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I Cry.

I am not a consistent person.

So when I am, it’s always surprising to me. I hate maintenance, even when you’re sent reminders – in the mail, by email, by phone call, or on that little sticker on your car reminding you of when your next oil change is due. I hate maintenance because I’m not a consistent person. I’m prone to spurts and bursts, growing pains, slow gains, long games. I grow a lot at once, and then I’m shrunk and stuck for days, months or years. Blogging might be one of a few things I do consistently.

Or breathing.

Blogging, breathing, photography and parenting. As if there’s any other choice, really. I’d die otherwise. I’d cry. Although I don’t always do those four things well. I’m not consistent in wellness, but I am consistent in love, passion and ambition.

Although somewhere along the way, I realized I had stopped doing photography for fun very much. I was doing it for work so much, that it wasn’t always as fun just to shoot with the kids. Especially when they both tell me to get my camera away out of their faces. That said, I know what I’m doing, so bribery and sneakiness work wonders. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to be sharing photos a lot lately that are unseen by you (and probably even me) but are about a year old! It’s the long game.

When you’re an inconsistent person, prone to maintenance-intolerance, certain important things can seem painful when they shouldn’t. Marriage. Friendship. Family. And it’s because I struggle to maintain, and then grow, and then maintain. And then grow. I struggle. When it matters most. To maintain and contain, all of the emotions, the growing pains and the struggles.

Still, I try. I cry. Although not nearly enough, and often triggered by something else. On the surface.

I have yet to meet a Flo Rida song I don’t like. I only know a handful – “Wild Ones”, “Let It Roll”, “Good Feeling.” I have a Pandora station or two, so it’s no surprise that the song “I Cry” started coming on my Pandora stations. I felt a pain.

It was short, sharp and palpable. When I thought of letting go. When I think of letting go.

My resolutions and goals and one-word thoughts all blend together into consistency. We know I can be consistent, and blog at least 3-5 times a week for the last.. oh… nearly six years. Although I may take a TRUE week off when we go to Florida soon, so don’t panic. I think vacation should be added to the consistency list. My resolutions and goals and one-word thoughts are all about keeping AND letting go. And if that doesn’t make sense, it’s because I don’t make sense, but I’m aware that there are things to hold onto, and things to let go of. I just couldn’t use FROZEN’s “Let it Go” as my theme song because Des asks for “I Cry” nearly daily. Ok, fully daily. And I love that he requests songs on the radio and that this one is about letting go. That sharp pain. I feel it. Sometimes I hold my cards so close to my chest, that it physically hurts to scatter them into the wind and the world. Meanwhile, other parts of life are flying around in the breezes and instead of catching them all, one by one, I tend to be paralyzed and overwhelmed by fright. I’m a deer in headlights. Letting go is the most magical thing, when I actually do.

Please excuse Athena’s attempted-sled-biting. She seemed to think that the big, scary sled was attacking her girl, Scarlet. No dogs, girls or sleds were harmed in the making of this blog post, or during these photos. (one year ago…oops)

Every year is terrifying and exhilarating, and filled with losses and loves. 2015 was good, though. It was more than good. It was possible. It wasn’t breaking apart. I wasn’t breaking apart. The world tells a different story. It’s hard to follow a successful year, without the fears it will all get taken away from me. It starts here, though. When I feel possible, the world seems possible. Even though it’s full of such dreadful things. There is a light and a wonder times a thousand, for every dreadful thing. You can’t heal the world if you can’t heal yourself, though. It bleeds out, one by one. It seeps and creeps and dreams. I no longer have delusions that I’m a superhero, but I believe we all can be superheroes. Even if for a day.

There are so many things you can do, contained in those beautiful hearts and minds. We are all but entire worlds, contained.

Un-contained.

Years are big. Lives are big. And short and small too. This post feels murky and dark, but also sunny and warm and light, because those are all the things you can go through in a year. Those are all the things you can go through in a day. Today.

