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The camera doesn't lie

I must admit, I don't like most photos of myself. I'll spare you the specifics, but let me just say that I really work at it, and I'm pretty sure I should look 25.

But I don't. Go figure.

So I've developed my personal threshold for acceptable photos: As long as they don't look like the visage that stares back at me every morning in the toaster, I'm OK with them. Usually not thrilled, but OK.

This rule has been tested routinely by my husband, who writes a daily blog and, as a result, needs an endless supply of stock photos. Enter: moi, the handiest and cheapest model available – as long as he sticks to the rules. Otherwise, there's hell to pay.

I'm always really glad when I see him taking a photo far away from wherever I am. Distance is the best Photoshop ever, which means no prepping for my closeup. I can just be me.

Which is why I was so startled to see these photos he took of me shoveling snow. They were obviously taken from a good distance, but to my eye they revealed so much about where I was that day.

I was trying to dig myself out of a creative funk that had put me in a darker-than-usual place. I've been struggling to get my book, It's Hard Being You, A Primer on Being Happy Anyway, to a larger audience, and it's been rough going. Recent accolades – mine is a Michigan Notable Book for 2023! – have buoyed me, but, as is my wont, I'm shooting for the moon. And a national audience remains elusive.

So I've been stewing and stymied, searching for a foothold that will take me where I want to go.

See that woman shoveling in a zigzag pattern down the long driveway? That's me trying to work out a plan.

See her shoveling in the dark? That's me trying to get something done, even when I don't want to keep at it.

I'm tired, but I'm glad to see that woman, facing the elements and digging in.


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