I’ve been a DIY blogger for seven years and I always regret not taking more before photos. Will I ever learn?
When you are in the midst of the before it just seems like one big mess where the goal is to get through as quickly as possible and then forget so that you can focus on all that is pretty and fixed up. I hate taking before photos and usually rush through it and move on.
At the time I cannot imagine wanting more before photos because all I want to do is fix it yesternow. I forget that the Before has its own purpose, and it’s not to shame me. It’s to inspire and encourage me.
Because all good change takes time.
Good, important changes don’t happen overnight. And while we are in the midst of the hard work of changing, we can so easily forget how far we’ve come. And this is where the Before picture is your closest friend.
This applies to so much more than decorating a room.
When we were in the middle of what seemed like a forever quest to pay off more than $150,000 in debt, what encouraged me the most? Not the un-pinpointable finish line, but calculating how much we had already paid off. When Chad and I have one of those scripted arguments (you know the kind that you keep having over and over again?), and I wonder if we’ve learned anything about marriage in our 19 years of being married, I remember how I used to pout and take a day to get over a disagreement and now we can laugh and move on.
So the other day I dug up the few before photos from my office and compared them to our during. The during doesn’t look all that impressive until you see the grody before. And even though I can still vividly remember the before when I look at the photos, I realize that I didn’t take the time to truly capture and appreciate where we started from. It was too gross and I wanted to get out of there. I regretted not getting a closeup of the rusted door with 20 years of dirt around the handle and broken cat door.
The gross imperfection is part of the story. And if I leave that part out, I can’t fully appreciate how far I’ve come.
Looking at our before and during photos are a great reminder to stop comparing ourselves to someone else’s beginning, middle or end. And if I insist on comparing, I want to compare myself to where I started so I can be encouraged with how far we’ve come.