I hold onto bull moose and consistency. Budgets and date nights and family planners and dog walks. On the beach. Beach vacations and more bull moose and heart-felt phone calls and letters. Love and friendship and passion and wonder.

I let go of thinking I’m in control all of the time. That I’m right. That I’m wrong. That I’m ugly. That I’m a terrible photographer. That I’m an unremarkable writer. That she annoys the piss out of me. That I have to hold on to every dollar I have, because they were so hard to earn. They’ll come back around. Let go. It’s ok. Let go. It all comes back around. Let go, on thinking I’m not captivating, not this, not that, or anything, not enough. Let go. Hold on. And let go some more.

While holding on so tightly. To me. To you.

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101 Comments

  1. Aw, love your thoughts for the New Year and also have chosen one word/phrase which I will be sharing on Monday on my blog, too. As you know I am all about Letting Go and agree about taking off for vacations, as I did I it last summer with Disney and palming on doing it again this year, too. Ironically, I was literally just pricing it whe Disney’s website went down this afternoon and truly hopeful we can have a redux this summer, as well. Happy New Year, my twin and wishing only the best to come for you <3

    1. Last year I had you, Jen and Eli write for me! That was fun! And two years ago, Nicole did one post for me and then I had pre-scheduled others. Maybe I will do that. Pre-schedule short photo posts or something. Actually that’s totally fun. AND.. with closed comments. Wheee!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I am consistently inconsistent. I cry, I laugh, I whisper, I yell. I also hate maintenance, which is probably why I am not as successful as some. My goal this year is to continue to do what makes me happy and to try to do even more of it. I have had a really hard time treating myself right, so 2016 is going to have to include more “Me” time.

    1. I think “me” time should include a trip to Northampton, MA – just saying!
      I totally agree, though. I hope we both find it. I’m starting to lighten up on myself. I worry about being on the phone too much, but on the other hand, it’s my job. As long as I still find time to look each member of my family in the eye (pets too) and have some play/cuddle time, every day, I’ll think 2016 is a good year.

  3. I’m really working on not being in control all the time too. I think it’s best sometimes to just let life lead us the way and surprise us. At times, I can be inconsistently consistent, if that makes sense.

    Wishing you a great year ahead and cheers to more adventures!

    1. Funny, I just read Echo’s comment after mine was published, saying she’s consistently inconsistent, LOL. And I’m otherwise.

      1. I love that you and Echo wrote those opposite and wonderful things!
        I think you’re doing some pretty cool and surprising life things right now.

  4. I used to be consistent and then life happened. This year I’ve let go of a lot of things. I’ve let people go, things go and all for the sake of being happier. This year while I won’t be focused that much on blogging I will be focused a lot more on family. We’ll be taking quite a few vacations starting with a mini one in a few days back to NY then a much longer one in March in England. This year my word is Joy and living in the moment and I plan at least being consistent with that. Happy New Year!

    1. My in-laws will be in England right around when you are too! Or at least in the early part of 2016. I’m envious. Our big adventure is coming, but I think I want to do Alaska or Hawaii first. Or Aruba. Or Colorado!

  5. Awww look at pup-thena! I’m the total opposite – maintenance makes me feel secure. So when things are let go I feel anxious. Is that interesting? I like things to be tidy and on time and that makes me feel put together. Happy New Year Tamara. Side note: One of the coolest things about blogging is getting to say that year after year to the same circle of blogging friends.

    1. I love that we were on each other’s posts at the same time today, by the way!
      And I love that we are all friends and get to wish each other a Happy New Year, again. That’s special.
      I love that you’re the opposite of me in that way.
      As for the puppy, we met her (him?) in St. Augustine by a big fort last year. It would be cool to run into her (him?) again this year but she (he?) might be huge by now!

  6. I cannot wait to see the pictures that you have to share. I try to be consistent as well in all things but it really is a balancing act when you have so many things going on at one time….so I totally understand!

