Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 aged 58. Wendy shares how photography helps her to make the most of every moment.
Living in the moment
Before I was diagnosed with dementia, I was as guilty as most people are in the art of wishing our lives away. Wishing for the weekend, wishing for the next holiday, wishing for the summer to arrive. However, dementia has taught me how precious each moment is. Living in the moment is key to surviving each day, because this moment is all we have. The memories of yesterday gone, tomorrow an unknown and the future inevitable.
Capturing special moments
Photography allows me to capture these special moments, moments we may miss as we speed through our lives. A robin singing to its mate, a sunflower parcel waiting for the sun to reveal its wondrous petals, a squirrel peeking out of a hole in a tree for just a second. If you didn’t stop and look you would miss all these miracles of nature.
I started my blog to capture my thoughts before they get lost. I have calendars that take care of the future, but my photographs serve as a reminder of what I’ve done in the past. I remember images far better than words and the blog now serves as my memory. Photography is also a great way to enjoy spending time with friends and family. For loved ones, our brains can’t work at the speed of yours. We see tiny details you may miss. Slow down with us and experience the world at a slower pace.
You don’t need a professional camera, even phones take amazing photographs nowadays. The important thing to remember is to relax and take a moment to simply look around you. You may be surprised at what you see. It’s also great fun seeing the outcome. I might take 200 photos per day and only six come out right, but it’s that six that matter. Digital photography allows us to practice without any cost as you can simply delete the photographs you don’t like. Give it a try!
Wendy Mitchell writes a blog called Which me am I today? where she shares photographs from her daily life. Wendy is also the author of The Sunday Times best seller, Somebody I used to know.
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