I'm just sick.
On Thursday, I arrived at my shoot. Properly greeted my client. Began chatting away - and as is my custom, fidgeted with my camera settings - effectively "zero-ing" things out in order to start fresh. It's pure habit for me to reformat my memory cards at the onset of every session. Make sure I have a nice clean slate before I begin. I've done it a hundred times.
I was chatting and not thinking. My fingers were pushing buttons almost subconsciously.
Little did I realize, that the card inside - contained the entirety of Macho's 4th birthday - of which - I had yet to download to my computer.
I didn't realize this the moment I got home. Noooooo...
It hit me as I lay down to sleep (mind you it was 1:30am). I realized it then - because that was the first moment all day long that I had a second to breathe and reflect. And boom. OMG.
I hopped out of bed. My entire house asleep for hours. Scurried in the dark to the kitchen to check my camera.
The worst part is. I didn't even NEED to reformat. I had a 32G card inside that had plenty of room for Macho's birthday, this session, and probably a few more. It's just a crazy habit and my brain has been so watered down I'm just screwing up!
As I sulked back into bed, I felt like I was carrying a TEN TON bag of guilt with me. I've been going ten million miles an hour for the past several weeks - actually since about May - and I'm tired.
Shit is slipping. I'd love to say this was my ONLY oversight this week - but that would be a lie.
I'm running myself into the ground. Playing "yes-man" again to every request that comes over the wire. And once again - I find myself looking into the eyes of my husband and children - and facing the fact that I'm all talk.
"Yep - honey one, maybe two shoots per week should be a perfectly manageable amount with the kids in school 3 days a week." -- this was my proposed plan of attack as I began my 2012 season.
Yet here I sit - typing this on a Friday - what should be a "home" day for the kids and I - with a babysitter in the other room while I'm holed up with the door locked editing away.
Earth to Katie...
You best CHECK yourself before you wreck everything that you love.
It's like anything else I suppose.
- I'm going to exercise.
- I'm going to watch what I eat.
- I'm going to date my husband every month - though every week would be even better.
- I'm going to put work aside and spend quality time with my kids on Wed/Fri and on weekends.
- I'm going to remember to take photos of the kids on a routine basis.
- I'm going to make time to scrapbook at least once a month.
- I'm NOT going to let work OWN me.
- I'm going to go to bed ad a decent hour.
- I'm going to sit down at night and relax on the couch with Clark - just ONCE.
I say it. And I MEAN it.
And I remind myself of these goals often enough. I have the best of intentions.
But do I follow through?
Not so much.
It's hard to say no. Especially when it comes to the financial part of things. We are in a VERY tough economy right now... yet somehow I'm busy. Business has been amazing this year. I'm making money - paying for the kids childcare - and a few extras and pumping a large portion of the balance back into growing the business even more. Heck - as of TODAY and not accepting any more clients through the end of 2012. Yesterday I booked my final opening.
Today is August 10. That's just bananas, folks.
When you hear the jobless reports on the news each day - it's hard not to accept - with blind ambition - every work opportunity that comes your way. To try and figure a way to "make it all work."
A little over two years ago - I would've laughed in your face if you told me people would actually PAY me to take their photo. So when someone calls - I obviously wanna move mountains to get them in...
And like any business... you want to keep that momentum going. So you say yes - when you should say no. But - there is a price. The more I say "yes" to my work - the more I'm, in effect, saying "NO" to my family.
Balance. Is a very elusive thing, I'm finding.
So - losing Luke's birthday photos I'll consider my warning shot. If I don't get my priorities in line - I'll be in a real tough spot. The slope is effectively slippery.
And worse yet - I'm eating crow. I said I wouldn't let things get out of control... yet here I am.
I'm tired, cranky all the time, and I feel like I'm starting to fail at the relationships I need the most in my life.
I recently hired a team of design professionals to rebrand my business. I'm in the thick of this process right now. It's exciting - and expensive - but I'm ready to elevate things... (The idea is to work smarter, not harder - elevate the brand - by outsourcing when necessary.)
I'm hoping to roll everything out at the beginning of 2013...
As part of the process - I had to sit down and do something that was looong overdue.
I had to write a mission statement.
I always intended to do it - but again - no follow through.
This situation forced me to. It was part of my "homework"
Here's what I came up with...
To honor the needs of my family first and foremost. God, my husband and my children are what sustain me. My priorities must not waver.
To operate my business with the utmost level of integrity - always showing kindness and my own brand of infectious enthusiasm to each and every existing and potential client and colleague.
To have fun and feed my creative spirit. If I can't create... I wither.
To not be afraid of success and trying something new. Be open to growth.
To be a blessing to others. By sharing my God-given talents - in helping my clients to savor their memories, and by mentoring others in my field.
To try my very best to exceed expectations and ultimately have a positive impact on the lives of those I come into contact with.
A work in progress, I suppose. But that first line item must be the litmus test against all things I say "yes" to.
When an opportunity arises - I gotta throw it at this statement like a wet noodle. If it sticks - do it.
If not - let it go.
And that's the naked truth y'all.