Happy 2016 everyone! I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions as I always seem to break the same tired promises—take better care of myself (more vegetables, less bacon), save more money (retirement, hello?), and practice patience (yeh, right). But this morning, an article in the New York Times caught my eye. In Why I Recorded a One-Second Video (Almost) Every Day in 2015, journalist Daniel Victor explains why he decided to chronicle his life by taking short, one-second video clips every day, and stringing them together into one continuous movie using the app, 1 Second Everyday. I watched his roughly six-minute video and I was intrigued. So much so that I downloaded the app and started a project of my own today. And I thought, “This would be great for parents of twins.” (Well, any parent really but since this blog is geared towards moms and dads of multiples….)
For me, the appeal is simple. I’m getting older and forgetting more! Every day seems to blend into the next. I simply want to remember my life as it feels so fleeting the older I get. Furthermore, my twins are grown and in college; my youngest just finished his last college application today and will be heading out the door come fall. I’m afraid of the “Empty Nest Syndrome,” since it was not an easy adjustment 18 months ago when my twins left for school. For the past 20 years, it’s been all about the kids, and I want to rediscover myself now before the last kid leaves the nest.
By committing to documenting my life every day for a year, it’s my hope that I’ll take more chances with my life. I’ll force myself to go out and visit museums, parks, theaters, parties, wherever! It’s my hope that I’ll get more involved in the world around me since a year from now, I’ll hardly want to watch a movie of myself just sitting on the couch or driving to work. The app, 1 Second Everyday, is fun and easy to use. And after my first day on the project, I believe what Victor says is true, there is a beginning, middle, and end to a one-second video clip. It’s amazing.
And what about you, tired parents to twins? Why did I think of you? Because when I was a new parent with young twins, days seemed long and often isolating (I was a stay-at-home mom for more than 10 years). Documenting my twins lives’ through video and photography, however, gave me a sense of purpose and helped me through many a lonely day. I thought, “If I can’t control the chaos, at the very least I can document it!” Plus, it’s always such fun to look back at those “good ‘ole days,” and laugh at the craziness and mess of early parenthood. (My favorite was when I would sit with each child and video tape a one-on-one interview. I would ask questions such as: What’s your favorite color? What do you want for Christmas? Who’s your best friend? Stuff like that.)
Not into taking a video a day? (Even though you have your phone on you all the time anyway?) Then how about another project to document your children’s lives? For the past five years, every week I’ve taken a photograph of my youngest, singleton son in the same spot, posing in the same position. It took just a second to click off a photo, and once a week wasn’t a big commitment. But the results are fascinating—stringing them together (again, using a photo app), I can see how he’s grown and changed over the years. He loves looking at it too (although he won’t admit that) as it was just a project between us, no twin brothers involved.
Yes, I know we are a Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, look-what-I’m-eating-for-dinner, self-obsessed culture, but there is something sweet and meaningful about documenting the every-day life of your family, about searching for the special in the ordinary. After all, time passes much too quickly even life with twins.