When I think about this past year, one rather silly image comes to mind. It’s a snapshot from a trip we took to Scotland several years ago–probably only funny to Americans–a rather polite traffic sign:
Changed Priorities Ahead.
That’s the sign I should have thought about when I wrote my “to do list” of 2012, days before Harriet was born. When I look through that list now, I can only laugh and smile at my naivety. Seriously. I have a good chuckle every time I think about it. And while I certainly accomplished a few of the minor goals (and the first big one of course!), it was not my focus last year. It wasn’t even on the radar.
Having a baby didn’t just add another dimension to my life. It changed my life. For the better, I believe, but not in all the ways I was expecting.
You see, my 2012 list should have looked a lot more like this:
1. Learn to survive on 3 hours of sleep.
2. Find joy in the little things, like getting out of my pajamas sometime before 5pm.
3. Expand my circle of Mommy friends–I’m going to need them.
4. Hold on to every moment…even the ones that are difficult…because this phase won’t last for long.
5. Slow down and just love on the little baby in my arms.
6. Realize my attitude doesn’t need to be tied to my circumstances.
7. Be willing to see where I need to grow.
8. Phone a friend, often.
9. Pray, pray, and pray some more.
10. Laugh everyday, as often as I can.
11. Dance to music in the living room, at 2am with a baby if need be.
12. Enjoy watching Jay be a great dad to Harriet.
13. Set an agenda for the day and watch it not happen.
14. Learn how to write a cohesive blog post when being interrupted every five…er..two minutes.
15. Begin to see what really matters…and that it’s not about me.
16. Learn to live with unpredictability.
17. Become an expert at taking phone pictures because that’s all I’ll have time for most days.
18. Discover the crockpot is my friend for easy meals.
19. Master the three-minute shower.
20. Recall all those nursery rhymes of yore and sing them off-key whenever need be.
Of course, don’t get me wrong–I’m still working on many of those “goals” even now. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to waking up at 3am (yes, it sometimes still happens), and there are many days I feel more like crying than laughing. But the laughing is so much more richer than it ever used to be. The joy is more than I could have imagined. I get a front-row seat at watching (and shaping) the growth and development of another person–someone who has their own personality and preferences. It’s an incredible journey of discovery, but it requires sacrifice. I have only just begun to appreciate what mothers and fathers do for their children (and am now realizing what my own mom did for me).
So, speaking of sacrifice, this blog has definitely taken a backseat for the time being. There was once I time I blogged most every day. And while there are some super moms out there who could possibly juggle it all, I’m not one of them. So I don’t blog every day. Instead, I focus on getting the essentials done first–providing good customer service to my clients and creating meaningful photos, albeit at a much slower pace.
Slowing down this last year in terms of photography has allowed me some much needed time to rejuvenate and assess where I want to go in the short-term with my business. While I continue to love my work, I realize my focus needs to shift a bit for the time-being. What does that mean practically? It means limiting the number of weddings I photograph and instead focus on doing more documentary family, children, and baby sessions. This also means updating my website to reflect my new focus.
While I was naive about what 2012 would entail for me, I’m very hopeful for what 2013 brings. I’m looking forward to trying some different things on this crazy journey called life. Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013.