Wednesday, January 8, 2014
It has been 6 years since I have been home with my kids. And this past fall, with much encouragement from many friends I took a leap of faith and gave photography some more serious time. I spent time shooting other families. I spent time learning. I spent time getting a website set up. I shared a lot of energy and time with something other than my family. I even snapped far less pictures of my crew than ever. And it had been 6 years since I had really shared my energy and time.
And it felt good. Teaching used to be such a creative outlet for me. So taking the photography up a level was a new outlet for creativity. But then I drove away one Saturday to shoot another family, while my own family headed off to the zoo and the pumpkin patch. And I cried. All the way to the shoot. Silly, for sure! I take the kids to the zoo all the time. I am there for almost every moment. What a special time for Ed to have with them. But it still was a new feeling...missing out on something.
As parents it is so easy to lose yourself in your children. It takes work, energy, and a lot of effort and juggling to keep up hobbies, friendships, travel dreams, careers, and even just your hair. When we feel ourselves starting to feel out of balance and giving too much to our littles it is good to step back and make room for things that challenge us and keep us aware of who we are when it doesn't revolve around them (and let's be serious, even when we are out for girl's night...we still have them in the back of our mind - you are really never off duty). And to take that time without feeling guilty.
Our phones, Facebook, internet, and other devices also give us connections. But it is so easy to get absorbed in the online communities that you forget about the little ones right underfoot.
But again, it is okay to be part of these places, take time, and connect in these different ways.
It is okay to have passions, hobbies, friendships, other things in the world that make you feel alive. But it is knowing when you are saying, "maybe later", "in a little bit", and "not right now" too often to the people that matter....and if you become aware that you are missing conversations or saying "not right now" to silly things like doing a puzzle or reading a book...then it is time to re-evaluate.
One of my favorite photographers is Jelly Bean Pictures. She captures real moments in such beautiful ways. Especially, her daughter. Today she posted this quote on her Facebook page:
"I promise to try real hard to lose the words 'not right now.' I remember saying those words out loud at the I Heart Faces Convention during my business class as I was talking about how important a balance is when working for oneself, especially. I lost it in front of the class. Literally. Hearing those words come out of my mouth out loud in front of the group transported me back to saying them- and then 'seeing' in my head, her walk away dejected. I started reading the Hands Free Mama book last night and it is confirming what I already knew... some small changes need to take place before I look back at her empty room once filled with dolls, drawings, Barbies and all things 'kid' and think 'damn, I should have just paused.' I should have let that email alert sit there for a little longer. I should have set better boundaries for my work. I should have, I should have, I should have... I don't want to be a 'should have' mama. I'm going to try, harder, to make sure photography and this business doesn't consume me. So if I take a little longer to comment on your kind words, or answer questions, or not get back to you within an hour which is my usual response time, you will know why. Because as much as I love what I do, I love her more." - Jelly Bean Pictures
I think her quote can work for anyone in our world. Anytime you lose yourself in something and you are putting off the right now, the family surrounding you, the friends cheering for you, the husband supporting you, the house that keeps you warm, and most importantly the little ones playing right there underfoot...whether you work outside of the home, work inside the home, have a hobby that absorbs you, books that take you on a mini vacation when you pick them up, or anything else that you find passion with - you have to find the balance to enjoy those things without guilt, but not miss out on the right now moments...
Because, just like Jelly Bean Pictures said..."I don't want to be a 'should have' mama.."
This year, 2014, with all the adventures ahead...I want to keep the phrases "maybe later" or "in a little bit" or "not right now" from my daily language. I want to pause and realize the now. But I also want to take time for my things without feeling guilt.
Maybe today your goal is taking time for yourself. Maybe today your goal is stepping away from the cleaning, your job, or your phone. Make the choice that is right for you.
Would love to hear about a choice you made today! Do share! Off to play Princess Sophia memory match with my little girl in summer pjs (said while rolling my eyes, since it is still below zero out!)
And don't forget to like For the Love of Naps on Facebook! Eeek! We are up to 34 likes..that's a few more than 5! Thank you so much!
at 10:59 AM Posted by For the Love of Naps - Sarah