I don’t like to think of myself as someone who quits or who doesn’t complete things. But more than 40 days after deciding to start a year-long photo a day challenge, I’m quitting.
More about the “why” shortly… but first let me explain to you why I decided to take on this challenge.
You see, I realized that it’s easy to look over the small things, those little joys that actually fill our day-to-day lives. Even worse, sometimes we (I) get so used to criticizing and suggesting improvements, that we can’t stop to appreciate what we have. I thought that a photo a day challenge would help me turn this around — it has worked for some friends, and it also worked when I tried it for 100 days several years ago.
And yet, I just couldn’t get myself to commit to this challenge. I repeatedly got to the end of my day, only to realize that, even though I had incredible moments in my day, I never took a picture of it (this is where we get to my reasons for quitting this challenge)!
I would have an amazing experience, only to realize it wasn’t photographed… or I would desperately start looking for some object in my room to turn into my grateful, photo a day moment. I stopped feeling absolutely sincere about it. What’s worse, I stopped feeling excited about things when I started planning it as Instagram posts… I realized that I don’t want to feel obliged to post, but rather just share from the happy moments in my life; some days have countless moments like this, other days have more challenging and less rewarding moments; I’d like my social posts to reflect this reality.
On top of that, sometimes we just need a social media detox… From time to time, I actually feel recharged and more in touch with myself when I just ignore my social media for a few days. I didn’t want to feel forced to go on Instagram (my favorite social platform, by the way) when I actually felt like a detox would be better for my emotional wellbeing.
And so, for these reasons, I’m back to just plain old me on Instagram… no more fancy date lines or countdowns, or daily posts — just me being honest and true about my life.
I still reckon that the thirty-something days I spent doing this challenge was successful, though… see, even though I didn’t actually take a picture each day, I was still constantly searching for those moments worth capturing, and in the process my eyes were opened to the reality of my life — I share my days with wonderful people from around the world who I care for and love deeply, I am getting to make new friends each week, I live in a beautiful part of a gorgeous country, I am loved, and my life is touched by the grace of God every day!
I don’t need an Instagram challenge to tell me this, but perhaps I needed it to remind me of the one truth that makes all the difference.