Lifestyle

The De-Cluttering of Busy

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Lately, I've read a plethora of articles on the art of being busy, and they all ring true.  Busy has become a broad term for "don't bother me" or our self proclaimed idea that if we're busy, we must be successful.  On the contrary.  Being busy means there is room for organization; rooting what doesn't work, and seeding the will to spend quality family and down time.  I can say this first hand because I just spent the past year in "busy."  At first I thought it was amazing, I must be doing something right if I'm booking so many sessions!  A year later, enter the de-cluttering of busy.  Getting a lot of work is great, creating beautiful art is surely great.  Doing all of that while doing what you love - bonus great!  Overworking yourself to the point of injury, stress, and migraines?  Not so great - so what can we do with our busy schedules and hectic calendars?

I admit, this was challenging - I've never been organizational in the sense that things are tidy and in order.  I just learned to work hard, adapt, and it worked for me.  Until I had a kid.  My son just started Kindergarten.  I thought I was prepared, hey he'd been in Preschool for the past few years.  I thought I wouldn't be one of those emotional mom's, tearing up at the bus-stop, getting goosebumps as I drop him off at school, triple-checking his face to make sure there's no toothpaste or milk before he's sent off to play with other kids and, you know - learn stuff.  Boy was I wrong!  Those moments as the bus pulls away, you turn yourself around and make that seemingly long walk home, alone, as all your heartstrings trail behind you - it's heartbreaking.  Picture this - you're carefree and young, you have your life going for you, opportunities boundless.  We age, we mature, we have kids.  We learn to love someone else more than we love ourselves, more than we love life itself.  We nurture and raise them, giving up a plethora of things and spending all our spare time with them.  Then one day, they are gone.  Sure... it's not like he's gone off to college or anything - but that day will come.

What I have learned the past three weeks, is to embrace the routine.  Yes... the routine is golden.  My kid forces me to be a better person every day, and I love it.  Through this routine I've adopted a few new quirky traits, like sticking to working only a specific amount of time each night.  Setting aside designated down time.  Writing, when I feel inspired.  Heck, I foundtime today to blog.  All in all - I think that the business of our time gets caught up in the plan making and the dreaming and the what-if's.  And while some plans are necessary, I've really turned my gears to focus on the work itself, and give a little extra room for reading, movies, long drives, and camping.  Because as much as we need to follow the schedule we lay out in our pretty calendars, we need to focus on ourselves as well.

I'm gradually cleansing my schedule, sending it on a diet so that my life can feel more enriched.  A year ago I took the leap to full-time photographer - and it's been an amazing journey.  The weddings I have been a part of, the success I've created for myself.  I couldn't be more grateful.  The year to come I'm going to work smarter, and play harder.  I feel more creative, and my family, my home, and my body are thanking me.

From a recent trip to the coast:

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Rock the Shot - Seaside

My little guy L O V E S the beach! This is my submission to April's Rock the Shot photo challenge.

I just love his posture as he plays in the surf coming in over Seaside, OR.

Foster Beach
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Ancient Impressions

After tucking my son into bed, exhausted and winding down for sleep myself, I begin to sit down at the computer.  Breaking from the silence I suddenly hear, "Roar!  Roar!  Goodnight!" in his gruffest dino voice, as he snuggles down.  I'm rolling in laughter at the spontaneity that has overcome him, while he continues giggling in this dino voice.

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Ironically, as I attempted to work into the night, I stumbled accross a dinosaur, which I wrestled in my sleep-deprived state, to plug my printer in.  Laughter, ensuing the pause . . . as parents, we all know that one day all this will be gone and our days of going about our business, will just be that.  The little interruptions soaking delight into every corner of my day, will be gone in the blink of an eye.  Life happens just way to fast.  This dinosaur stalling my work with his grip on my reality, became the signaling of days that are no longer.

If I could photograph every moment and forever look back on a keepsake timeline of our lives here.. the little details that I never want to forget - I would.  Rather, I console myself in being ever more present today, and it allows me to smile even though I know that one day that's exactly what this will all be, but memories.  Precious memories.

For now, just being present in the details that remind me that little feet once roamed these spaces, while lest losing sight on the bigger picture and finding balance in preserving those moments with my little, is a true gift - one which I do not take for granted.  We are in the midst of creating memories that will last an eternity, rather than consuming our time trying to press mark the day in chronological order.  Today I found a dino.  And for that, I am thankful.