    1. I’m so glad because I have so many photos! I’ll probably sprinkle them into my weekly personal posts, and also set some up for when I’m away and won’t be able to update the blog. I’ll have some photos for all, though!

    1. We have a great driveway for sledding. And we make sledding hills from the piles the snow plow makes. It’s all kind of crazy up here!
      Here’s to many wonderful things in 2016!

  7. Letting go isn’t easy. It’s necessary though to make room for more or different. Beautifully written, Tamara. I love your photos! The sledding and the puppies ahhhh, so fun! Letting go and knowing it will come back is the key (I believe) that said I still hesitate, too.

    1. The sledding and the puppies! I know. I loved revisiting these photos because they’re new to all of us, really, even though the memories are a year old or more. I will keep doing that!
      I’m “letting go” of holding onto these photos..

  8. I think we all have those thoughts of being not enough, not worthy, insufficient. They are normal in a world where other insecure people also living, looking around. True value can be experienced when we stop looking around and look up at the God who completely loves us! My dog used to attack the vacuum cleaner every time I ran it – exactly like that photo. Too funny!!

    1. That’s so funny about your dog and the vacuum cleaner! I have no idea why it tripped her up. She’s afraid of kittens, but thinks sleds are no match for her! (they are)

  9. My kids have been terrible about pictures for years. I haven’t sent a holiday card in years because of it. It makes me sad.

    Anyhow…letting go is hard. I have let go of a bunch of things I should be doing…I think I may have to hire some help this year. I just can’t do all that I should be doing. But I also like to be in control and know what’s going on, so that could be an issue for me too. I’ll think about it all after vacation. Enjoy your break…you’re definitely entitled. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It makes me sad about my kids too! Most uncool.

      And we’re probably more alike in these ways. I think a lot about hiring someone to help me with blogging and social media. Then I think I’m too much of a control freak and I need everything in my own voice with my words and my photos. Bah.

      Maybe next year.

  10. I like to think of myself as consistently inconsistent, ha ha. The sledding pictures are so fun! I’m kind of sad we really haven’t had snow this year, but I shouldn’t complain since last winter was so cold and snowy ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Last winter was a record breaker around here! Horrible. I want spring so badly, because I always do, but even more so this year. Spring will give me two nephews as well as a book I’m in coming out.
      Way too hard to wait!

    1. Well we will be seeing you a LOT in 2016! So there’s that! Even if I don’t recommend you go sledding down our whole driveway on your stomach like Scarlet would!

  11. Wow. That was deep. I ALWAYS love it when you dive deep and reveal more parts of who you are for us all to see and relate to. Reading your words brought out many truths in me… about fear, and worth, and letting go, and consistency and all the what ifs and what nows…

    I think I could meander in your words for an hour and still have more thoughts and emotions rise within.

    I love that about you. I always leave here inspired and deeply moved. <3

    1. Aww.. likewise! I love your comments because I feel like you always read so carefully and see the real deal here. And relate to it! We have a lot in common!

  12. I took Samantha to see Flo Rida in concert. It was fun. The audience mosh carried him across the floor. He seems like a hoot.

    I think 2016 is going to be a great year for you. Those successes make us more able to chart a course of where we want to be. It’s like the perfect kick you in the pants motivation system. If I know I did it before, it’s easier to try for it again.

    Athena attacking the sled is too cute!

    1. I love that you saw Flo Rida!
      And what you said about these successes charting a course. I totally get that. It’s almost like I get to a point, and I can’t go back to whatever it used to be like. So I imagine I’ll now keep trying to grow and build on all of this!
      With breaks, of course.

  13. 2015 was a year of HUGE changes in my life, thankfully almost all of them good. Of course, that doesn’t mean it was easy to accept those changes. My control freak personality doesn’t exactly make rolling with the punches very easy! I hope 2016 is an absolutely fantastic year for you!

