I have started realizing that although this year I did schedule myself to potentially be less busy then last summer, I have in reality hit I think the same amount of busyness as last. This year is still different though. I have found myself not so much melding myself into my business needs, rather melding my business needs to myself.  A few weeks back an article surfaced via the New York Times about getting caught in the 'busy trap'. It really got  myself along with a great deal of the rest of the world and freelance professionals especially all up and buzzing around the topic of 'busy wedding season' and the like.

This past week my hopes of a more calm summer schedule came to a screeching halt when, not to my fault, I got in a car accident. It stunk. It hurt a bit. I'm rather fine although whiplash and upper body muscle strain go anything but hand-in-hand with shooting a 12 hour wedding day. A doctor's visit and x-rays, 4 recorded insurance statements, a debilitated beetle bug parked in front of my house and therefore no working automobile later, I am indeed far beyond what was an achievable hope of catching up {ironically the day of my accident was the last bit of 12 hour work day I needed to really nearly catch up}. So here I am, or, there I was. Stuck. Forced to refocus based on a series of very unfortunate events.

Now, I sit finally able to slowly yet surely mark off my way-too-long to-do list bit by bit. And you know what, I just have to be happy with the bits I can do. I got so overwhelmed that the only way to avoid shear and utter panic was to wallow laying atop an icepack with Pablo cuddled at my feet  watching somewhat biographical cable television shows. Of course, that only put me farther behind schedule. But ya know.

A couple days later I finally reentered the online blogisphere of fellow creatives and found that ironically enough the past two weeks have turned out to be rather overwhelming for a great deal of us!  And it made me snicker a bit both at reading fellow professionals balk of the strains and stresses {although in the wedding photographer world we really do have the best 'strains and stresses' if you ask me; what?! sit and look at gorgeous wedding photos for 10 hours a day for the next six weeks?! Gross! Terrible! Incroyable! ahem ahem it's really the opposite no?} that our chosen profession has gotten us. I then thought back to the above mentioned article by Tim Kreider and a few of the key phrases that stuck with me, mostly the opening paragraph:

"If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

and then too the following quote:

"Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day."

How true. How unbelievably true. I thought to myself, "Good grief is this guy spot on or what?!?" I imagine you may be thinking the same. Instead of looking at my own previous utterances and complaints/boasts of 'busyness' and becoming instantly disheartened/disappointed/disgusted/and all the 'dis's' really, I instead felt a little bit of pride and excitement. Yes, if you look at my daily planner you'll see days marked up chalk full of full-time volunteer work {70 hours a month} and wedding days reserving most of my Friday/Saturday/Sundays and family BBQs and girl's nights and client meetings and workflow goals and oh yes a whole truckload of travelling. Is it quote unquote a busy schedule? Well yes indeed it is! But what made me happy was that this year that schedule isn't just packed full of all business related things. I went to great extents this year to really be more balanced and reasonable and honest with myself and my business and my husband and my dog and my friends and my family. And they have in turn all been more understanding of myself and the business.

A perfect demonstration of this is through the above image from Christina+Charlie's engagement session in Fremont. This year even when booking work I booked work and clients that would still let me be able to do things and enjoy what bit of summer we get here! And with Christina+Charlie we walked all over Fremont on the sunniest day and ended off the session enjoying ice cream at the new space Blackbird. Perfect! Win, win! And this is one of many instances this year that I have not only been able to work but too play a little as well. It made me realize that instead of just seeing work as 'work' I was seeing and loving it so much more and then all of a sudden my photography took a really lovely and pretty turn for the better. A real blessing! I started to wonder though, how many of the other 'busy mc-busyson wedding photogs' are seeing their work as both work and play. Perhaps if they, perhaps if all of us try to see not only our work, but our lives in this way, how much more joyful, more relaxed, more rewarding and more enjoyable our seeming 'busyness' will be...


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