On Sunday morning I was forcing myself to be creative. I woke up determined to write a poem or a song or something. I sat at my dining room table with a computer in front of me and typed hoping that inspiration and great rhyming-scheme words would come.
I did this for 45 minutes and have little to show for it.
I was antsy. I felt like I was wasting a beautiful calm morning — because Nora had slept over my parents so I was “free”, it was not raining, not snowing, and had temps in the 30s. Instead of forcing inspiration I changed my clothes, bundled up, and drove to North Park with my camera.
I walked around looking for things to take photos of. Usually this isn’t an issue – I’m at a beautiful lake, the sun will be shining in interesting ways, animals and birds will pass by. But instead all I really saw were people – runners, walkers, bikers.
I took pictures anyways.
I caught myself trying different locations, different angles and saying out-loud-to-myself: “There is absolutely nothing interesting here.”
One runner tried to see what was so interesting to me. “Is the eagle out?” He said.
“No.” I replied. And in my head I said, “I didn’t even know there was eagle potential!” And also, “Please don’t look at me. I am literally taking pictures of nothing interesting.”
I walked around searching for anything of interest. Over and over again I thought, “There is nothing interesting.” *click* “Nope, that’s not interesting.”
It was so frustrating! “I want to take pictures and be creative. Argh! There is absolutely nothing interesting here!”
You get my point. I was “striking out” creativity-wise, capture-something-great-wise. And I was chilly. And I’d get in my car, drive to another spot, and the disappointment would repeat.
Then I started to get annoyed by myself.
I usually think positive thoughts. But not this day. Everything was gray, and boring, and dead. At most I saw about three colors: muted green, sad gray, and dying brown-orange.
What was with all this negativity? I usually think things like “Wow. Thanks God. That was beautiful!” Or “Oh this is just so nice to be calm and quiet in nature. Thanks God!”.
And so I at least caught myself thinking these things, even if I couldn’t stop myself from thinking them. And then I went to drive home. As I’m driving through the park there’s another parking area and I pull over. One last ditch effort for inspiration! I’m gonna make it happen! And then it happens!! …
“Is that interesting? Nope. There is absolutely nothing interesting here.”
I sit in my car, defeated. But I don’t drive away.
Instead I force myself to sit for at least a few moments pondering this negativity. Confronting it. And finally in the silence, and a true moment to rest and reflect I get this thought:
“There were interesting things. Did you see them? Did you appreciate them?” [No.]
“What about that red-headed woodpecker? Was it not interesting?” [Yes. Okay. It was interesting.]
“What about that cardinal? I know it’s your favorite bird. Was it not interesting that it stayed in that tree for so long for you?” [Why yes I did notice that and I liked it.]
“What about that Santa ornament on the mini pine tree? That wasn’t funny?” [Well, now that you mention it that is pretty funny it’s there in the first place and still there in February!]
“What about finding that frisbee frozen on the water? You know Nora will be excited for it. That didn’t seem special? That wasn’t interesting? You picked it up didn’t you?” [Why yes I did pick it up because I did think Nora would like it.]
“What about when the bald eagle flew overhead? That wasn’t interesting?” And that was the one that really got me. I had a BALD EAGLE! fly over my head and I still moped around thinking unappreciative thoughts.
This reflection only took a few moments. But in those moments I saw just how interesting my time had truly been.
Sure, it wasn’t the most beautiful day. It didn’t check-all-the-boxes creativity-wise or capture-a-pic-of-that-cool-thing-wise. But it was still a beautiful day that God had made. He made this day the way it was meant to be made. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Life also is full of chilly, muted-color days. And just because it isn’t how I’d like it to be it doesn’t mean it isn’t still an interesting day.
I was given a day of calm. A day full of a different kind of beauty. It was a kind reminder that: You have to enjoy the moment in front of you as it is, not as you want it to be. Just because it isn’t as you want it to be doesn’t mean it isn’t still good. Do not get distracted by expectations not matching reality. Enjoy the reality as it is. It will always be interesting. It is all in how you look at it.
Interesting-for-that-moment pics now follow. I will appreciate them for all their uninterestingly-interesting-ness!: