I'm going to be 30 on the 24th of this month and while I'm honestly looking forward to my thirties I've also realized that now is the time to make some pretty substantial changes in my life. You see, I always have good intentions (which I've heard is the path to Hell... I hope that's not true), but I never live up to them because I'm too busy, lazy, tired, or I need to wash my hair. The things I consistently and constantly want to accomplish are: lose weight/get in shape, eat healthier, read and study my Bible more, journal more, pray more, be a better friend, stop yelling so much, get comfortable in my own skin both inside and out, volunteer more, relax more, have more quiet time, and I'm pretty sure I'm leaving something out like save the world or something. I've recently realized that my time is simply stretched too thin to be able to accomplish all, or even most of these goals.
Since I work full time, have a husband, son, two dogs, and a cat to take care of, grocery shopping to do, a house to keep clean (thankfully Isaac pretty much does this one), photo shoots to do, pictures to edit, and babies to hold at church, I've pretty much put a lot of other things on the back burner especially this past year. I just feel like things are not balanced. This is incredibly hard to write, I hope you know that. Admitting that I'm having a difficult time juggling everything literally makes me feel like a failure and honestly, I have never felt like more of a failure than I do right now. I've let myself down by not succeeding at any of the changes I've consistently wanted to make. I compare myself to everyone else on the planet and this year I am going to STOP. But in order to get things where they need to be, I'm going to take a break from photography for at least six months, if not longer, possibly indefinitely. I will still shoot my own family and personal things but I will not be available to hire until I decide I'm ready again. I have two weddings in the first 3 months of this year and a sweet baby girl who I get to photograph two more times since her parents purchased all of her sessions up front for her first year of life. Other than that, I will not be shooting. I worry that this may ruin my chance of returning to this "business" if I decide to since I may lose clients, but it's a chance I must take.
Since the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, I've been rocked to the core. Nothing in history has ever affected me to this degree or for this long. Obviously, there have been a lot of other tragedies and they always break my heart but it's just not the same. The unthinkable tragedy at Sandy Hook really hit close to home since I'm a mother of an almost kindergartener. Whenever I'm upset over something essentially meaningless, I remember those parents who are missing their child and the children who are missing their teacher, and anyone else that lost a loved one during such an evil act. I'm sure others have shared these feelings. It's sickening. In response to all of this craziness going on inside my head, I feel an overwhelming urge to truly discover what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. In an almost radical way, I am willing to lose something I hold dear to my heart in order to grow the kingdom of God. What does that mean? How do I do that? I don't know yet but I'm going to ask Him to show me the way. What I do know is that I need more time to focus on these things.
To all of my clients who have trusted me, supported me and encouraged me over the last 4 years, I am truly grateful. If I decide I can make room for photography again, I hope you'll allow me the privilege of photographing your lives once again.
P.S. Advice is welcome... please comment.