good life with megan rose
Part of cultivating a good life is realizing that being real is more important than being “picture perfect.”
“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” -Annette Funicello
I used to love the idea of a picture perfect life. You know the posts on Instagram that are so beautiful they look like they belong in a catalogue and your finger taps the heart symbol in an almost involuntary reaction? When you are a busy family living in a messy world with young kids, these images can send you into a tailspin as you daydream of when your life could possibly look that picture perfect. However, living in the moment is not picture perfect; it is messy and beautiful too.
In 2010 when I started my first 365 project, I spent a lot of time framing my pictures so the mess was not visible. Our clean house was a positive byproduct in those early days of my 365 project because it was “staged” for the photoshoots that happened daily. Slowly but surely, as I continued to focus my lens on little moments throughout the day that brought me joy, the messes began to creep into the images. This wasn’t solely because I had two non-napping kids; it was because the way I viewed the messes changed.
Real life took over and real life is messy. I began to see that capturing real life images without hiding the mess, accurately shows that our family is creative, active, and healthy. With this comes lots of messes and for that I became thankful. Of course, I still love a clean house and clear countertops in my kitchen, but now I can look past the mess and find gratitude. Being real versus picture perfect is important to me — I want my children to grow up being honest, real, and kind. To me part of being kind is being kind to yourself, not hiding your messes, and not comparing your images to others.
Recently I printed a photograph that, truth be told, a few years ago I never would have printed. In fact, in the past I might have even deleted the photograph without a second glance. I was focused on building my photography skills and I was focused on being picture perfect. No clutter, a clear focus, clear countertops, single subject, nothing distracting in the frame, beautiful composition…I could go on and on. I could tell you a million flaws with the photograph in this post. Here’s what I was missing when looking at the photo:
*The mess shows the story of Daddy being home during the week and a part of our weekday routines.
*The mess shows the story of unloading the car and always having full hands.
*The mess shows the story of when Daddy takes you on an errand it almost always means getting a treat.
*The mess shows the story of Dutch Brothers smoothies and who loves them most.
*The mess shows the story of after school routines.
*The mess shows the story of endless cups on the table.
*The mess shows the story of our overflowing art basket that constantly needs attention.
*The mess shows the story of cords and computers and things that drive Mom bonkers.
*The mess shows the story of helping each other and shared parenting roles.
*The mess shows the story of how much I love taping the monthly kindergarten calendars to our walls.
*The mess shows the story of the tablecloth my parents brought home from their hiking trips in France.
*The mess shows the story of this table being command central for our family.
The stories are endless and never perfect and for that I have learned to be grateful.
Megan Rose is a member of our physical Creative Team. She and her husband Kevin are raising their two daughters, Sydney (6) and Piper (4) in Napa, California.