Christmas is almost upon us! Money has been spent, wish lists fulfilled and everything is primed to stash under trees and in stockings. The next part - the final traditions that happen in those last few days & hours before the big man arrives are some of the best parts for our family. We have a handful of traditions that I can't wait to repeat again after years and years of doing so. Luckily, our decorations, tree & stockings were all stored in a building far away from the house so they were totally unaffected by the fire. Some of the ornaments that get hung on the tree are from my dad's childhood and are treasured greatly. So much so, in fact, that everyone else is forbidden to hang them - they are only for me! Also, my stocking that I've had since I was wee is also there. YAY!
Amidst the beauty and magic of the season, I'm also feeling the anticipation of the new year which is one of my favorite things on the entire calendar (after my birthday, of course). This new year is going to be chock full of crazy-ass change but at the same time, it'll be a returning to my roots. Simplifying and bringing back some of my stay-at-home loveliness that I miss terribly. But (at the risk of being vague) the changes are going to be so wonderful and fulfilling.
Getting on with the program
31 Ways 31 Ways - +Craig Jarrow
After giving a little thought to how I normally distribute tasks throughout my day, I'd say I've got things fairly well organized in terms of timing but I (like many others) could absolutely benefit from a bit of a Facebook diet. It is far too easy to spend an embarrassing amount of wasted time on there with nothing to show for it.
I think that in the new year, my need to make more time for teaching & writing will necessitate working on those projects in the morning when my mind is fresh (without Facebook running in the background) and domestic duties like cleaning and organizing can wait until later in the day. Totally doable and likely very beneficial in terms of my time usage each day. Will report back later on this one.
Part two of the entry written Dec 25
Reclaim Your Dreams - +Jonathan Mead
Reclaiming ownership of your time
There are so many things I'd love to do but definitely feel that they are *just* outside my grasp due to a time shortage. (A self-imposed time shortage, that is). The list is incredibly long and filled with a variety of things. Some of those things are learning pottery, learning silk-screening, learning how to use the letterpress, owning horses, teaching & motivational speaking, writing a book, just knitting more, journaling more, reading more, napping, making cool things with my boys... oh, the list is so very long!
In order to make more time, I will have to work less. Much, much less. I will restructure the way my business runs and make myself available to my family first and my business second. I will redesign my marketing plan so that I can maintain my business in a way that is sustainable and profitable but still leave most of my time for my family. I will have to give up my full-time commitment to my studio and therefore to my clients but as a children's photographer, my clients all understand why my children, my marriage and my entire family need me to put them first.
My biggest time-sinks are my commute to work, social media (marketing is always how I rationalize it) and that's about it. We no longer have satellite TV, we don't have the kids in a bunch of after-school activities so we are pretty much primed to spend a lot of quality time together. In order to eliminate or at least minimize these time sinks, I will be driving to work fewer days each week, I will spend less time foolin' around on Facebook and make sure that time spent with my kids & husband are meaningful rather than all of us sitting side-by-side doing our own thing.
I can't get into how I will stay focused on my new commitments just yet (the full explanation will come in the new year) but suffice to say that some big changes for our family will demand more of my time and attention so replacing unhealthy time-wasting activities with more productive ones will be a necessity.
And since there are big changes coming in the new year for us, I can say that in order for me to avoid resenting my current circumstances as we redirect the focus back onto our priorities, I will gladly remember that the only time I have for sure is right now and to enjoy it as it is, as well as accepting that my present is the result of choices that I have made so being upset by them is to be upset with myself which is pointless.
The second half of this entry is being written in the early afternoon on Christmas Day. I am feeling very blessed, very grateful and very at-peace with where my life is in this exact moment. There are definitely things I would LOVE to un-do in the year that's behind us but funny, I wouldn't really if I had the chance. Where we are today, right now in this exact moment is such a gloriously perfect place that I wouldn't want to mess with that.
I will be sharing in the coming weeks more information regarding the changes that I keep referencing without disclosing details. Much needs to be confirmed before we can really say much but trust me when I say that my entire life is going to turn upside down but I openly welcome it. Also, I don't think I'd have the same clarity and confidence in our decision without having started the work in these Kickstart The Year workbooks. I'm SO not kidding. Change is inevitable and your ability, willingness openness in accepting and flourishing in the midst of it is the key to success. Which you have the capacity to experience and deserve to enjoy. Change is a wonderful opportunity to reevaluate your life, your values, your commitments and your path. Join me, won't you?!