Two thousand fourteen was both the best and worst year of my life. I got more stamps in my passport that year than in all of my previous travels combined. I made new friends in NYC and started to feel like I belong in the city I love. My savings account dried up, and I had to get creative around the first of each month. The summer was full of adventure and much-welcomed work. I got to shoot my biggest photography assignment to date. And my wife had an affair.
It was also the year I started making one second films.
Fast forward to the end; while most people were nursing their New Year’s hangover I was assembling "2014 in 365 Seconds.”
At last the project was done, but more importantly the year was over. When it finished rendering I watched with eager trepidation as the days flashed by me in rhythmic succession. The memories came flooding back —the good ones and the other ones too. I often found myself thinking, “Oh yeah! That was the day when…” and before I could even finish that thought the next scene would barge in without any regard for my emotional experience. It was like my feelings were being violated as the scenes shifted so quickly from our third anniversary to adultery. It took everything in me not to pause the film and allow the moments to sink in. Yet something in the back of my mind kept saying, “Just let it play.” Perhaps, I thought, there is something to be learned here...
What I realized next actually became a bedrock of understanding that helped me withstand the months that followed. It is simply this: No matter how wonderful or how terrible the day may be, it lasts no longer nor shorter than any other.
In my case, the absolute best day of the year only got one second of screen time, and so did the worst day. …and every other day in between.
Regardless what I do or experience in a given day there is always one that came before it, and there will be another one to follow. Time doesn’t stop to consider how I am feeling. It’s ruthless, really, but it’s also the best healer.
Once I understood my place in the running timeline I started treating myself differently. On the days that sucked I extended grace to allow myself to feel hurt, anger, and betrayal —“In time this will pass..." And on the days when I felt most fully alive I remembered to be present and savor the moments —"this too will pass."