now :: then

Doing this 52 Fridays self portrait challenge has made me really look at myself a bit closer.
My whole self, not just the corner of my eye that I see looking in the rearview mirror while driving the kids to kindy, or doing the shopping. {As I don't generally wear makeup, or style my hair in much of a particular way - I somehow rarely spend much time looking in the mirror. We do not have a full length mirror in our house, so I look at bits here and there, but not the whole overall me - and not with an objective eye.}
I've noticed that I frown a lot. Sam tells me so, too. But until you see if yourself - and look - you don't really know or take notice. My mum used to frown a lot, too.
Not in a frowning way, just - that's the face I make. The face I own.
I wonder, though, our faces are an expression of our life. The deep lines etched into our faces are part of what our days take us through. Someone who scowls or smokes their whole life will have lots of little lines around their mouth, someone who frowns will have furrows in their brow. Someone who laughs easily, happily at life will have soft lines at their eyes.
I do not seem to have soft lines at my eyes.
I seem to have furrows and frowns on my brow.

but, oh, but look at these photos from just over a year ago. I look more than a year younger. I look at ease, happy, carefree.

So - I've been wondering, thinking, pondering. Does this mean that the last year of my life has been filled with stresses, furrows, frowns. And why.
When was the last time I was that happy?
Or have I spent too much time trying to get to somewhere (a new, dream house; a new, successful working life; my won business; my own sense of self; time without my children.....).

So - I'm challenging myself, through the 52 Friday's challenge, to find a happier, carefree, more laughing me.