little break and give my body some time to rest and recover from the lurgy that’s taken hold of my head and chest. So that’s what I’m doing. I haven’t run since the race on Sunday and I’m trying to get more sleep. Half marathon training starts in a week so it’s time to feel healthy again.
After a long day at work and a busy day at school, there’s nothing wrong with snuggling up on the couch for a little movie time.
And, I’m thankful for all these little moments we have together.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
One of the things I really took away from Tracy Clark’s Elevate the Everyday, was this idea that photography shouldn’t be reserved for all the milestones and big events in your life, the birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations that we feel compelled to capture. Instead, our life and our children’s lives are made up millions of little moments that on the surface don’t seem important. And, it’s in capturing these moments that we can really show what our life is all about.
So is the drive to school big deal? No, it’s an ordinary thing that’s part of our everyday lives and that we completely take for granted. But I want to remember these travels and be grateful for this time together. I want to remember all the Lego pieces I find littered around the car and the crumbs hiding in the corners of his seat. I want to remember how he’s graduated from the car seat we brought him home from the hospital in, the one we fought with for over an hour trying to get in the car.
Sure, sometimes he likes to zone out to a movie in the back seat, which means I zone out to the news. But on other journeys we chat and he tells me all the things I need to know about robots. And, trust me, I have a lot to learn about robots.
Thankfully, he’ll have many more school runs to fill me in on all the details.