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Picture This.......

When I look up from my computer, I am greeted with the graduation smile photos of the boys.  The Youngest is dressed for SK, The Middle for grade 8 and The Oldest for both grade 8 and high school.  On the same sideboard is the digital photo frame, that flashes the more casual moments of a few years ago.
Often, as I try to fit life into my viewfinder, I get told to put the camera away and enjoy the moment.  I get it, I do and I try.  I am the photographer of the family so if I don't take the pictures, no one will. 

Smartphones now have such fabulous resolution, it seems silly to take my
giant camera bag places.  I can upload immediately, save, share and Ka-POW.  

But what I am enjoying most this morning, is looking at the smiling faces of the boys (the oldest smiled for his grad photos as his gift to me---grade 9-12---he looks like he will beat you to death with his indifference), and the rotating pictures of our trip a few years ago.  

The moments were sweet when they happened, but by watching the images slide by, I can actually recapture the feeling of being there.  Only the best moments made the photo frame, so it is the best of the best.  Smiling face on Passion Island, sunsets off the ship balcony, The Oldest bouncing on a trampoline smiling (a real smile!), while the youngest is frozen in hysterical laughter trying to stand up; white sand, blue skies, palm trees and iguanas basking in the sun.  

The broaden-and-build model of positive emotions () suggests that positive emotions, such as joy, interest, contentment, elation, or love, temporarily broaden an individual's thought-action repertoire, thereby promoting the expansion of attention or interest in the environment and encouraging play and exploration. In turn, these broadening behaviors build lasting resources such as physical agility, social relationships, and heightened psychological resilience. This stockpiling of resources and skills allow an organism to be better prepared for future circumstances in which they might face adverse conditions or negative affective states (). [1]

Expanding on this research, I would think that images that increase personal, positive emotions would do the trick!

While I can no longer work out on the deck, in the sun, watching the birds and squirrels while I sip my coffee.  Spending a few minutes, eyes up, as the best of the best tickle a smile on my face is the next best thing.

Happy Monday!  


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