The New Year’s Post

January 10, 2013

Check…Check…This thing on?

Oh hi there. Wha- is it January already?  Dang. Well, If you haven’t heard it from me yet, happy New Year to you and yours.

tacoma family portrait photographer

I don’t know about you but I have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions.  On the one hand, January is a natural time to reflect, re-commit, re-do and set a new course and all that. On the other hand, resolutions feel like a total set-up for failure and disappointment in myself. What am I supposed to feel if I DON’T keep my resolutions?  They’re pretty black and white- you either lose those ten pounds or you don’t.

So, I’m not going to make resolutions.  I’m going to reflect on the graces of 2012.  I’m going to think about what I want more of and less of in 2013. I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes me come alive as an artist and how can I build a business with more of that.  It took me asking the question “who am I as a photographer, who inspires me and makes me think I can pick up a camera and deliver images that my clients love, but that I love too?”  Heather and Jeremy and Benj and Tarah and Molly, and Andria for starters. I keep coming back to a desire to do more than just make pretty pictures, but to create something artful with my vision. I definitely want to create a stronger community of real photographers around me. More of that, please.

So, I keep asking “what do I want more of and what can I let go of in business and in life?”  I don’t have all the answers.  I have some. A few touchstones I keep coming back to are focus, gratitude, seeing the everyday, and time-management.  And probably the theme word for the year (and every year) is BALANCE.

And also, I need to make more time for things that make me feel happy and whole.  Running the whole show means there is always some business task or other to take care of, but this year I’m going to try to outsource the things that drain me- accounting, designing marketing materials…basically a lot of the admin stuff. I’d rather be shooting. Or learning. Or playing with my kids, doing yoga, running, reading, knitting, gardening, cycling, traveling.  Those are all things I need to add more of in my life. And I have some amazing partnerships in the works.  Stay tuned for more on that soon.

Can I say that I want to watch more TV?  If you know me, you may think I’ve lost it, especially considering that we just bought our first TV and resisted for years. And most of what’s on TV is not exactly what I would call enriching.  (Except I might be addicted to this show and perhaps I have the teeniest crush on Harvey Spector.)

But here’s the thing:  Mr. Uhler likes to relax sometimes at night by watching a show on the laptop in bed. Most of the time I don’t join him because I’m downstairs working.  OK, I don’t really hope to watch more TV per se, but to create focused down time where I am not multitasking, brainstorming, list-making, etc. A glass of wine. A book in bed (my book club might disown me if I show up to another meeting without having actually read the book!) I would also be building in time alone with him at the end of the day.  How lovely is that?  So yeah, I want more of that.

One more thing…in order to make room for all the above life-giving things, I will try to to stop working by ten and go to bed by eleven.  Easier said than done when your only guaranteed quiet time is between 9 and midnight, but I need to build margin in, and it doesn’t happen without being intentional. If I go to bed earlier I can….wait for it….wake up earlier! It’s like magic. I know this is a marathon and all that so I want to work smarter. There is a lot coming down the pipe, and I think it’s gonna be good.

More graces:

The World’s Cutest Baby is finally (most often) sleeping through the night and falling asleep on his own without help.  It sounds trivial, but it’s a game-changer, lemme tell ya!

The way our family dynamic is, well…so dynamic right now.  It’s pretty awesome having a pre-teen, two elementary kiddos and a baby.  I was worried about the gap, but it does keep things fresh. And I was giddy when we put the baby to bed a few weekends ago, put the eldest in charge and went out for a movie and a drink! Giddy!

Having a collection of photographs from One Dandelion on display at the SOMA building downtown.  It was so rewarding to put that little show together and stand back and see the body of work Sarah and I have been curating over  the last few years. All those beautiful moments add up to something much bigger than themselves.

Even the hard things can be grace.  I’ve been driven to my knees more than once this year.  But the season of  Post-Partum Depression, the emotional wrestling with one of the boys has just pointed us toward help in its many forms, so I am grateful for that.

Oh, and can I say that I LOVE my iphone 5?  I love being able to get work done and be productive on the go, have fun apps for the kids, but most of all, the camera rocks. Love it. My husband spoiled me this Christmas. Grace.

I could go on and on. It was a good year, and I hope this next one is even better.

So how about you?  How do you feel about resolutions? What are the most pressing things you want to change this year? What are the graces you saw in your life last year?

I have to get to bed soon (remember?) so here’s a little glimpse of how we spent New Year’s Day. I love my family. They’re all a pretty mobile bunch now!

Cherry blossoms already! Yes!

Someone just got braces!