Why I Stop Taking Pictures

My colleague threw herself into the chair next to me. “What’s wrong with us? This week is horrible as if we have no time to breathe at all.”

She was right.

The last two weeks were crazy. Well, rather perfectly normal for end of term.
Grading papers through the nights and finishing all grades for the report cards. Conferences and meetings.
Spening all day at school.
My apartment looks like a big mess because I’m hardly ever there to clean up. All I do there is sleep. Since I don’t have time to cook I mostly eat sandwiches and fast food. So much for healthy eating resolutions.
I am just rushing from one thing to the next.

I must admit I do appreciate a certain amount of stress in my life. I like it to have several things running at the same time and seeing the tables turn my way.
But there comes a time when stress becomes too much.
You know how I know?

When I stop taking pictures.

When my heart can’t detect beauty anymore.
When my eyes have seemingly become blind to the gifts surrounding me.
When my soul has become numb to the creative sparks around.
When I breathe in beauty, but have become unable to exhale gratitude.

Last Friday was such a day.
I just needed some breath of fresh air.
There was still so much to do.
There were unanswered emails, unprepared lessons, unopened letters on my desk.
I. didn’t. care.

The sun was out, so I bundled myself up in a winter jacket, gloves and hat and went for a walk. I had no specific destination, I just needed to walk.
Walking despite all the things I still had to do.
Walk off the stress of this week.
Walk against the exhaustion of these countless meetings.
Walking off the frustration with people and schedules.
Walking towards a new perspective, towards restoration.

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It took a while, but then it happened.

First I recognized birds chirping in the cold winter air.
Then I saw the snow flakes glittering in the sun.
I inhaled fresh air and felt it fill my lungs, my body, my thoughts.

It seems ridiculously easy to recharge ourselves.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Go for a walk.
Have a glass of wine.
Let work be work and treat yourself.
Read a book, just for yourself.
Take a nap.
Let the sun shine on your face.
Inhale fresh air and let it fill your lungs, your body, your thoughts.

What does a breath of fresh air look like for you?


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People Lover. Writer.

10 thoughts on “Why I Stop Taking Pictures”

  1. Oh my goodness Katha. That was a moment to clear the mind just like a deep breath of fresh air. I love how as you walked the beauty of the world around you became more present like a fog was lifted. Wonderful post! Wonderful reminder to seize some time beyond the work load.

  2. Love this. I think we all can fall into this trap. I know I do! So much THIS: “When I breathe in beauty, but have become unable to exhale gratitude.” I’m over in the 6 spot this week.

  3. Great thoughts on needing to pause from a busy, stressful schedule. I’m glad you took the walk and shared your observations–the beauty around us. May you continue to find those moments of refreshment!

  4. Wow, what a lovely take on the word Breathe. I so agree with you and am so inspired. Sometimes it takes a while, but getting that “life” back into you during stressful times is so important. I love that you mentioned ALL of your senses. You’ve made me want to go for a walk, my friend.
    Enjoy your weekend!
    Shauna (your FMF neighbour 🙂

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