Darrah Parker » Slice of Life Photography

is your mental space a reflection of your physical space?

Now, I’m about to share a deep, dark secret. Something I’m not proud of. Something that most people usually don’t want other people to see, let alone complete strangers. And that secret: I have a messy office. There. I said it.

Recently, I read this post by Cairene that talked about making deals with your “future self.” The idea is that we look at our to-do list and decide what would make your “future self” most happy. It may be something that your “present self” doesn’t feel like doing, but you know that you will be so grateful that it is completed in the future.

This idea really got me thinking. There are so many things I procrastinate about, but lately, I’ve been procrastingating about my office. Why is it that I put off the most simple things? Like cleaning my office. And the longer I put it off, the more messy the room gets. And the more messy the room gets, the more excuses I make for not cleaning it. Even worse, I use it as an excuse for not getting “real” work done.

When we moved into this house over a year ago, I couldn’t believe my luck that I would have my own space. It was a given that Jason would have his own space because he worked from home. But me? I’d always dreamt of having a room with an easel and a desk and pretty things that inspired me. So I set up the easel and desk, I even blogged about creating a studio space.

And that was that.

When I quit my job in November, I thought I’d be using my office all the time. I would spend my days in my office and Jason would work from his office and…ladeedadeedaaaa! Instead, I walk into my office twice a day – once in the morning to change my clothes and once in the evening to put on my pj’s (my office also holds my clothes.) I have taken to camping out with my laptop at the dining room table while my office gets messier and I find more reasons not to go in there.

I’m starting to think that this is a test. My manipulative little brain is telling me it’s okay to let things accumulate, but that accumulation is weighing on me. Just knowing that the room is messy and abandoned is almost like I’ve abandoned something bigger. It’s like I’ve given up on something. And after several attempts at cleaning the room, I’m starting to realize there might be something deeper going on here.

I’m not exactly clear on what all this means and I’m not trying to read into something that might simply be a messy room, but I know it’s time to take action. I can’t move forward until I make space for growth and ideas. And right now, my mental space is a reflection of my physical space. Or maybe it’s the other way around. And to be completely honest, I’m just plain sick of complaining about it. There are so many more important things in life to be concerned about. This should be no big deal.

So being that this week’s Slice of Life prompt is “New Beginnings,” I thought it would be appropriate to have a fresh start. I will be putting away the dress I wore for New Years (finally), going through the pile of old jeans that don’t fit me anymore, putting away remnants of the wedding (we got married in SEPTEMBER), and sifting through the papers and letters strewn across my desk.

Maybe by sifting through all of the mess I will uncover the reason why I’ve let it go this long. Or maybe I’ll find some chocolate. That would be awesome.

Take a look around you. Is your mental space a reflection of your physical space? Are you postponing a project around the house or making excuses for not putting away that basket of laundry? What would happen if you tackled it today? I bet your “future self” would be grateful that your “present self” made the space in your life that you so deserve!

And on that note, my “present self” is off to clean my office.

caught in the act

Izzy follows me everywhere.
This is what I found when I stepped out of the shower yesterday.

She has a look of guilt on her face, doesn’t she? At times like this, I think she’s human.
That doesn’t make me a crazy cat lady, does it?

Have I mentioned that Izzy follows me EVERYWHERE?

She even helped me edit these photos!

I don’t know if I could have done it without her.

**Thanks to everyone who joined the Slice of Life group yesterday! You can join the fun any time. More info here and check out the cool contributions to this week’s prompt, “New Beginnings,” in the Slice of Life Flickr group.

slice of life :: new beginnings

With the new year off to a great start, I’m overflowing with new ideas. As I mentioned in my December Views Recap, sharing my slice of life photos only on Slice of Life Tuesdays was not enough for this slice-of-life-photo-obsessed gal! Ever since I started taking pictures, I’ve seen the world from a different perspective. Photographing slices of my life has made me more aware. More appreciative. Even in my most stressful weeks, documenting the world around me has shown me the beauty and complexity in the seemingly mundane.

I am so excited about taking photos of the world around me that I want you (yes, YOU) to experience the joy, as well! So I cooked up a little plan – a way for us to share glimpses of our lives with each other.

Every Tuesday, I will post a Slice of Life photo and a prompt here – a word or phrase that will inspire you throughout the week. I will also post the prompt on my brand-spanking-new Flickr group. Then, as the week progresses, you can either respond to the prompt by posting the photo in the Slice of Life Flickr group or posting a link to your blog in the comments below. Perhaps you are participating in the Shutter Sisters 365 group or another daily photo group. If so, the Slice of Life group will be a great compliment to your daily photos and the weekly prompts will provide inspiration as you photograph your way through the year!

How to Get Started

  1. If you don’t already have a Flickr account, pop on over to Flickr and join. It’s really simple to join and upload photos.
  2. Join the Slice of Life Flickr group.
  3. Check here every Tuesday, subscribe to my blog, or follow me on Twitter to get your weekly Slice of Life prompt.
  4. Carry your camera with you. If you don’t have a camera, feel free to use the camera on your phone. Some of my favorite photos were taken on my iPhone!
  5. Keeping the weekly prompt in mind, photograph the small details that are often overlooked and under-appreciated.
  6. Don’t wait for the “right” conditions! Photographs should be taken during your daily routines. Don’t worry about photographing only “pretty” things. Take photos of YOUR life as it is RIGHT NOW. Photograph your laundry, your dinner, your dog. Just photograph!
  7. Post those photos! There’s no limit on how many you can post. Please include the weekly prompt word or phrase in the title or description of the photo and if you’re using Flickr, tag each photo you submit to the group with “slice of life”. Feel free to describe the scene or how it relates to the weekly prompt – or just let the photo speak for itself.

Your First Prompt: NEW BEGINNINGS

The above photo was taken in my dining room. Yesterday, I bundled up several photos that some friends of mine on Twitter won a few weeks ago. These are the very first photos that are going out into the world that will be seen by people other than my family. They represent a new start. A new year. New beginnings.

It’s Your Turn!

What does “new beginnings” mean to you? What are you starting this week? Post your photos in the Slice of Life Flickr group or in the comments below. I can’t wait to see your slices of life! And I thank you in advance for allowing us a peek into your life.

**Stay tuned for other Slice of Life related posts, including a “Slice of Inspiration” post every Friday which will include juicy goodness that inspired me that week!