WEEK IN WEEK: 1 tiny story from 2017. / by Love You Back Productions

 On Thursday, Julia spent the day photographing her 2 best friends, Zensuke Omi and Ryuta Dutah Iwashita Suderman, for a New Year's postcard.  Not pictured are Zen and Ryuta's gorgeous kimonos.  Head to toe traditional.  Of course, we stopped in a corner store.  Check out the Sly's reaction! - Julia Elizabeth Evans 

On Thursday, Julia spent the day photographing her 2 best friends, Zensuke Omi and Ryuta Dutah Iwashita Suderman, for a New Year's postcard.  Not pictured are Zen and Ryuta's gorgeous kimonos.  Head to toe traditional.  Of course, we stopped in a corner store.  Check out the Sly's reaction! - Julia Elizabeth Evans 

This WEEK IN REVIEW is a tiny story.  While Weenta and I run the last stretches of 2017,  we've had ample time to reflect on the future.

Just kidding!  

Amidst holiday cheer and New Year's resolutions, Love You Back Productions has video proposals to finalize, 2 more wedding films to complete, all of our kickstarter rewards to create and send out, and I have holiday thank-you notes to stamp.  All in a day’s work, ay?

In between all of that, I'll at least take this blog space to look ahead. For 2018, I am personally resolved to be more GRATEFUL.  Here's a tiny story for why?—

Over the holidays, I spent a week with family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Tarheel country.  On my first night home, I jinxed UNC. Tar Heels suffered its first at-home loss to an unranked team during a non-conference basketball game in over 10 years. 

[That's all quite technical.  All I need to say is UNC lost to Wofford.  Ever heard of Wofford? Nope. My point, exactly.  It was a very big upset.]

When the game ended, my father, a UNC alum and die-hard North Carolina basketball freak, looked down and turned off the TV.  No words, and his head stayed down.

My father then turned to bed.  He moved like a silent arrow in the direction of general darkness.  Sensing the effect Carolina’s tragic defeat was having on my father, I thought to say something.  Thank goodness, it spilled of me, jeez.

“Thank you for staying up and watching the game with me, Pa. That was great," I said.

For a man, always working to culture his kin on Tar Heel fandom but never quite succeeding, he was stunned.  Generally, if someone stays up to watch the game, it's only upon his urging.  Or "better yet," he might say, "let's all drive to Dean Smith Stadium..." At first, this man didn't really hear me.

“That was memorable,” I added. 

I guess my father did hear me. At that point, disappointment flowed into a sudden feeling of affection.  His silence begot a teeny, weeny; tiniest of smiles.  

Upon that note, he went to bed.  That was that, but allow me to speculate, I believe my dad slept better after hearing my "thanks."  Therein, from that night forward, I decided to say “thank you” more often.

  • “Thanks, Pa, for cooking dinner!” 
  • “Thank you mom for helping me find the scissors.” 
  • “Thank you, Grandma, for your dinner conversation, re: the perfection achieved in the last 5 minutes of Casablanca."

Quickly, this little intention started to fly out of me like rapid-fire. “Thanks; thank you; thank you so much,” to whomever I came across. Family and strangers, alike. 

After a few days, however, I grew melancholy, feeling like no one was hearing my "thanks."  No one seemed to heed my enthusiasm nor care about my overtly, copious gestures of gratitude.  "Thanks" after "thanks," family went about their business. Holidays were as usual. Nobody's demeanour towards me changed, at least, not as much as my father's did on that first night, home.  

On my final morning in North Carolina, in the car ride to the airport, I rounded the trip out with, “Thanks, Dad, for hosting me this past week."

A man of few words, my father smiled.  Except this time, he smiled big and bright. “Julia, you don’t need to say that.  This is your home."  I nodded.

"But, Julia, it has been so wonderful to have you this week.”  The sincerity of his voice was deeply moving.  This last interaction with my father speaks to the effect small gestures of gratitude can have on individuals, over time.  Later on, my mom quoted my dad as saying, “Julia’s stay at home was magical.”  She then added, “everyone else thought so, too.” 

Huh? Interesting.  “Thanks for sharing that, Mom.”  Better still, my gratitude affected everybody! 

Writing that tiny story to y'all and reflecting on small experiences over the past week, I realize my New Year’s Resolution is about gratitude. 

Rather than, keeping to a business tone of defining my New Year’s Resolution according to a set of parameters or list of measurable goals, I will focus on idea of gratitude, generally.

Thus, for 2018, I personally resolve to let gratitude into my life.  Check out this elucidating NYTIMES op-ed about how to really keep New Year's resolutions.

Thanks all for reading!

Love you so much,

Julia