Documenting Long Days & Short Years

Documenting the Long Days and Short Years | Frock Files

If someone asked me to choose one adult truth I’ve learned in the past year, it would be that time really does begin to speed up at some point. This week, as I head to Alt Summit for the second time, I’m in disbelief that it’s already time to go back, while at the same time I’m stunned by the ways my life has changed in these twelve months.

Nothing has illustrated this feeling more succinctly than this post on a family that took an annual photo in the same pose, in front of the same wall, at the same time of day, for twenty-two years. In the span of just a few seconds, you can scroll down the page and watch this family go through the kind of changes that extend beyond clothes or age.

I love how their expressions are so vastly different from year to year. Maybe that’s just indicative of the day, or maybe it tells a story of what the whole year was like. But there’s more to it than just a snapshot. In fact, in some of the photos it’s almost as though the parents are aging backwards because they look so much happier than in the previous year’s photos. Just like Roald Dahl said, the good thoughts are shining out of their faces like sunbeams.

Documenting the Long Days and Short Years | Frock FilesDocumenting the Long Days and Short Years | Frock Files

As you know, my favorite takeaway from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project is the quote, “The days are long, but the years are short.” I’ve always been fascinated by diaries of any type — daily journals, photographs, blogs. In fact, people like to call Facebook “fake-book”, but in reality, people have been molding their own truths for years. I think that the important thing is to document these long days, because it’s in that act of recording that we can look back and find ourselves.

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  1. ‘people have been molding their own thruths for years…’ YES…I keep saying that all the time to the cynics out there that complain about Instagram, blog, etc. In the past we would get photos printed and then we’d pick and choose from the large pile and only add the ones we like to our photo albums. We also cut out people out of certain photos or used just part of a group, etc. to illustrate our memory. As human beings we edit and have always done so. I don’t see a photo album from the 80s that has us taking pictures of our laundry and celebrating it….we celebrated travel, birthdays, get-togethers, clouds from airplane windows, 1st days of school, etc.
    While I do believe we might over edit these days with photoshop etc., I don’t think we are much different than we were 20/30 years ago.

  2. A beautiful way to mark the passage of time and a family bond. Thanks for the post and good luck at Alt.

  3. I just LOVE this. Cannot wait to look through all these pictures. I documented my little girl’s first two years of life in a monthly picture I took of her in the same chair on the same day each month and it’s awesome to see her grow. Now, I will do it every half year until she’s about 4 and then once a year. My plan is to give her the album on the day of her high school graduation. But, I’m hoping I can sneak in a picture of her in “the chair” on her college grad date AND her wedding day too. : )

  4. What an amazing photo series! That quote is so true. Sometimes it even feels like both the days AND years are short! I’m always taking photos of our girls, and when I download them to my computer I take a peek at photos from one year prior… it’s so fun to see how much they’ve changed and grown. šŸ™‚

  5. What a beautiful story~thanks for sharing!

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