Joy is unexpected. It just is. One cannot plan for joy or prepare for the unexpected wonders of the world. And why would we? There would be zero point getting up in the morning if we knew what we were getting up for. If we knew what was coming…
It is one of the great joys and privileges to be able to document and capture moments, to weave stories with the power of words and images—to tell our stories by capturing the magic in the unexpected. Here are some tips for doing so:
1. Go to the Light
Study the light in your life… what time of day the shadows fall just so… what the local spaces look like at certain times of the day. Light is a magical place to let go.
2. Make every day a scavenger hunt
With your kids, partner, friends, self… give yourself a daily mission… to collect a rock, or find a leaf or smell a flower… something simple and accessible that will bring joy to you and those around you.
3. Follow your nose
Smell brings on memories like no other sense. Fresh cut grass, a beloved ones’ perfume, laundry drying in the breeze (Gain Island Fresh much?). Smells bring us back and help move us forward.
4. Take notes
Carry a notepad with you if you can and write down the various thoughts that occur to you daily. Snap photos of the things that inspire you and then marvel at the results when you put the two together.
5. Let it be
Only by existing can we experience and fully appreciate the unexpected joys of this life. Live and let live.
6. Veer off course
Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you shouldn’t switch gears once in a while, or go the other way, or take the road less traveled. Surprise yourself and the ones you loved by planning for the unplanned. That’s where the adventures live, after all.
Listen to the stories of loved ones and strangers. Listen to yourself. Love is listening and the key to a well-documented life is learning how to listen and really hear people, music and all sounds in this life.
8. Expect Magic
Unexpected joys can spring from a certain expectation that, no matter what happens, there will be magic. (There always will be.)