The other night I was typing an e mail to Bonnie from B is for Bonnie Designs! She is helping me re-brand and friends… I am so overwhelmed with excitement at how AMAZING this is going to be. I don’t want to chat too much about it yet because Bonnie is FABULOUS and she deserves an entire post all to herself!
What struck me the other night was that as I was e mailing her, I was cry/laughing out loud! As moms… we do this, am I right?!
You see… I was sitting in my bed (more like huddled and crouched slightly under my covers) with the the laptop on the dimmest it could possibly go. I had the lights just barely on enough so that I could see. I had my TV volume set to level 2… if I could have set it to 1.5 I would have (as it was, I could barely hear my netflix binge watching show). I was also typing as quietly on the keys as I could!
I was barely even breathing friends! I know you are probably thinking I am crazy at this point but the thing is… let’s be honest we already know that I am, BUT Linc had finally fallen asleep in his bed which hasn’t happened since Tuck’s new job. I knew it wasn’t going to last all night and I was also trying something new (his door cracked, which we haven’t done since we took the gate off the top stairs because he broke it from scaling it soo much).
All I wanted was to max out this time of nighttime downtime for as long as I possibly could! I wanted to sit in my bed at 8:00 pm with the netflix show on and finally e mail Bonnie back in peace and possibly get down to some business that I needed to get to that was just for me! Yet.. I have to do it while hiding and in secret and that made me laugh and cry in a slightly hysterical and crazed way!
I mean, can’t you just picture it?!
Being a mom is the BEST job in the world, but it’s no secret it’s hard sometimes! It’s a completely selfless act and you know what… we would all choose it time and time again in a heartbeat! It’s completely amazing!!!
Running your own business is also hard because at the exact same time in a service/creative industry it also means serving people on a daily basis and giving of yourself at all hours of the day because even if you set office hours: office hours don’t always work out!
So sometimes… trying to balance and marry the two is just plain exhausting! Sometimes it’s just not even possible!
I realized this after having to STOP! Seriously… I actually had to stop… call up not one but several lifelines and admit to not only them but myself and my family that I was tired! I was tired, I was burnt out and that I was on the verge of not loving photography anymore! I feel so awful saying that right now to anyone who is reading this but I want you to know it because if you are like me… it’s nice to know someone else feels the same sometimes and it’s OK!
I had to phone a friend as the millionaires would say and have SEVERAL people give me permission and the acceptance to feel this way and say…. LOOK, it’s OK to OWN YOUR BUSINESS and run it the way YOU want to run it! It’s OK to slow down a little and find your own balance!
You see friends… this is me:
I am competitive! Not just with others but extremely competitive with myself! I love watching others succeed! I love cheering others on! In fact, I thrive on calling up others and congratulating them or seeing them accomplish something! It makes my heart soo happy, especially in this industry where sometimes just the acknowledgement from a friend can be absolutely priceless!~
This is what happens to me! Internally if I get too connected into social media and instagram and all the other photographers of the world and see how much they post or see how much they are published or see all the incredible things they are doing… I feel as though I need to work just as hard! I’m so extremely happy for them but I forget that our situations are completely different! My drive works a bit backwards!
I get caught up in a bit of a rat race if you will. I feel like I’m doing something wrong if I’m not posting 6 times a day or if I don’t have enough blog content! I feel like I’m not working hard enough and I’m disappointing people and my clients if I’m not updating my status or instagramming our lives! And guess what friends, that is so completely crazy!
That is a lot of pressure and instead of feeling motivated, I feel anxious and overwhelmed! I burn myself out and I take on too much and I realize (like I did this month) that I’m spending less time with my own family!
I tend to get into this battle with myself (like all moms do) am I missing quality moments with my own little family.
But FRIENDS… THERE IS GOOD NEWS!
We do get to choose! We do get to be the master of our schedules and our own time! We really can have it all and we can have it both ways!
We can be the moms we WANT to be and we can also be the strong busy business women with all the success that we want! We just have to define what OUR own success looks like! That’s kind of what I forgot along the way and what I am remembering after I phoned a friend… Miss Amanda Hedgepeth
So what does success look like for me:
- Quality time and memories with my family! I want Linc to have adventures! I want to be spontaneous with him! I want him to live free and wildly and bravely with a mom and dad who love him fiercely!
- Lifetime Clients that will never EVER be just clients! I have never worked with a client that hasn’t turned into a friend! Right now…. my clients are like extended family members and I wouldn’t be here today without every single one of them. Some of them are the lifelines that I have called upon! Some of them are the inspiration behind the brand I am redesigning. Some of them are the everyday hero’s that help me be the mom I want to be every morning when I wake up! I don’t ever want to work with someone who I can’t see developing a relationship with in the future. That’s how I work… you e mail me and when I respond back and we step foot onto the beach or wherever we chose your session to begin, please know that you leave that session with my heart!
That is what will define my success!
I used to think it was getting published or featured and when that did happen I was soo excited!! But the excitement fades away and the next phase of “where to now?!” begins. I used to think it was speaking and sharing my story and my love for family photography and it’s place in this industry, but I realize now that ALL of these big goals and dreams of mine in this photography world… they will always be there! They will wait! My family… my little boy, they aren’t keeping! They are changing right before my very eyes just like my clients families are!
The best that I can be and the most successful I will EVER be is by just being who I am right in this moment!
It’s by doing the very thing I was made to do: Serve my family as best as I can and spend the time I have with them. Serve my clients as much as I can in a balanced way and help them remember that their days and moments are everything they need and everything they want just the way they are!
Everything else… well it all fades away when I really take a hard look at it like this!
This is the BEST NEWS… because when we just breathe… we realize that we actually aren’t in a race! We aren’t in a race against time! We aren’t in a race against each other! There is no need for us to be anywhere but where we are right here and right now! We are perfectly placed right where we should be!
Let it fuel you to continue on to the path and determine what marks success for you!
Only YOU can determine what successful means and that will probably change time and time again and that’s OK! We are always redefining ourselves!
As long as we keep that compass pointing North… North being whatever you call it (Family is my North) you know you’re on the right path!
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