Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material Moms] Live In The Moment! – Selena Quah

One of the moments Selena managed to capture.

One of the moments Selena managed to capture.

Selena Quah enjoys the little things in life and hopes her children will pick up this trait from her too. She thinks kids are an excellent excuse to indulge in things she likes such as strolling through parks, doing art and craft, and baking. A dancer from young, she hopes to get back to it when the kids are older, though for now she’ll have to make do with dancing around the house while her boys wonder why Mummy is mad. She is expecting her third child and today, she wants to make it known to everybody that she will strive to be less trigger-happy in 2014. You can find Selena’s blog Unlikely Lady of Leisure here.

I had prepared another story for this week’s submission, only to be faced with a 21st Century problem – a technology blackout. My PC, netbook and smartphone all decided to take an unannounced holiday at the same time. My story and all the associated pictures were wiped out. Add to that, hardware malfunctions of my two portable hard-disk drives.

I was left reeling from the fact that I had lost all the photographs, notes and contacts on my smartphone that I hadn’t gotten around to backing-up, not to mention all the years of pictures of the time we lived abroad, of family gatherings, and other special occasions that were stored on the portable hard-drives. Precious memories lost.

Then I thought about my remaining store of photographs. 48,443. That’s the number of pictures I have on my hard-disk. Yes, I can rationalise that it spans from 2007 until now – a good six years or so. But still, that’s crazy!

But that’s the problem that we face nowadays, isn’t it? And this is especially true of parents with young kids. We simply have too many pictures. The advent of digital photography has brought about a conundrum. It is so easy to capture little moments compared to when we saved our film for the truly significant events. And while this means more memories of fleeting kisses and secret hugs, it also presents the problem of sheer volume. How many of us have actually gotten around to printing our photos for posterity. Well, I certainly haven’t. I’ve spent more time taking and uploading, than sorting and printing. I harbour ambitions of compiling the significant pictures into photobooks. But going through 48,443 of pictures is simply too daunting. And how can you possibly pick one to represent so many that are different and unique in their own special way?

'fess up. How many pictures did you take of your kid blowing out his birthday candles?

‘fess up. How many pictures did you take of your kid blowing out his birthday candles?

Admittedly I am quite trigger-happy, and this is my downfall. I’m sure there are the more organised mothers out there, but I am sadly not one of them.

So this 2014, I will strive to do a few things.

First, take less pictures. Still take them, but be more restrained. Just take one or two of them blowing out the candles, not 52! Just one or two of them running in the park, not 185! Capture the special time, but don’t overdo it.

Second, get into the habit of regularly printing out pictures. It’s really so easy to print pictures from our phones nowadays. Although it may cost more to print just a few each time rather than accumulating them, it is definitely much more worthwhile than having them disappear into thin air when software or hardware decides to fail.

Third, something that I had strived to do in 2013 and will continue to do in 2014, live in the moment rather than seek to document.

Lastly, I’m gonna buy me a network-attached storage (NAS) device to double or even triple back-up my stuff lest something similar happens again.

Technology, you may have won this time, but I will have the last laugh! Ha!