Sometimes you’ve just got to climb back on the horse, no matter how awkward or uncertain it may be. I debated dividing this into 12 separate posts, but I want it written and posted before June 1st.
2012 has been unpredictable, in good and terrible ways. Actually, the terrible has been mostly predictable and the good has come as a total surprise. I love lists and goals partly because they give me the illusion of a roadmap on this journey. Here’s the current progress on the goals I set for this year:
1. Take at least one family portrait a month.
We didn’t in February…I was sure we would on Valentine’s Day and then, just like that, it was February 15th.
However, on March 4th, we took this:
Again issues with back lighting and harsh sun from the right (see the flare on Bri’s hands), and Nolie is making an alien face because he’s just been warned not to close his eyes like he did in the one just previous to this. And still, I love it…because Sean is laughing (probably at Nolie) and Aidan has his newest “cool” smile on, and I’d forgotten about those flowers in the background. I love it even more when I compare it to the one a friend took of us in April, on Easter Sunday:
But it is one more photo of all 5 of us, so I’m grateful for it too.
I’m so used to it now, I had forgotten, until looking back at my last 12 for 2012 post, that Brian shaved his beard right at the end of February. Despite the fact that he now looks younger than me, I love it.
2. Adopt and train a puppy.
What was I thinking?
Duke has made his way into our hearts, and I know he is not going anywhere. In all honesty, though, if I could go back in time and talk to myself in January, I would say, “Wait.”
Maybe that’s why we don’t have roadmaps, maybe it’s for the best that we get ourselves into things we would have said no thanks to if we knew just how much they would unravel us. Maybe I’ll be able to tell you in a year or so, when the second half of this goal has been accomplished.
He’s an incredibly good dog, and I hope I can learn to be as good a caretaker.
3. Prepare our family for our next trip to Chicago.
Just typing that made me cry. In August, I wasn’t sure if my mom would live to see September. After a visit in October, I felt she’d outlive us all. In November, leaving at Thanksgiving, I thought I was saying goodbye, but come January, I felt sure Mom would make it till summer. She had been sick for so long, but in the end, the end itself came very fast.
When I first added this to my 2012 list, I was thinking about finances, knowing we’d most likely be flying all five of us to Chicago at some point. In the end, we drove. I was also thinking about clothes. Yes, how crazy is that? But my mom loved clothes. I have lived too much of my life oblivious to how I was dressed and to my physical appearance in general, perhaps as an act of rebellion. But, before any visit to my mother, I have always planned every outfit as well as my children’s. One of her many instructions to me regarding her funeral services was making sure my younger brother had a sports coat.
Mainly I was thinking about how to prepare our boys. Our pastor gave me a copy of Leo Buscaglia’s The Fall of Fredding the Leaf last fall and I’m glad I read it, but I didn’t share it with the boys. It’s more about death in general than about the loss of a loved one. I’m trying to remember when my boys last talked to Mom. Possibly the 3rd of March, when I called to hear how the party she had hosted (yes, hosted!) had gone on the first. By Aidan’s and Nolan’s birthdays, the 9th and 12th, she was too sick to talk to them. I realize now there is no way to prepare, but I’m glad we had the conversations we did.
4. Learn the basics of my sewing machine and complete at least two projects.
I loved the sewing class I took in February, but February was insanely busy. I completed Nolie’s birthday shirt in class, as well as some superhero cloth napkins for the boys’ lunchboxes. I’ve only set up the machine once since the class, just last week in order to finish Sean’s birthday shirt. It looks a bit Frankenstein-ish but he loved it all the same.
5. Submit two resumes
Submit two resumes was code for “start the lengthy process of updating my resume and applying to teach at our extension university.” It was not code for start my own small business. I’ve been free-lancing from home off and on since I left my teaching position eight years ago, but I was ready to start thinking about something more.
