Now this is the story all about how we intentionally skipped a free family picture, but wait, don’t have a cow. Just take a minute and sit right there I’ll tell you why we did it to clear the air.

Ahem, forgive me for reliving my 90’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air obsession with a little rap diddy. Our local fire department recently sent out flyers asking for donations to purchase life saving equipment to be used in emergency situations. Since I like supporting my local community and want them to have up-to-date equipment to keep our residents safe, it was a no brainer for me to donate. They had incentivized the fundraising drive by offering a free 8×10 family picture in exchange for your donation. I wasn’t donating to get the free picture, but it seemed like a nice perk at the time.

A couple weeks passed and the reminder call came about our session the next day. I checked my calendar to make sure I had the right time down and went about my day.

The next day – PICTURE DAY – arrived and I had an epiphany. I thought to myself, “why are we getting the picture taken if I didn’t care about it in the first place?”

On the surface it seems like, “why would you not go get a free picture taken?” I’ll tell you why – it’s because it’s more than just a free picture.

  • It’s time out of my family’s day to stop what we are doing to go get a picture taken that we don’t really care about
  • My son takes a while to warm up so it’s no doubt not going to be a great picture anyway
  • Not to mention I have to figure out what outfits we are going to wear, get cleaned up, and change my son’s clothes after picking him up from daycare on the way to the fire station (which I know won’t go over well either)
  • On the backend you have to wait for the picture and deal with any potential problems that may arise
  • Besides all of this, we just had family pictures taken 2 weeks ago so we don’t need another family picture just because it’s free

What it all boils down to is questioning why you are doing what you’re doing and valuing your time. In the end, we skipped the picture appointment and it felt so damn good. Such a little thing, but it’s hard to go against the grain and proves that living intentionally is always a work in progress. When you do act according to your values it’s sweetly satisfying. Next time something is screaming “FREE!” don’t be blinded by the 4 letter word and all it really requires of you.

Do you have a similar story of mindlessly agreeing to something only to realize it didn’t make sense? I’d love to hear about it!