I have been thinking a lot about this recently. I mean A. LOT. Like keeping me up until 2 in the morning, A LOT. And I hate that. I hate when I have something bothering me so much that it consumes my thoughts, festers in the back of my head, and just overall makes me a [somewhat] miserable person. Because that is absolutely the LAST thing I want to be. I truly have not a damn thing to be miserable about. But the reality is I feel torn. Torn between what I sometimes think I "should" be doing and what I truly, in my heart, "want" to be doing.
This spring/early summer sort of "sucked". Sorry, but that is really the only way to put it. Not to go into much detail - it was a just a very unfortunate, very sad time for my family, a time we all knew was eventual, but a time we never wanted to face. But we did, and we are [usually] OK.
The remainder of my summer has been crazy busy. We have [finally] been so lucky to get a lot more help with our sweet Caroline, so we can spend a LOT more time doing things with our other two munchkins. And we DEFINITELY took advantage of that - from beach trips, to canoe trips, to camping trips, to a wide variety of day trips, and our annual amusement park trip. We still have a trip to stay a few nights with Grandma/cousins coming up and my husband hopes to sneak maybe one more quick camping trip. To be honest, this summer was almost full of too many trips. Sometimes I wish I had a few more "nowhere to go but home" trips. But it was all good. And it is all coming quickly to an end.
In the midst of our very hard spring, and our very busy summer, I have been somewhat managing my part-time photography business.
When I started this journey in photography, I was a full time stay at home mom. I had one little munchkin at home, one bigger one in school and one middle one with lots of "special needs". I truly did not want, and did not really need yet another job.
But I loved photography. I mean, I was OBSESSED with it. I couldn't get enough. And I decided that doing a few sessions here and there to help add a few extra bucks to our income would be nice. Plus being able to completely control how busy I want to be, was a HUGE plus.
Fast forward a few years....my kids are a bit older and my business has been often a bit busier than I originally planned. I find I can easily get sucked into way too much on my computer. I am so guilty of missing the family stuff because I am too worried about the business stuff. And I am very guilty of not being completely satisfied - first about not having enough business, and then complaining that I took on too much business.
I was reading question/answers on Zack Arias' tumbler site recently (highly recommended site! I love me some Zack!). One individual was talking about being stuck in a job he doesn't like, and pursuing photography on the side. His kids are little and his wife is in school. And he just feels torn as he just doesn't have time to really pursue what he loves. Zack's answer hit home to me. You can read the entire question/answer HERE. But the part of the comment Zack made that really spoke to me was this:
"Grass. Greener. Other. Side.
Cameras are always going to be around. Your kids aren’t. Don’t trade your kids’ youth for lenses and lights."
Now, ain't that the truth?
So I have been thinking and reflecting a lot on what I have done, what I am doing and what I truly want to do in the future. And the truth is, I want to be a part time photographer. I want to continue to do work that I absolutely LOVE! I want to continue to get to meet such amazing families and be there to capture the most important moments and times of their lives. But I don't want to be too busy. I don't want to be shooting every single day. I don't want all my weekends to be filled with sessions or weddings.
I am decided I need to stop the guilt and the "festering". I tend feel an insane amount of guilt when I am not devoting enough time to my business. Which is really crazy. I guess it is because I have devoted so much time improving my work and SO much money on equipment, workshops, software etc etc. And that time and money make me feel like I am SUPPOSED be a full time photographer. When in reality, I don't want to be full time. I can't be full time.
What I want is to still be able to go on all those summer trips. To be able to spend day hanging by our pool. To have a completely free Friday afternoon where we suddenly decide to take the kiddos on a summer evening drive and stop somewhere for dinner on a deck.
So, in light of my attempt at a better focus, I have decided, yet again to try Project 365. There is truly no project that forces you to live in the moment more. The first time I did it, I finished with only a few misses. The next few times I faltered and failed completely. But they say if you fail, just get up and try again! So here I go.....Day 1 of 365.....a few photos documenting a perfect Friday evening with the girlies...
Next up - My Summer, Part 1 - The Beach Trip!!!!!