From July 14, when I headed out to chaperon summer camp, to July 23, when I finished my second of two planned days off working on organizing my house, I barely touched my photography business. I responded to emails, and my pre-written blog posts went up as scheduled. But other than that, I didn’t work on photography. What’s more, I really didn’t even think about it. I was busy with life — planning crazy games for 400 middle schoolers and growing closer to God; sorting through old clothes and arranging my closet, at long last, and making my home feel cozy again.
I didn’t miss my work. I love my work, but for those ten days, I really didn’t miss it. I was living my life — and life, when it comes down to it, isn’t confined to the work we choose.
Hopefully we’ve chosen work that we enjoy. Quite honestly, I do believe being a photographer is an incredibly rewarding, satisfying, and fun job. But it’s still my job. It isn’t my life. Unfortunately, all too often in these past two-and-a-half years, I’ve let myself view it that way. I spend most of my waking hours working on growing my business and serving my clients, so I let myself start believing that being a photographer defined my life. But it doesn’t. Moreover, I don’t want it to.I’m a 27-year-old woman. I’m a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend. A child of God. I’m a dreamer and a writer, and yes, a photographer. I’m an aspiring at-home chef who likes the idea, but not the practice, of also being an aspiring home decorator and gardener. Someday I’ll also be a mom and a more-seasoned world traveler. I want to be an encourager; a spreader of God’s love; a giver of my time.
And if I constantly view myself first, foremost, and almost exclusively as a photographer — where does that leave everything else that I so value in my life?
It leaves those dreams unbegun.
What do you value in your life? What are you leaving undone?
My brief time away from photography earlier this month has convinced me to make some changes — not only in my photography, but in my life. Photography is my job, and as I’ve said, I love it! I just don’t love it at the expense of everything else. So my priorities are rearranging themselves a bit. When it’s time to work, I’ll still throw my heart into my work 100%; I’m not going to throw myself into my work 100% of my time, though. Instead I’m carving out time for the other things that matter so much to me. And I’m pretty sure my work will benefit from that. I know my life will.