This text conversation came back to me when I went for a run this evening. Almost exactly four years ago, I ran a mile a day for thirty days, and shared a photo on Instagram of each run as a way of documenting the process. It was quite a challenge to find novel things to photograph each day for thirty days, particularly as light was not on my side. Most of my runs were in the dark, but somehow, I managed to complete the challenge. (To give context to the photo at the top of this post, I took it while running this evening.) This got me thinking about why I used to write regularly in this space, and it has a lot to do with stories. I am no storyteller, but I like to record and photograph the simple stories of our days, because my memory is just not reliable. I am in no doubt that in ten years time, I will not remember what our days looked like in this season of life, and that matters to me. Perhaps this sounds a little morbid, but I often think about the fact that if I were to die while my children were very young, they would not remember me. So I want to leave them with photos and stories. Even if I live for many more years, these stories will still be precious memories for us as a family to look back on and see how we grew and changed together and individually.
When I stopped writing this blog, I had been disheartened for a long time that I had such a tiny readership. Although deep down I knew this didn't matter, I couldn't shake the feeling of, 'who am I doing this for, really? If I just want to record what goes on in our family, it really doesn't need to be broadcast to the world.' So, I have spent the last year or so recording family life in a way that works for now - through daily photos, one second videos and by writing a couple of lines in my One Line A Day' diary.
The details of stories are important to me. Fairly early on in our relationship, my husband introduced me to the phrase, 'go to the end now' as a way of indicating that he wanted me to get to the crux of whatever story I was telling. This was not the first time someone had kindly indicated to me that perhaps not everyone cares for all of the details in a retelling of an event. But I do. I want to hear the highs and lows and understand the full shape of a story. One of the challenging things about motherhood and friendship is the opportunity for holding a conversation with friends without interruption. I suppose that is one of the reasons I like writing here. To record the stories of my family that I want to remember. I love stories. I love the details of stories and knowing the whole journey. For me, photos and songs are like landmarks along the way. In this season of life when I have had less time to write, I keep on taking photos and sharing snippets of stories on Instagram, so that I will remember. Photos join up the dots of stories where the words have not been written. And maybe, just maybe, I will return to sharing some of those stories here.