First of all, I realize this appears to be a lengthy post. Well, actually … it is lengthy. But you won’t regret taking 4 minutes to read this as you will likely feel a connection to little things in your own life. I hope you feel inspired to photograph and record something “ordinary” in your life today.
I think it’s safe to say that Michelle Price, a fellow blog reader, would probably think that 8,000 is her new lucky number.
Last month I noticed that I was approaching 8,000 fans on my Facebook page. For those of you unfamiliar with how this works, I have a Facebook page. It’s not a profile, but a page. Individuals do profiles. Businesses do pages. To become a “fan” of a page (I don’t love that term, but anyway) means that you’ll get all the little updates from that business, just as you would get updates from your friends. It just so happens that my business is me, so it’s really fun & personal & anecdotal … not all “business-y”. I like to share quick insights, good deals or inspirational finds, tips, updates, and other random (and hopefully interesting/useful) thoughts.
I leave the very same notes on Twitter. Different platforms for different folks. You don’t need to follow me on both.
Back to the story.
I got the random idea to celebrate whoever was to become my 8,000th fan on Facebook. Just for fun. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do, other than make a big fuss over this person, call them and get to know them, and send them some goodies. I let everyone in on what I was doing. I really appreciate that so many folks find value in hearing my simple anecdotes on Facebook and Twitter so I wanted to do something fun.
So I watched closely for a few minutes. 7,997 … 7,998 … 7,999 … and then. There it was. The 8,000th person to follow me on Facebook was … Michael Price.
Michael Price! Michael Price? As in … Michael? 99% of the folks that follow my work are women and someone in that 1% of guys happens to be the 8,000th person? Seriously, Becky, what were you thinking?
So I turn to David and just start laughing. And he gave me the it-was-your-idea look. Now I’m going to have to call up some dude and get his life story and his wife is going to wonder who is this Becky and why do you follow her on Facebook?
But wait. Maybe this Michael guy tried to be the 8,000th fan for his wife. Could it be? As it turns out … that’s exactly what he had in mind. Michael happened to be on Facebook, saw that I was doing this fun little thing, knew his wife would be stoked, and he did it. He signed up to be my fan at the exact. right. moment.
Go Michael. Go you for being an awesomely thoughtful husband.
So … I call Michelle the very next day. We chat and chat and chat. I ask her all about her life. Her story. I wanted to get mental images of a day in her life. I wanted to visualize slices of her life. Slices that should be photographed and incorporated into Project Life.
(Michelle’s POTD from us talking)
Michelle had her hands full that day we spoke. A couple loads of laundry, carpool, making lunches, serving as secretary in the children’s Primary program at church, keeping her little ones from destroying anything in the house, a basement project with her husband, making preparations for dinner. You know … the usual.
You see, Michelle is the mother of six, ranging in ages from 16 down to 2 (hence the potential “destroying” I mentioned). She’s a busy woman. I learned that she really wanted Project Life, but it just wasn’t in the budget this time. Without her saying it, I learned that Michelle gives and gives and gives. I learned of a few of her lifetime dreams, like cruising in Alaska to go fishing, going back to school and studying Art, learn how to blow glass, opening a cupcake bakery, and possibly even running a marathon.
I totally envisioned all of these really fantastic pictures of her life: Piles of laundry. Chairs up on her kitchen table during the day to keep her toddler from climbing on them. The pile of her dozen or so notebooks that she keeps her ideas, quotes, and lists in. Her simple makeup collection which consists of hardly anything (there’s no time to for that). Ingredients laid out on the counter as she’s about to prepare the family’s favorite dinner: sweet & sour chicken.
A snapshot of the computer monitor with Facebook open since that’s one thing she enjoys doing in her down-time. Oh, and a picture of the way she eats a sandwich or toast: She always eats all the side crusts first. Down one side, across the bottom, then down the other side. Then she eats the middle, leaving the top crust for last. How about a picture of something that is cobalt blue and chartreuse, since those are her favorite colors. And a shot of Kenny Loggins’ Return to Pooh Corner CD since that’s what she listens to every Friday in the car when she drives her little ones around while they nap.
Plus, so many other things that she might view as ordinary pieces of her life … and yet, these “ordinary” things are what make up our existence, right?
Michelle is extraordinary. And so are you. I hope you know it. You have a very unique life with unique experiences. What you deem to be “mundane”, is actually quite interesting in the context of your whole life. I hope you’re celebrating these little slices of your life by documenting them. Photos + words.
I knew Michelle had to have the Project Life kit so that she could do just that.
This is where it gets fun.
It just so happens that David and I had plans to travel to Utah for a family vacation. As I was telling a friend about this whole fun thing with Michelle, she reminded me that we were going to be in Utah the next week. Michelle’s town was quite close to where we were staying! What are the chances of that? So … you know where this is going, right? I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
(Kudos to my darling friend Jen who tagged along and got these great shots.)
Such a sweet experience. Such a sweet woman. Such a coincidence that she answered the door in the middle of the day with scrapbook paper in her hands! She was actually working on making a card for her mom and her aunt. Michelle’s granddad was dying and she wanted to do something special for them.
You see? There she goes again. The giver.
Michelle now has Project Life to help her document her life. And a pedicure because every girl needs an occasional pedicure! By the way, her granddad did pass away shortly after our visit. David and I send our condolences to Michelle’s family during this tender time.
I have another surprise for Michelle that she doesn’t know about. And someone else is getting the same surprise. Tune in tomorrow for that. : )
As a side note, I just noticed that I now have 8,999 fans on my Facebook page at the time of posting this. Go figure. Will you be #9,000? I can’t promise a personal visit, but I think I can swing it to send you a Project Life kit. : )
Update: Meg Gundlach is lightening-fast and become the 9,000th fan on my Facebook page. Congratulations!