Buying memories and selling fears.

by janevermeulen on May 31, 2017 · 0 comments

Every morning, Facebook gives me a “memory” from the past and states that it won’t be shared automatically. I have to choose which “memories” I wish to repost. The past month was difficult for me as every morning I would wake up with dread and wonder what memory would await. Would it be the memory of us welcoming our daughter, Nora? Or, would it be the memory of my mother-in-law dying in the same hospital we welcomed Nora? Those two events happened within two weeks of each other so every morning I looked at Facebook with trepidation. I decided that I wanted new memories for the month of April to share. So, we went to Hawaii!

My husband is in the Navy and had been to Hawaii many times on sailing trips. When my son was two years old, we went to Honolulu and had a great time. We relaxed, swam in the ocean and enjoyed time as a family—away from the pressures of my life as a veterinarian and caregiver. For ten days, I was simply a wife and mother. It was wonderful. But, there was a small cloud over me for the entire holiday—not a literal cloud, although there were a few of those. I had the cloud of “family photos”. I hate the experience of finding someone to take the photo, trying to find a pose that will minimize my double chin and begging my toddler to sit still for more than 1.2 seconds. I remember a simpler time when you used a camera, took a photo, tried to take another 23 photos to use up your film, went to the pharmacy to get the photo processed and then hastily scanned through to find one you liked. Life was much easier back then. To think that I am the last generation to know such joy and freedom.

Family photo – attempt #322


The smile in this photo hides the shear panic as I try to suck in my gut, use “mind control” to get Miki to smile and silently pray that the other tourist knows how to use my phone. The truth is that I am not comfortable with how I look, particularly in photos or videos. I am well-aware that I need to be more forgiving and accepting of myself, but I am not. It is one of my greatest weaknesses and photos seem to bring out my worst fears. I know some people think that photos will take away their souls but for me, photos take away my confidence.

I decided to do something different on this trip—I designated one hour to family photos. And…I hired a “Flytographer”. Yup—look it up (and no, this is not a sponsored post!). It is a Victoria-based company that provides photography services in popular locations across the world. On April 6th, we met with Pono, the photographer, at a beach he recommended in Honolulu. I told him the fears of my appearance, he witnessed Miki running away with a bucket and saw that we had a baby. Really, all we needed to add to his photography stress was a family-pet chicken. Three days later, I was busy posting photos on Facebook to create new memories!

That’s better!

They say that “money can’t buy happiness” but for $325 US dollars, I discovered that money can give me family photos for my Christmas card and take away the stress of my double chin. And in one year, I hope that Facebook gives me the memory of a warm beach, family time and the sand between my toes.

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