  14. Tamara, I’m not surprised that it took only 20 minutes for you to write this blog. As I was reading I could tell that your thoughts and words were pouring out of you, and especially in that last paragraph. You consistently write the most enjoyable blogs to read and post the most colorful and sentimental photos to admire. You say that you cry. You know what? You Rock!! I hope your smiles and laughs far outnumber your tears in 2016, and I wish the same for Cassidy, Scarlet and Des. Happy New Year Everybody!

    1. 20 minutes to write, but 48 hours to start to write! I don’t know what happened! I blame vacation-itis. It’s hard for me to come back to work!
      You consistently write the best comments to read ever! I look at them when I’m feeling particularly blue.
      And I wish I cried more. It doesn’t seem to come easily, even when I want it to.
      Scarlet loves to cry on command!
      Happy New Year!

      1. Wow,Tamara! Thank You for your kind complement! I feel very lucky and honored to know that you read my comments when you need a little pick-me-up. You just made my day, week and month! As Mommy-To-Be Lindsay would say: “Happy Tubular Tuesday!”

  15. I feel like I suck at maintenance as well, especially when it comes to my physical space. Right now I’m riding the high of having thoroughly cleaned and decorated my studio space and everything feels possible, but who knows how long this feeling with last. Hopefully at least through January!

    1. Ooh, I hope that high lasts!!
      This morning I had someone come in to quote me on cleaning my house. It felt like a great step. I’m just not a good cleaner and it stresses me out. Sometimes outsourcing is amazing.

  16. I love the way that you weave your words and it creates this cocoon around me when I read them. I totally get this cycle of maintenance and growth and maintenance and growth. It is a struggle and also a struggle to let go. That’s definitely been something on my mind a lot lately too – letting go of the things that aren’t serving me and are depleting me. Love these sledding pictures too!

    1. That cycle intimidates me so much!
      What’s nice is finding the places it gets me, and outsourcing the ways I don’t feel I have to grow. Some are photography related (very technical, non creative stuff) and some.. is cleaning my house. I’m just done with that. Had someone in this morning to come regularly. I like her.

  17. I need to get back to taking photos for fun. This year will be full of many losses for me, and it’s weird that I already know about them. So I’m trying to prepare, if that makes sense. Some of the losses will be permanent, but others will be temporary, with happiness thrown in. Hopefully I make it through to the other side in one piece!

    1. I think it does make sense, and I get it. With aging relatives, some things are only a matter of time.
      Wishing for joy and peace for us all!

  18. Hi Tamara, I had never heard Flo-Riders version of I Cry and I like it (I knew the original way back when!).

    Consistency matters sometimes, but a lot of the time it doesn’t. I try to maintain consistency with my blogging and working out (maintaining a certain amount of fitness is important as is exercising the mind with blogging). Life is too short to be too hard on yourself, learning to focus on what matters whilst letting go of what doesn’t, is a tricky one, as letting go raises the question of ”What if?”.

    Life really is a roller coaster, with the highs and lows that are associated with the ride. But can you imagine how mundane it would be if we were on a constant ‘feel good’ high? We have to have the low (ish) points to be able to appreciate the highs.

    Wishing you a fab 2016, take care and don’t be too hard on yourself.

    xx

    1. So true about the lows and highs. One big thing for me is to remember that the highs always come cycling back. The inspiration, the successes, the ambitions, all of it.
      I like the original “I Cry” probably even better! Time to listen to that one!

  19. I love how you captured Athena’s protection efforts! What a sweet puppy! I did a lot of crying at the end of this year due to our family losses and have to say it does feel therapeutic, kind of like a rebirth. Hope this year brings you much happiness and peace Tamara!

    1. Scarlet actually makes herself cry sometimes because it makes her feel better. She’ll think about her great-grandmother dying or the house we moved out of when she was two! That kid is a piece of work.

  20. Happy New Year! I hope you had an amazing time. Love seeing all of the pictures, and I am so jealous of the snow and sledding. It’s the one thing I miss having. We did have one snow/sled day randomly here in Louisiana last year, but that was the first time in FOREVER, so I don’t get fun snow or sledding until we travel.

