Monday, August 16, 2010

(You Already Knew That) This is How I Look

As the main photographer for our family, I am usually the one behind the camera and am rarely in the pictures.  This summer at the beach I noticed that my brother Jeff, also a camera enthusiast, seemed to be pointing his camera in my direction one afternoon.  Later when I was out playing in the water with my sisters and sister in laws, Russ took some pictures.


When I saw the pictures I was dismayed.

I look so fat!

My posture is terrible!

Does my belly really stick out that much?

I look terrible with wet hair!


The thoughts started there and kept going in that direction.  In fact, my first instinct was to delete the pictures.  I always think this when I see pictures of myself, but I usually resist the temptation to hit the delete key.

This summer as I looked at the pictures I told myself—

it’s not like I can stop playing in the ocean


everyone else already knows that this is what I look like when I am playing in the ocean. 

(And now you know too!)


So I’m keeping the pictures.  I don’t think I’ll blow them up real big and put them on the wall, but I’m keeping them.


When my mom was dying I made scrapbooks of all of our family’s pictures.  My brother Jeff & I spent hours sorting through a lifetime’s worth of pictures, trying to put them in something close to chronological order. 

One of my favorite pictures was my mom’s “glamour shot.”  I love this picture because I think it was the first time in many years that my mom had felt truly beautiful.  I loved the pictures from the glamour shot and I loved my mom’s delight with them.


But the other pictures that I love are probably not pictures that my mom loved.

I love the pictures that show the mom I remember. 

mom asleep

The pictures that she probably told my dad he shouldn’t have taken.

mom w curlers

I never look at these pictures and analyze their faults.  I look at them and a place in my heart sighs and says…

there is my mom—just how she was.

mom w laila

They make me happy.




I will keep the pictures from the beach this year.  And I will keep handing off the camera to someone else so that I appear in more of the pictures.

One day I will be gone, and my children and grandchildren will be able to remember me when they look at these pictures.  Somehow I think they will not notice so much that I looked like a (happy) drowned rat.

I think that they will, instead, talk about how much I loved going to the beach.  And that I was always happiest while in the ocean. 

I hope the pictures will make them happy…



  1. First I think you look great. :)

    I have had similar thoughts about this in the past few months. I have no pictures of me. I have been handing off the camera a lot more and trying to resist the urge to hit the delete button. I think the kids need to see us. I hope when I am gone they can see that I was there with them having fun too.

    I love the pictures of your mom. I have started scanning all my pictures and getting them in order. It is a huge task.

  2. I audibly sighed when I saw the picture of your Mom. It made me miss her and the remarkable woman that she was.

    I think you look great too. Sometimes I have to remind myself not to hold myself to the same standard I used to. Being 30 is much different than being 20, is much different than being 40... and so on and so forth. I do the best I can. And that's good enough.

  3. Wow- I never realized that Josh looked so much like your mom. Beautiful thoughts, and I agree with them whole-heartedly.

  4. I totally hate being in pictures anymore. :) But, I think your point is right! And, I LOVE your last picture jumping in the look HAPPY!

  5. We all over analyze ourselves and forget about the beauty within. I love your mom. She was one of the most beautiful women I've ever known.

  6. Nicely done Ree Ree! Brings back many fond memories of mom. Also puts into perspective how we should look at ourselves and what really matters.