As regular readers know, I find great pleasure in stalking birds, flowers, and butterflies with my camera. Oh, and Ebony Dog. (The flowers are the most cooperative subjects.) I know I'm a novice, but it makes me happy to look for beauty around me and save it to share with someone else or review when I need a pick-me-up.
The one photography tip which has most increased my satisfaction with the results is this: "Fill the frame." The idea is to fill the camera viewfinder with your subject and to exclude most everything else.
Filling the frame makes the difference between this:
Which do you like better, image 1:
or image 2?
Don't you prefer the second? It guides my eye to what I wanted to see in the first place. In both sets of photos, my position remained constant. Only the zoom lens moved. Our pond is pretty ugly right now, because the city is deepening it and installing stone retaining walls, but I can still enjoy the ducks and the turtles if I move closer, zoom in, and fill the frame of my vision with the good things to the exclusion of the rest.
As I move toward another surgery this Thursday on my shoulder, I am realizing I have the same choice to make in my attitude as I do in taking pictures. I can dwell on the "can't"s or the "can"s.
For the next 4 weeks with my right arm in a sling, I can't:
write by hand (a biggie for me),
manage my study tools and maybe not even a large ink-and-paper book,
knit or crochet,
wash or arrange my own hair,
do many chores,
do most of my back exercises,
play a piece on the piano,
sleep on my usual side,
and on and on.
When I start to think that way, my thoughts spiral into negativity, so I am seeking to "reframe the shot" by focusing on the "can"s. For the next 4 weeks of sling time, I can:
finish that Scripture memory project of the last 21 months,
walk a little,
sit outside and listen to the birds,
cuddle with Ebony, when he's willing,
work on left-hand agility at the piano,
watch all the Bible teaching on my YouTube "watch later" list,
allow others to care for me,
spend extra time with my parents,
read anything on my Kindle,
listen to audiobooks,
catch up on my sister-in-law's and niece's blog posts,
embrace the opportunity to grow my brain by doing things differently and using my left hand more,
ride in the car to visit my sister or grandmother,
watch the "chick flicks" duties normally prohibit,
and finally finish viewing the most recent season of Downton Abbey.
Filling my mind with the possibilities of this coming recovery time puts my heart more at ease. This recovery will be challenging. I'm not denying that but trying to help myself cope with the challenges and honor my good God in the challenges. It's a battle, some days more than others, but I believe it's one worth fighting. And not just for my sake but for the benefit of my husband, family, friends, and medical providers as they interact with me.
Contentment is contagious; so is discontent. If you are inclined to pray for the surgery, please also pray that God would be glorified in this patient and that He would bless others through me during this time. Please pray for grace not to catastrophize, but instead to "frame the shot" with the kinds of things Paul commands in Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.