Monday, December 15, 2008

Past, Present, Future

I spent a few hours yesterday at my mother's house, sorting through boxes and boxes and envelope after envelope of photographs. It helps that I'm somewhat pathologically addicted to looking at photographs. Got a ton of vacation pictures that no-one wants to look at? Invite me over, I'll look at them and ask for more.

I did discover one jewel - a photograph of my grandfather in his christening gown. It's in pretty good shape, but I'm going to have to take it in to see how much it would be to have it restored.

Most of the photographs were the generic family stuff - babies coming home, birthday parties, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, little league t-ball games, vacations. My mother keeps it all.

And it was odd, after looking at (and confusing) all my four nieces as babies and at one and two years old to come home and tell Jason that one of my nieces was having a party at her house for my great-niece.

Time, time, time. It does rush right on by now, doesn't it?

Then there was the progression of me. Young, thin, glasses, contacts, long hair, short hair, 80's hair. And even a bit more revealing, that I could read in my eyes through the years where my ex was at in his drunk/sober stages. I didn't know the depression was so evident, that in spite of the smiles I tried to put on, all that pain was right there in my eyes.

And then the new me. She was older with lines starting to show and a few pounds starting to pack on to the once so skinny frame. The one with the gray really starting to advance, the one with the different hair color at every different occasion because she couldn't decide on brunette or redhead.

But her eyes matched her smile.

And all that staring into the past and being grateful for my present naturally made my thoughts turn to the future.

Each decade of my adult life seems to have been better than the last. My twenties were a painful time of living with an active substance abuser. Thirty was an awesome decade of going back to school, reclaiming my self esteem, leaving my marriage and standing on my own. My forties were spent rediscovering my passion for writing, buying a house, creating a home and learning what love really means.

Soon, I'll turn 50 and I'm not sure what lies ahead for me in those years. But I've realized that with each decade, I was changing, I was doing something new, reinventing myself, challenging myself in some way. I've got a couple of years to figure out what that is going to be this time. But I'm looking forward to it.

Loki sez: You assume you will survive the retribution we plan for this humiliation.


Anonymous said...

I visit everyday for the precious kitty photos----but you certainly have the gift of very insightful writing....thank you...
My dad had me transfer all of our family super 8 film to DVD's last year....what an eye opener-except an entire film of a Chicago White Sox game....Why ??
Thanks for all of the thought provoking posts....God Bless, Pam in South Bend

JanetLee said...

Thanks Pam! I appreciate that. My mom has a bunch of super 8 film and I'm thinking about converting that to...can they do it to DVD now? I know some of it is from Germany and I think some of it is from Japan and that would be awesome to see.

Anonymous said...

We have a local camera shop that does the 8 or super tape no matter what size....all to DVD ...they will add music and text if you want or just a straight is NOT cheap. They did give me a quote before I got started and I did 1/2 one month and 1/2 the next. It is well worth it. The film will deteriorate (sp) and the memories will be lost. Seeing my grandparents interact with all of us....seeing me tap dance in costume with my best friend from (gulp) 55 years ago!! there I said it....I turned 60 this year. Once the DVD's were made I was able to copy those for the special people in my life who would enjoy them. Hope this helps

Pixel Peeper said...

The more I read your blog, the more I'm thinking you're my long-lost twin sister! I'm so with you on the pictures - I'm always asking to see people's photos. And I'll be turning 50 soon, too!

My father-in-law had a bunch of 8mm home movies converted to DVDs (I believe he went to a camera store to have it done).

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem is sorting out and putting the 8 mm in order because they put more than one roll on the DVD - unless you don't care.

JanetLee said...

Pixel - it's that good, sensible German blood circulating in an orderly fashion through our veins!

Thanks all for the transfer advice. This will be a project for after the holidays. I didn't mess with the film at all, but I'm sure they have been reveiwed in the past and the contents are labeled.

joan said...

I love old stacks of pictures too and often wonder what will be left from our digital generation.

For example, if something happened to me, my online passwords would be forgotten and none of my online albums would be renewed. They would all eventually vanish.

Also - now we delete all the imperfect shots. They don't sit in the drawer.

JanetLee said...

Joan - I suppose someday another picture lover will sit at a computer screen, inserting disc after disc of photographs.