100 days :: halfway

100 days :: halfway

I have a love-hate relationship with the 100 Days project. At the start, I’m always gungho and keen to create some amazing things. By about day 20, I’m either completely obsessed, or have forgotten the darn thing exists.

Around the time of day twenty this year, life was being particularly lifeish. I was in a rut of the worst kind, and the idea of photographing anything, let alone something with my theme of “my everyday life” made me want to scratch my eyeballs out. Eventually, I got out of my rut, and managed to back fill those missing days, but an eagle eyed reader might note with interest my collage for the halfway point only includes 48 photos, not fifty.

Days 23 & 24 are the black hole of the project, with not even a photo on my phone to use as a reference. I didn’t even have the inspiration to set up a more stylised photo. A couple of weeks later, with my posts caught up, and those days remaining a blockage to continue, I had a choice; do I ignore them, skip over them and keep posting, or do I let their absence mark the end of the project.

It was a moment of self reflection, where I looked back over my starting post, my posts from previous years, the mini essays I wrote when I first started the project, and when I was playing the catch up game. Was it better to give up completely, or accept a less than perfect project? I decided I’d come this far, I may as well push on. Realistically, I was going to be the only one noticing the photos skipping from day 22 to day 25. I wanted to see it through, and not a small amount of motivation came from knowing I’d shared publicly in multiple places that I was doing the project. Did I really want to eat humble pie and admit I’d failed completely? No, no I didn’t.

And so, I filed days 23 & 24, 11th & 12th of March, into the vast file of “things I shall conveniently ignore”. I skipped straight over them and got to posting day 25, and kept moving. I will confess I have once again fallen slightly behind. When I first attempted a daily project, it felt much easier than this year, and I couldn’t work out why. I had two toddlers, and was newly pregnant with number three. How on earth was that easier than now, with the teen fully self-reliant with his own transport, and the three younger children reasonably independent outside of schooling. The difference, I came to realise, was precisely because I had small children; carrying bags and filling the pram basket and giving them a drink bottle and a teddy to carry was a normal part of leaving the house. Adding a camera to the pile was no biggie. Now, I grab my phone and my keys and I’m out the door. Most of the time I don’t even carry a bag. To bring a camera along requires a much larger change of routine and conscious thought now than it did in 2010.

My goal, for the remainder of the project, is to shoot daily, no excuses. I will work harder on remembering my camera when I leave the house; I may even move my camera to sit next to my keys and sunglasses to keep it simple. It isn’t always easy, but the discipline to keep up, and the rows of photos lining my hard drive are satisfying and keeping me motivated to keep going. Halfway there, down hill run, let’s make some magical images of the mundane every day.

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