lessons is happiness: take up an easy hobby

 Before I had kids I used to spend a lot of my time creating. Drawing, painting, and baking as a hobby, and web design and floral design as careers. Once I had my children my time to be creative diminished. The little time that I had when the kids were sleeping I was too tired to get out my paints. The best I could do was surf the internet looking at all the wonderful crafty things other moms were creating.

As much as I loved seeing all the beautiful eye candy, it made me feel bad that I didn't have the time or energy to be creative myself.

Then one day I discovered Under The Sycamore. Ashley is a photographer who chronicles her life with her four kids on her blog. She takes beautiful and amazing photographs of her kids doing everyday things.

 I was inspired by her blog to pick up our digital camera and start snapping photos of our family. And I keep snapping. I think I can admit here that I've caught the photo bug.

The wonderful thing about photography is that I don't have to find time away from the kids to do it. In fact, they are the stars of my hobby. I can pick up my camera during snack time, or bring it to the zoo. I can snap photos for just three minutes, put down the camera, and get back to my boys.

I use the camera to give me a break when I'm having a rough day. If I can't seem to engage with my kids, or just don't feel like getting down on the floor to play Lego, picking up the camera inspires me to see their world from a new angle. After a few minutes I'm ready to join them again.

Taking photographs makes me feel creative again. I love reviewing the photos at the end of the day, seeing how many "keepers" there are and how I could've improved the others. Taking photos makes me a happier mom.

A few months ago we got a new camera and I was inspired to really learn how to use it. Ashley at Under the Sycamore offers online DSLR photo classes. Now that I've finished the course and am shooting in manual, I'm loving photography even more. And there is so much more to learn...

LESSON: Take up an easy hobby.

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