Have you ever said, “Once I get __________, I will be happy”? Once I complete school; once I pay off my debts; once I own a house; once I meet the right guy; once I get the right job; once I have a baby; once my baby is in school; once my house is clean; once Friday comes; once I retire… It can go on forever. I have have done this for sure, and I would hazard a guess that you have too.
If you have caught yourself thinking like this, chances are you’ve also had the experience of reaching one of those goals and finding the other side of it underwhelming. You discover that completing school is great, but now you have to show up for a demanding job every day with no end in sight. Or you buy your dream house and realize that it is a pain to keep clean and the mortgage payments keep you a slave to a job that you don’t love. Or you marry the love of your life and realize that marriage takes more work and selflessness than you had expected. Once you’ve experienced this phenomenon a few times, you either become discouraged and bitter, or you conclude that maybe you’ve been thinking about happiness wrong all along. Maybe you just need a reframe.
The reframe that I find helpful, though I am plagued by anxiety, frustration and despair at times, is that a content life is not about living for an outcome. We are all headed toward the same outcome – none of us makes it out of this life alive, after all. Joy, contentment and happiness are the by-products of choosing hope over despair, kindness over apathy, solutions over problems, relationships over things and gratitude over bitterness – every single day. When we reframe life like this, it’s easier to take pleasure in reaching our goals even if they don’t make us eternally content in themselves. And when life presents a challenge (as it inevitably does), we’re ready to face it with optimism and resolve.
I know this is a little deep for a boudoir blog, but I am honoured all the time by the real stories of the real women who come into the studio every week. Women who have faced injuries, divorce, job loss, abuse, etc. but who continue to look at life with hope. I am inspired by them every shoot, and it’s nice to know that we are all muddling through this life together, supporting and being supported as our strength and circumstances determine.
So, without further adieu, here are some photos from a recent shoot with an extremely VIVACIOUS woman. This lady is spilling over with optimism and joy and she was such a pleasure to work with. Thanks so much to H for allowing us to share some of her pictures!
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