Let me start this little shin-dig off by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It's currently January 5th and I am in full blown, this-year-is-going-to-be-the-greatest mode. I believe it with every morsel of my being. I am breathing in this beautiful fresh, new air and can taste the potential of 2018.
I've vented a few times about 2017 to you all. Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful year — one I will always remember for sure. One I will NEVER regret, But it was my work-horse year as well. I dug in deep, put my head down and worked. When I say I worked, I mean I really really REALLY worked. I barely slept. I took on session after session after session after session, and wedding after wedding after wedding, and project after project after project. We grew our nonprofit Spectrum Inspired to astronomical levels. We not only gained our official 501C3 status, but we traveled the world, expanded our reach, interviewed TEMPLE GRANDIN, and became a TRUELY global initiative!
And then, just for kickers, you know to see if I could make myself MAD from work, I decided to launch Unraveled Academy with a couple of my best friends and create a community of uplifting artists. So far? It's my greatest accomplishment. No, OUR greatest accomplishment. It has become my new home and my favorite way to spend my time. Turns out my love for teaching didn't die when I dropped my teaching degree a semester before I was about to graduate.
I've digressed as usual. So, simply stated, I found myself in my career this past year. I know who I am and I know without a doubt who I want to be. I've worked my ass off in search of it all. This isn't a post to brag about my successes or complain about my hardships though. This is a post to chat about how I want to improve myself for the new year and regain perspective.
What I have lost this year was my peace, my connections, my presence in my children's lives, the ability to keep track of my schedule and my mind, and a little slice of my happiness.
Throughout 2017, I found myself saying the words, "slow and steady....slow and steady," over and over again in my head, as I was amidst panic attacks in my car or on the verge of tears at night because I wasn't sure if I had done enough that day — knowing there was so much more I could have done. The hardest part of the juggling act I was amidst was mothering my four children. While my youngest is in preschool, I am very much still a stay at home mom to them and am required to be there for all of their activities while manning four blooming businesses. Homework, dance, playdates, therapies — that shit is all on me. It's not easy.
Gosh, I can't even tell you how many angry emails I received this past year about needing to reschedule sessions or not being able to fit people into my calendar or for not responding to their email within 24 hours. And damnit, I LOVE my clients. Like I really, really love them all and consider them to be stitched within my being. Documenting the lives of people year after year has a way of making your clients really MEAN something to you. Being a photographer is this crazy, out-of-body experience where you suddenly believe that you are apart of your clients' story and that it is YOUR responsibility to capture them authentically. But, needless to say, there were many days and weeks where I couldn't keep up — I was sick, my kids were sick (we were all sick) and I was just unable to return emails or had to reschedule sessions and quite literally found myself pulling off the highway once, getting sick all over myself in my car and I just KNEW that it had gone too far. I had pushed myself too hard.
So, the moral of this vent/post is: 2018 is my year of "steadiness" I will keep myself steady — from now on. I will better delegate what I can and cannot do. Above all else, I will put my time and effort and love into the projects and people I am most passionate about and I will be absolutely intentional, gradual, present and STEADY in every moment. After all, slow and steady wins the race. Am I right?
Steady never felt so right.
Do you have a word for 2018?
And here is a little bit of our life lately (aka 20 minutes with my kiddos locked in my room-- being bribed with chocolate for their participation).