The Little Things

In my search for simplicity I have learned to just let go.  It seems simple, no?  That's an understatement - which may be the key as to why so many of get sucked into this game of life.  In my experience along this journey, I have found that just letting go creates this push and pull within myself... a swirling vortex of confusion.  Duality.  While my journey may be sloppy and messy, it has been necessary none the less; the reward, becoming always present and noticing the little things in my new found time.

The little things, like nature.  We become so cumbersome in our day to day business and happenings that we don't really slow down to smell the roses.  Such a cliche, but oh so true!  Noticing the changing light on the buildings as we pass them by, the birds expanding and contracting shapes in the sky.  In a blink of an eye, there were pink blossoms on the trees, and today they are a brilliant green.  It feels like just yesterday I was noticing the small details in the cracks of ice, the frost tipped leafs and nettles, nestled in the grove of bark.  The frost has since melted, and brought life to spring.  Crisp air, the smell of fresh mowed grass, the cool rain pouring rainbows in the sky against sun rays.  Before, I was so busy just being busy that I passed these details by without even a notion.  I felt life sipping away from me at a velocity I had no reasoning with.

By slowing down, it allows me to breathe deeper, think clearer, and free up space for the little things.  Walking the dog turned from a tedious task that was disrupting my work flow to a welcomed break.  Going to bed feels like a retreat rather than signaling all the lose ends of the day to clutter my dream space.  Waking in the morning is a time of gratitude as I welcome the day, rather than overwhelming anxiety over the to do lists in my head.

We must give ourselves allowances in a time where we are on the internet searching for new ways to organize, and for the next gadget on the market that will surely "simplify your life!" . . . while we live in an age of convenience, it can become us - and overwhelmingly so.  It is a token of relief when we can allow ourselves the time to take it all in and really experience what we have and where we are at.  These moments won't last forever, and I want to allow myself the opportunity to hang on to the memories when they are gone.

I've started a garden with my son.  Yes, shocking - me!  Known for my lack of a green thumb, it currently consists of . . . drum roll please: Spinach.  Yes, that's right.  One. Pot. Of. Spinach. The little things.  Starting a garden (yes, I'm really going with "garden" here) really makes you stop and slow down.  There is something special about planting a seed in the dirt, watering it, and watching it sprout and blossom as it comes to fruition.  Like little children, we nourish our seedlings, and watch them grow into little people.

Just as the spinach, I've been watching my little boy grow.  In a matter of weeks his language has developed to another level.  At three this may not seem as exciting as a milestone; but it's special none the less.  He's asking questions about all kinds of things - and some of his questions make me really think before finding an answer.

It's in these moments where I wonder, how it is that we came to a place to hold so much experience - the experience to wonder like a child, and to find the answers in science and mathematics, becoming common knowledge.  It is fascinating, really.  Life, in general.  The questions he poses, where I may have given a simple answer in my exhaustion after work in the car on the way home from preschool, I now think about the knowledge I'm really feeding him and begin to wonder what it is that ignites that imagination.  I want to cherish those moments, that wonder.

The little things.  Caught up in work and schedules, appointments and meetings, internet searches and reading, cooking and cleaning, planning... to the very last little detail so that nothing can run astray from our expectations.  It's easy to lose sight of the little things that matter most.  The messy.  The tedious.  Even the ugly.  There's beauty in everything when you take the time to really pay attention.

Along this journey I've learned that part of letting go means to just. say. no.  Setting  boundaries that become your mantra.  Little steps I've taken to get here... working closer to home allows me to spend less time in traffic and on the road.  My shift pushed a little later allows me to really enjoy the morning and keep to my natural time, because I'm truly that night owl, no matter how hard I try to fight it.  Embracing challenges rather than fighting them; acceptance is key and sticking to personal priorities - allowing the rest to slide.  My house might be a mess, but it's also a sign that it's been well lived in.  My eyes are no longer heavy with sleep, my body thanking me as I take the time to remember to sit a little taller and breathe a little deeper.  Meditating at least once  a day, retreating to my place of serenity allowing me to balance my emotions and frustrations - we all have them.

At the end of the day, it's these little things that matter most.  Nourishing our body, mind, and soul leads to a healthier life, and a sense of fulfillment; rather than chasing a boundless goal.

Taking time to slow down and smell the roses has allowed me to see all the little things that has since, been the highlight of each and every day.  And as long as there's sight on these little matters, life feels enriched and sometimes enchanted.

They say that we photograph most, what we are afraid of losing.  And for me.. it's the little things.

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Glaciem Rugam
Mushrooms

Offering Ten Free Sessions

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While I'm still in the beginning phases of my photography business and rounding out my portfolio, I am currently offering ten free sessions!  Contact me for details and to schedule!