2018 brought us many things. A lot of work, for which I am thankful and madly in love with, and a lot of learning. Up until the last week of November I had been doing public school at home and online with my two littles (Gr 2 and Kinder) through a wonderful school with teachers who went above and beyond to help us every step of the way. Through October and into November the stress of losing our sitter and my full time work load came to a complete breaking point and we had to move them into traditional school. I lost more than 90 hours of work time between sickness and loss of childcare through October & November and you can imagine the stress of that backlog – I am still catching up. It took a few weeks of meetings and evaluations to get them in, but the staff and teachers there are equally amazing and we’ve truly lucked out with the classes they’ve been placed into. It’s been a month and I’m still crushed by the guilt I feel for doing what was best for me and my work instead of what I feel is best for them. The guilt of not meeting client needs the way I strive to, and the guilt of not enjoying much of our daily life outside of the hours spent staring at my work projects. Throughout this process we’ve been very gently asked if we have considered having our oldest evaluated for the autism spectrum. It has crossed our minds in the past, but we’ve always assumed he’s just lovably quirky. Now I’m wondering if we could have had tools to better guide him earlier if we had paid more attention. So much stress and guilt. 2018 is ending on a bit of a sour note mentally.
When I started to drown in October I knew it would be tough to catch up so I stopped booking projects for December. Soon December stretched into January, which is now creeping into February. My reasons have changed though as my projects have caught up. What started as an effort to keep my head above water has become a purposeful reworking of the structure in my business. I have contracted projects for magazine publications, a new magazine project of my own, and a few other commitments to keep me on my toes, but as far as sessions go I won’t be shooting until the end of February and it feels so incredibly good to step away. I am purposely blocking that time off to build a solid administrative foundation. Something I have never had the chance to do. The biggest change to come: I am hiring someone to help with social media posting and basic photo edits (culling from the bulk raw shots and prepping those selections for me to run the full edits so the style will still be my own). The goal is to offer speedy turnaround times on gallery deliveries, and to let me have more breathing room to appreciate this little family of mine outside of the actual shooting that I love so much. Josh and the kids carry the weight of my busy-ness and it’s something my kids don’t deserve. I want my evenings free for them while C & E are small enough to want our attention. I can’t recall the last time I curled up with them at bed time and wasn’t counting the minutes to go back to my desk.
What are you doing differently in 2019? I’m not talking resolutions here. I mean what steps have you taken to change things? To do things a little differently and live more closely in line with the life you envision? In my personal life, I want things slow and simple and uncomplicated. I plan to rid this house of at least half of the items we have crammed in here and move my work space further from our living space to create a bit of separation. You?