    1. We’ve only gotten some ice and maybe an inch of snow this year. So different from last year where it started in November! I’m already ready for our Florida trip and winter has only been here for a week or so.

  21. Count me as inconsistent as well! But it’s funny how even us inconsistent types can be consistent in one area – blogging is it for me as well. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous pictures – I love the ones of Athena trying to protect ‘her’ girl. So sweet. Happy 2016 – I hope it’s as wonderful as 2015 for you and a little bit more.

    1. Like me, you blogging through a second baby and coming back up for air through that!
      It’s funny how we’re consistent here. I love it.
      Happy 2016!

  22. I try for consistency. But it escapes me sometimes. I am trying to be kinder to myself when it happens now though. I try to cheer myself on instead of getting too down on me. I’m still inconsistent though. I’m not sure there is any helping it at this point. I’ll just chalk it up to “Every day’s an adventure!”

    1. For sure. It reminds of a bad morning I had last year. I ran into another school dad having a bad morning and I asked him what his day would look like after a bad morning. He said, “You just gotta ride the waves!”
      I never forgot that.

  23. Happy new year, Tamara! Hopefully 2016 will be just as exhilarating as this last one. Don’t worry about being inconsistent, so long as you’re consistent with what matters.

    1. That should be a bumper sticker! I’m consistent with love and blogging. So there’s that!
      I beat myself up over lesser things that don’t matter. Like a clean house.
      I hired someone today to clean my house. She’ll be more consistent than I am.

  24. You consistently wow me with your words! I’m impressed with your ability to write out your emotions and share them with us here. I’m so thankful that I was able to learn more about you and your awesome family in 2015. I’m excited to see what 2016 has in store for you and them and ME. ๐Ÿ™‚
    XOXO
    P.S Your pictures!!! LOVE!!

    1. I’m always afraid I’m going to like.. stop being able to do this.
      And then someone wise said to me, “Stop? Isn’t writing just the way you think? Are you going to stop thinking and feeling? No. Then you won’t stop writing your feelings and thoughts.”
      Brilliant!
      I’m sure excited to see where 2016 takes us!

  25. Beautiful post. I’m so inconsistent, but this is one of the things I’m really trying to work on this year. I hope you enjoy your TRUE vacation to Disney. You deserve a work free week ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I will be posting, but way ahead of time and with the comments closed. I want you all to see my photos, read a few words, and be on your merry ways! But I will not be writing new stuff then. Yay!

  26. you should be so proud of this, Tamara. I kept thinking of .38 Special’s song … hold on loosely/but don’t let go. I don’t believe in good years and bad years, because every year usually has good and bad and everything in between.

    1. I believe in the same, except 2015 really was a good year. Filled with craziness, of course.
      I love .38 Special. I have that song and “Second Chance” and that “Caught Up In You” on on my Pandora a lot.
      Like.. all the time.
      Like right now!

  27. I thrive on routine and consistency, I think. When things are unpredictable, I stress. But, sometimes I have to remember to let go and just enjoy life – predictable and unpredictable. You inspire me to see the magic in things and to really FEEL. Love the photos, too – I want some snow! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Aw, I wish I could hug you right now! At least I know I did it in real life before.
      I bet lots of snow will be coming.. taking its time..

  28. I love Flo-rida, but I really can’t recall this song! And thank you for not using frozen. I need to work on consistency, I really, really, really do. It would probably help me to not feel so out of control!

  29. I think we all need to let go of our self doubts sometimes. Consistency is hard to maintain in all things. Figure out what’s most important and stay consistent with that. And I think you’re a wonderful photographer and writer. You’ve been a huge inspiration to me at least!

