I hope you take lots of pictures. The payoff is sort of like compound interest – it grows with time, and it comes years later.
Taking pictures gets a bad rap these days, and it’s probably earned. People are obsessed with getting their Instagram shots. I take photos which are mostly just for me (yeah, some for social media, some for friends, some for posterity), and every now and then I see them hanging on the wall. But mostly they hang out in my camera roll
Today I looked back through them as I cast about for a particular set of photos. The review took me over more than 2 years of life and work. I saw myself and my friends age. I saw my terrible, embarrassing attempt to grow a beard. I saw movie nights, karaoke at the office, hikes with friends, a run in a rainforest, fishing with family, swing dancing, team meals, and tons of happy memories.
I’ve had a good life in these past years, and if I’m ever at risk of forgetting it, I can just open up Google Photos. I can see the things that created happiness and meaning for me before (and may again), I can remember the relationships I need to maintain, and I can get a good grip on just how fast time moves and yet just how full that time can be.
If you need to count your blessings (or reevaluate your life), review your camera roll. You’ll get a good idea of how you have or haven’t spent your time. Then you can decide how to make a life that makes for better pictures.