Our eyes scampered about, landing on scenic points of our location, elliciting an "oooo" or an "ahhhhhh" each time we found something new. The waterfall rushed down the mountainside, cool, crisp water bouncing up into the heavy morning air. "This is beautiful" she sighed. "I almost didn't come. I thought I needed to be more responsible...but we're moving soon, and won't be here for long..."
I knew exactly how she felt. That undeniable guilt that ticks away in your brain, saying that every waking moment you should be scrolling your computer, answering emails, culling photos, scheduling sessions, tracking invoices, lining up styled shoots and coming up with funny quips on social media or you weren't doing your job. I had felt the small business owner guilt the week before when I decided to rearrange my schedule to accommodate a new 9:00AM workout. For some reason I feel guilty taking the morning to jump on boxes at Crossfit when I am still magically clicking away at emails before I go.. Or when I had four shoots the week before and instead of blogging decided to call it an Aloha Friday. And hey! Heaven knows I am NOT complaining about working--no sir're. You know what's up, I am happy to be doing anything thank heavens! Being busy ain't so bad. But when you can't peel yourself away from your office chair and haven't seen the outside world in a week needless to say can't remember what day it is, only what your to-do list consists of and your husband is begging you to 'get off work already' then you need to take a look around. See what it is you're truly working for. I am a photographer because I love it. I left a career and with an education as an Interior Designer because I knew it was what I needed to be doing--working for myself and shooting. Making these grandiose dreams a reality hasn't come easy--it's certainly been at a price of passing up on costly opportunities, saving money for equipment instead of new shoes, missing weekend BBQ's in exchange for serving beers (and now, thankfully, shooting weddings!), and purchasing a new camera body instead of a Stand Up Paddle Board. Hard work and sleepless nights are a necessary sacrifice but not at the cost of working ones life away at the blink of an eye. I needed to find a balance. One that doesn't mean I am consistently turning down dinners with new friends so I can input my profits vs. loses. (that happened, yall). One that doesn't have me turning off my desktop and wondering where the hell the month went. Wasn't Justin just saying "It's gonna be May?", what happened with that??!? A steady business that is successful as much as it is freeing, because that's why most people work for themselves, isn't it? So why am I oddly happy at the prospect of 12 hour uninterrupted work days? I don't want to be packing up our home on the islands, wondering how I spent my time, regretting all the things I did not take the chance to see or explore, wishing these years back. I want to enjoy my twenties, my husband, our Sunday Fundays. Make these pretty fluffy dogs dirty beach dogs. Hike as many ridge lines as I can. Really get to know the girls at Crossfit. Have mid-day coffee with Crystal. Give more of my time at Church. Go to Danica's Saturday yoga class. Hit the beach on a Monday with the BASH girls to brainstorm, and not feel one iota of guilt. I don't want to be so consumed with work that I miss all the other opportunities surrounding me, the ones really worth living.
We tredded water in the freezing cold waters, floating in the pool in awe of our freshwater swimming hole. "Just think, most people save up their whole lives to come visit for a week and we got to live here."
That made me think. I don't want Hawaii to be the place where I just built my business foundations. I wanted to take advantage and really live here, only a crazy person wouldn't! It's my business and MY life and I need to take control of what the heck is going on. Stop being so hard on myself and live a little, for crying out loud. So right then and there, I promised myself those much needed moments of solitude, fun, and exploration, and decided to do something different.
"That's it. I'm streamlining."
(By shooting more film, which I LOVE and requires less edit time and outsourcing. And....accepting help from others...Alyssa looks like SHE could'a used some help on this swing...ahahahahha ;) ) Don't worry, other than some water up the nose she made it just fine.
What have you done or plan to do to streamline your workflow? I'd love to hear some ideas!