It was last week Half Term holiday, and we were visiting my husband’s parents in the picturesque Lake District for a few days. The four of us had driven for five hours two days before, and it had rained constantly since we had arrived. Waking up to the knowledge we had a five to six hour car journey back to London suburbia in the rain filled me with dread, causing my mood to be as heavy as the clouds. To top it off I had to go on an hour round trip to a ‘Steam Train Museum’. Could my day get worse?
I admit, my attitude was poor. I huffed and puffed as Peter drove up into the mountains towards the museum – in torrential rain. The children oblivious to my mood, wriggled and giggled in their back seats, excited to be able to see real trains like Thomas the Tank Engine. With tension filling in the front seats I put some music on.
“Why should we bother in this rain? Why can’t we just turn around and go home? What is the point? We’ll only get stuck in rush hour traffic later, on our way back home.” I muttered to myself.
I was never sure Peter heard my whiny comments, but to deepen my self-righteous mood, Peter, not listening to the sat nav directions took a wrong turn, which then added another twenty minutes to the journey.
Finally we pulled in to the old railway station and met up with my in-laws who had come separately in their car. First impressions were bad; an empty puddle filled car park with an old carriage and single large shed, which we presumed were filled with train engines. Rain pelting down, we headed for shelter in the cold damp-smelling shed.
Seeing the children’s excitement as they saw the old steam trains, I thought. ‘How can I turn my mood round? What can I get from being here?’
As the children ran around with glee, I took out my iPhone to take photos of the them with the train carriages. It was then I began to see how interesting the train carriages looked on camera. The colours and patterns of the trains looked great. My mood instantly changed. Suddenly everything seemed more vibrant interesting and positive, and before long I was as inspired by steam trains as the children were.
After seeing the old steam trains we noticed crowds of people starting to fill the platform. There was great excitement as the old steam train pulled in full of tourists. As the whistle blew the train slowly departed with more people on board. With the noise of the engine, the glowing coal fire, and the smoke and steam, the atmosphere was electric.
I asked myself; ‘How could you ‘not’ fall in love with steam trains?’.
Lesson # 2 Finding a fresh perspective and inspiration when I’m in a funk!
We all know part of being a parent is being selfless and putting the children’s needs above our own. Often we turn off our childlike curiosity and see things in black and white, and as something to just get through, to grin and bear.
iphoneography on this day was my saviour, creating a distraction and a project to see everything in a more positive and creative light. So now, when my old eyes get tired and worn down with day-to-day grind, the iPhone can give them a fresh colourful new perspective.