  30. Your paragraph about losing the love of photography because you do it professionally kind of hit home to me.

    A few years ago, I worked in newspapers for most of my career. I worked as a sports writer, but did so much more — photography, layout etc. At some point, I lost my love of writing, so my blog took a hit. A year or two before my position was eventually cut, I had the opportunity to switch from writer to photographer. The offer was on the table and I declined it. I had some personal things come up in life and I just didn’t feel it would be something that would make me happy. I also remembered what happened to my writing and I wondered if that would happen with photography, too. I was happy I made that choice.

    In the end, I work in an industry now (PR) where I have to do both, but it hasn’t hampered my love of writing and photography. But the words you wrote I can totally relate with. There are just times when I hope I don’t lose the love.

    Consistency isn’t always one of my strong points, either. I try like heck, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. In the end, I always figure if I am smiling, I’m doing OK and people will understand. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks for sharing that story, P.J.!
      I freak out when things aren’t going well with my work, but I freak out even more when they ARE going well, because I’m afraid somehow it will all get taken away from me. That I’ll lose the love, or the love will lose me.
      It’s hard to explain.
      I majored in Journalism and didn’t declare my major until late junior year. I had to do several classes at once in order to still graduate on time. I was doing six writing classes a week, and with it, six papers a week.
      I didn’t want to write for years after that.
      I was so scared it would happen again, but blogging seems to keep me in check.

  31. I’m so inconsistent and fickle that I cannot possibly choose one word for this new year, like I see so many others doing. Or maybe I just don’t like to feel boxed in; contained as you say. Which is weird because I certainly never would have described myself as a “fly by the seat of your pants” gal either; because I do like things the way I like them. And yet here I sit – 5 days into 2016: still unwritten. We are all never quite just one person. And I think I like that. I think I am going with that, and let come what may.

    1. I once had a whole blog post in my head about that! It was based on the 11th Doctor saying how we’re all more than one person, and how that’s ok.
      Oh god. I might cry about it.

        1. I just started learning about gifs. What fun! I’ll have to write that post. The episode made me cry. I cried today over my salad. You know all those photos of women laughing as they eat salad? It’s not true.
          I wouldn’t cry over a Snickers, though.

  32. Photos are never too late to share, especially yours. Letting go and holding on – I’m going to do a lot of that this year, I think.

    We’re going to Disney soon too, but after you. My kids are counting down the days!

  33. Oh the maintenance… I’m there with you. Some times I’m so consistent I feel totally on the ball. And sometimes I have no idea where the ball even is!

  34. I love the word consistency, I love all that it stands for, but honestly consistency can be exhausting! So we have to take breaks to keep up the consistency ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing the beautiful snow photos from last year I’ve almost forgotten what that looks like! ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Oh, i can so relate. This makes so much sense. I DO consistently put my foot in my mouth. Does that count? Socks! Yummy! Ha! Did you say that you budget consistently though? Because that has always alluded me. It makes my brain hurt. I am impressed. You need to teach some blogging courses, by the way. yes! Yes! Maybe not teach them if that sounds not fun, maybe just blog about it. For the newbies. For the people who aren’t newbies but still act like they are (ahem, me). Just an idea. I think you have a lot to give in that arena! Maybe you already have. If so, send me the link!! Happy New Year!

    1. Oh girl, not at all! I put it there as something to hold onto.. meaning.. we’ve never done one! And it shows! Our money skills are pretty bad. Luckily we have a few sources of income.. although that’s new around here!!
      I’d love to learn and then teach. ha!
      Happy New Year!

  36. Geez. This was an amazing post, Tamara. I felt every world. I could relate to every word. Letting go is so hard to do, but it’s so worth it when it’s done, isn’t it? That act of holding and releasing, usually, smaller things (friendships, anger, resentment, our children) reminds me of bigger truths about life. It’s not about us, really. We’re not really in control really. We can only get this when we surrender and let what will be, be. I wish you all the best in 2016!

  37. I am consistently inconsistent. I think I’d like to get better at that. Maybe. Who knows this week? Gah!

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