Caffeine Induced Rambling

I usually have a coffee around 3 every afternoon.  Today, 4:30 rolled along and I wondered why I felt like crawling in to bed....then I realized that I'd skipped my coffee!

So I had a Diet Pepsi.

Then I had another Diet Pepsi.

Then I had some chocolate.

Then I sat down to type.

Fasten your seat-belts.

I've been stressed lately.  It's my husband's birthday tomorrow, and I want to make it special.  My kids are going back to school next week, and I think we're all a little agitated by the anticipation (and mind-numbing boredom of the end of summer).  Oh, and there's the minor detail of us throwing an end of summer party in three days.

I'm looking forward to the party - I really am.  So why the stress?  Well, so far we have just over 90 people coming.  90.  Nine-Zero.  NINETY.  PEOPLE.  It's my party and I'll stress if I want to.

Thankfully, I don't have to cook.  We're having our favorite Mexican restaurant pull their taco truck right into the driveway, where people can order their dinner.  Theoretically, the whole shin-dig should take place in the backyard...but I'm my mother's daughter, which means that my house must be white glove spotless.  I've been cleaning like a crazy woman for the past 3 days - a very happy thing for the door to door cleaning  solution salesman who I actually allowed to sell me some of his potion two days ago!  (By the way - being my mother's daughter is a good thing - she's a spectacular homemaker and gracious hostess.)

But do you know what's really keeping me up at night?

No, it's not the strange dreams I've been having.  Although...last night was a doozy in the dream department.  I dreamed that a circus train de-railed in my neighborhood, and we had dangerous wild animals roaming our lawns.  My last recollection was some strange dance I was doing as I kissed my children goodbye for the last time - there was a tiger stalking the neighbor's toddler, and I was going out to save her and surely be eaten by a tiger for my efforts.  I don't know about the dance part...probably had something to do with the 'mamba' tune I had my iPod alarm set to (which began to rudely wake me up just as I was going to save that little girl).  I can't even go down with dignity in my dreams...gotta go out doing the mamba.

Sorry.  Diet Pepsi is to blame for the previous paragraph.  You were warned.

Really...what's keeping me up at night is the realization that I just spend too much time trying to grow up to be someone else.

I can't even let myself read other blogs or look at photography websites lately.  Someone is always a better writer...a better photographer...a better...whatever.  And then I think something like "she's only been in business a year, and she has a full schedule of clients and a rockin' website!"

And then I get discouraged that the only clients I have seem to be the one's I've offered to shoot for free.

And THEN I realize that I can hardly keep up my house and spend quality time with my kids the way it is, and I wonder if maybe it's asking too much of this limited 24 hour day to try and squeeze one more thing into it.  Four kids need a lot of attention.  I WANT to give my four kids a lot of attention.  But is all of that just an excuse to avoid doing what I love because I don't want to fail at it?

And THEN I wonder if God is trying to guide me away from this photography thing because He wants me to be doing something else?

And THEN I remember (or am reminded) that when I spent a few days alone with the Lord at the beginning of the year to seek His guidance in this photography thing, He gave me a very clear direction.  A direction the I was (am) really frighteningly excited about...but I've avoided going all-in.  I'm afraid.  I'm afraid of spending a bunch of time and money to make "art" that no one will buy.  My walls will be covered, but my pocketbook will be empty.

Why am I working so hard to shoot like "that other photographer", when God gave me THESE eyes?  THIS vision?  THIS life?

I feel like I've wasted the past 8 months spinning my wheels trying to be someone else.

Heck, why not try the thing God showed me?  I'm not exactly making any money doing what I'm doing now!

But it's not all about money either.  At least it wasn't when I started.  I started this business because I love photography, am pretty darn good at it, and thought I could help my family's financial situation a little.  But the money became validation for me.  If I'm not making money, then I must not be any good.

In the mean time, my joy in this is dying.  I adore shooting babies and young kids.  I love God's artwork, and capturing it with my small part in revealing His glory.  But, I rarely pick up my camera just for the fun of it anymore.  In fact, I grabbed my camera this afternoon, sat in my backyard, and decided to sit there until I saw something I just HAD to snap a picture of.

I sat there for a long time.

Then I took a picture of my own foot.  Looked at it in the viewfinder.  Called it good enough, and stomped into the house in disgust.

I have to get back to the basics.  Pictures of my ugly feet just won't do.

Lisa  – (8/18/2010 07:39:00 PM) my...

We need to talk!

I love you and think you are extremely talented! But I know how those times of doubt and negative self-talk can sneak up on you.

Keep your eyes and ears open to God and He will come through for you. Promise.

Anonymous –   – (8/18/2010 10:30:00 PM)  

Oh my, I'm glad I'm not the only one with those thoughts. I've found that just taking a deep breath and spending a little extra time with God helps me through it.
You have a beautiful talent with your photography and God gave that to you for a reason.
Good luck with everything!

Edith  – (8/19/2010 03:59:00 PM)  

Thanks for sharing. You are very talented...both in your writing and photography.

I can totally relate to not picking up a camera for fun...I've stopped doing that as well. Hang in there.

Melissa Stover  – (8/27/2010 04:32:00 PM)  

your pictures are beautiful. i've gone through the same struggle myself, wondering if i'm good enough. if i'm as good as...?
finally, i felt like god was giving me the direction i needed. i started my business. he has blessed me in so many ways. but i still let those old doubts creep in.

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