Right now I’m in the middle of what we in the biz refer as “the off-season.” For the most part, from roughly January-March, my calendar is usually free of weddings and shoots, due to the sometimes-unpredictable weather (like today- 12+ inches of snow!). It’s a time for dreaming, resting, and doing all the small, menial tasks I didn’t get to during the regular season. But I keep forgetting about the RESTING part- I was thinking back the other day, and the last time I actually took a real vacation, and I mean sans-email, sans-blogging, sans WORK, was… an embarrassingly long time ago. When you run a small business, it’s hard to let your life be consumed with your job, because when you’re the only one fighting for your business, it feels like you NEED to be on, ready to go 24/7.
Rest is important. Without taking time away from my business, my camera starts to feel like it’s leeching the life out of me. And I don’t want to feel that way! I love what I do, the reason I started this business in the first place is because I have a passion for photography, and just as importantly, a passion for people. But in the same way that it’s important to rest up for a big race or game, it’s crucial that I take time for me as well. If I want my business to succeed from year to year, there’s no choice in the matter- burnout is a real thing, especially for creatives, and I don’t ever want to feel that way about something I love so much.
Remember last year when I blogged about dreaming, and how I wanted to go back to Europe? We’re making that happen! One of the amazing things about Matt is how he sees what inspires me and pushes me toward it. During our trip abroad last year, I felt my soul come alive- it was like a rocket booster for my work, and I learned SO MUCH about myself during our travels last year! Matt sees just how hard it is for me to step away from my business, and so when I told him about my idea to head overseas again, he not only agreed to it, he encouraged me that I SHOULD go. That I need time away from my office, time to be inspired, and time for just me. Folks have different places they go for inspiration- for some, that’s a beautiful painting, a favorite song, an elegant piece of stationery. For me, it’s TRAVELING. I know there’s nothing unique about liking travel and that most people jump at the opportunity to go somewhere exciting, but there’s something about it that breathes life into my soul and opens my eyes even wider. It’s not just the pleasure of being somewhere new, and I can’t really describe it, but traveling, especially in Europe, does something for me that nothing else can. I feel on fire, unstoppable, and utterly, breathlessly in love with life.
So next month, I’ll be heading to Italy, France and Ireland for about two weeks. I don’t have many solid plans about what to see or where to shoot, and I kind of prefer things that way! My usual tendency is to try and map things out hour by hour, but when Matt & I went to Paris without a single solid plan other than checking into our hotel room, it left the door wide open for spontaneity. Spur-of-the-moment turns down this windy lane, or that cobbled street, just wandering with the joy of being lost in a beautiful place.
If there’s been something on your to-do list that will breath life into you, don’t make excuses and just make time for it. Lara Casey said it best:
What’s stopping you?