A suggestion from my friend Emily, a photo shoot of a friend’s newborn, a hike with my friend Amy, a brave email to a labor&delivery nurse, encouragement from Angie, and a few “Would it be crazy if…” conversations with Brian, and the next thing I know, DOK Photography is born. No, it wasn’t the next thing. There were hurdles and hoops to jump through and lots of paperwork, but, as Rumi wrote,"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy."
I felt that river when I got the final signature to sign off on my business application, when the logo came together, when the website went live, and when I made my first sale. Now that the reality of trying to balance child-care, basketball season that turns into soccer season that is now baseball season, a puppy, a house that never stays “kept”, and life in general with work that is mostly NOT outside the home---I feel the river a bit less. There weren’t extra hours in my week at the start, so I’m not sure when I thought I’d fit in all the work that goes on after a photo session, which is the majority of the work. But I’m learning, I’m getting to witness beautiful scenes of family joy and love, and getting to hold newborn babies without having to bring them home.
I still plan to work on that second resume. I have no illusions that in a town of 5000, with a tourist-based economy, no cities nearby and few people with discretionary income, custom photography is going to become a trend. I love Brene Brown’s description of slash-careers, which “integrate and fully express the multiple passions, talents, and interests that a single career cannot accommodate.” I believe that, but I also believe she left out the mortgage, childcare, and food bills that a single job cannot pay.
Five years ago, when I agreed to design our church’s website, I couldn’t have predicted that would lead to my work for Sego Lily last summer, nor that I’d be making my own this year. All those hours reading everything I could about photography now seem full of intention, but I didn’t know it at the time. “Don’t push the river” quotes Karen Maezen Miller in Momma Zen, “let the future come to you.” Because it will, and I know enough to know it won’t look the way I imagine it.
6. Start every month with a clean desk.
The most I have done, since the beautifully clean desk of February 3rd, is take a photo of just how not clean my current desk is. All I want for Mother’s Day, besides a photo with my boys, is time to clean my office.
7. Lose and keep off 12 pounds.
I lost 5 fast, and another 5 not so fast. Then I chose to cope with all of the stress of this spring by consuming as much sugar and carbs as possible. I gained all 10 back incredibly quickly.
It’s May 1st, a clean new calendar page. Okay, not so clean, it’s already packed full but it is new. I’m back on the MWF gym routine and forswearing any soda. I started calling Brian “Bobbie Brown” as he seemed to delight in pouring me a coke and getting to add Pepsi to our grocery list. For the past two years, I’ve refused to buy it. No more hot chai while at the grocery store either. I’m trying to find a balance between all and nothing---aiming for five sugar-free days and weekends allowing moderate sugar/carbs. Tracking on MFP. Small steps.
8. Create a home binder.
Pinning other people’s organization binders on Pinterest doesn’t count? Didn’t think so.
9. Grow herbs inside my kitchen.
I did, and I have the photo somewhere to prove it. Looking at the dweebly seedlings on my window sill and the lush ones for sale at the market right now though, I'm thinking of dumping them and buying starters. Don’t judge.
10. Create a Shutterfly book of 12on12 layouts.
Not giving up on this one. Just haven’t done any more 12on12 since January. If I don’t have progress by June 1st, it will be time to re-evaluate.
11. Go to a concert at the Red Rocks!
The Red Rocks beat out Telluride and Zion once I saw that Brandi Carlile and Ingrid Michaelson were performing. Angie and Mary Alice are meeting me for a 21-Years-of-Friendship girls-weekend celebration and music under the Colorado stars in July. I plan to print my ticket and paste it on the fridge to get me through Brian’s first wildfire assignment.
12. 52 Weeks of Light
I’m two behind, but okay with that. There have been few posts other than the 52 and that is what I hope changes.
Other notes: I lost my laptop hard drive in April. Not fun, but everything was recovered (ie: $$$+hours and hours). I’m now subscribing to Crash Plan and feel better already.
I don’t want to add any other goals to our year, but I do want to work on getting my oldest sister Karen out to Moab, as well as my dad. The main goals I want to work on for May are #10, 7, and 6.
And I now realize even 12 is too many. For 2013, I think six should be the max!