| Written by Ronnie |
These last few weeks have been intensely emotional for our family. I have words brewing inside of me, and I'm craving the time and space to write them. I wonder how all of you guys are going? Anyway, today's mini interview is with Bethany, who's another one of our 2015 Community Ambassadors. Bethany is a wonderful member of our community, always ready to reach out and offer her encouragement and support of others. I'm also a big fan of her moody images, and I'm very excited for the launch of her new blog - a natural extension of the journaling she's been sharing online. I hope you enjoy this interview, and please take the time to thank Bethany for her words.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your family?
I am very straightforward and to the point. My husband says I should have been a lawyer instead of a stay-at-home mom. I enjoy spending time in front of my laptop, working on projects involving InDesign while drinking a cup of coffee with whipped cream on top. I currently live in Ohio where the weather is as temperamental as a two year-old. Coming from the Golden State of California, I miss having the luxury of having the beach and mountains within a 3 hour drive. Over the past decade, I have fulfilled the role of a virtual assistant, pre-school teacher, bookkeeper, as well as an executive assistant to a start-up medical company. At heart, I am a research freak whose only time to indulge is evenings. I find joy in encouraging others, because I believe that by doing so, it not only enriches others but myself as well. As a shutterbug, I enjoy any opportunity for photography. My family are usually my subjects, to which they are now well-accustomed. With three daughters, two dogs, and a loving husband with a full-time job, I am eager to be involved in professional and fulfilling endeavors that will not detract from my family life.
Why is journaling important to you?
Journaling is about preservation. Mental notes will never be enough to be remembered, let alone be shared with my children or future generations. I also find that expressing my thoughts is a stress relief which helps me to maintain some balance. Looking back, I see how much I have grown and what I can still improve. Having these journals acts as a time capsule which allows me to reminisce about the past joys, failures, and triumphs.
When do you find the time to do it?
Currently I am sitting on my bed, writing in the late evening; to answer this question, I would have to say late at night when my kids are asleep, showers are taken, and the kitchen is cleaned.
What is your approach to using the #lifecapturedproject prompts?
I do not have any steadfast approach with regards to journaling. I know myself too well; if I overthink it, I probably won't have the courage to share it online and therefore, I find it difficult to find the thoughts I should have had in the first place. Feelings of stress and having things hanging over me never make journaling fun and enjoyable, so I do my best to have my mind at ease. Sometimes that's easier said than done, but I do try.
Can you also tell us a bit about #talesofseptember, and how this idea came about?
Great question! A lovely friend of mine whom you already know, Tori, birthed this amazing idea. Before it began, she asked people to submit their own idea for a prompt, and a reasoning behind the prompt, giving them an opportunity to be involved in a special way and have ownership within the community. You see, Tori reminds me of a recent blog post posted by Seth Godin, in which he said: "...The most important parts of an organization are the people you begin with. Not the systems or the policies or even the real estate. Great people make everything easier." Tori is a great person who gets people. She's a people person and is quick to encourage, celebrate, and support others. At the end of #augustbreak, Tori couldn't imagine losing the connections she'd made during that month. She thrives on being in a community and has a gift for building communities. She saw an opportunity and stepped forward by taking the flaming torch and giving people an opportunity to have a place to connect and feel empowered. These people are great, and the conversations are great. Everyone involved is putting their best foot forward in order to make everyone in the community feel special and worthy of sharing what they have to give.
Do you have any long-term plans for all the words that you’ve written?
A big goal of mine is to compile all of my children's photos into a photo book. Other journals I'd like to make into short stories – some just for me, others for the family to read and learn more about our lineage. Finding time is one of my biggest hurdles and you often talk and blog about this. Everyday, little by little, I'm carving out time to eventually make my goals a reality.
Do you have any tips to share for others who are interested in giving journaling a go?
I waited a long while to get back into journaling, but I say it's never really too late! Try not to let Instagram or Pinterest get you down because it can be overwhelming. Find what fits you best, whether it's writing on lined sheets of paper, adding short notes in your daily calendar, or typing reminders on the computer when you find a little time. I also find it very helpful when I can avoid distractions, such as waiting to write until my kids are fast asleep. The LIFE:CAPTURED Inc community is very welcoming, and Ronnie and Trish are very passionate in providing the best tools to help others along their journeys!
To see more of Bethany's images and words, you can follow her on Instagram.
You can download the prompts for October here.