Wednesday, September 2, 2009

(photo: my wall is telling me to feel JOY, while my piles of unfinished things and projects-in-progress threaten to topple, literally AND figuratively...)

ARGH! Tried to take a "week off" after all the upset... Postponed sessions, etc. etc. But....
Life has a way of pushing onward, and somehow, I don't get the break I was wanting ... Needing. Oh, I had a tiny hiatus from shooting, but.... the orders still came in. The books I still haven't finished need finishing. The email inquiries keep coming and demand answers. (Even when I gently ask for more time, they come back, relentlessly asking for more more MORE)...

And then there's the "taking it easy" around the house. Why let myself "take it easy", when all that really means is that I let things fall apart a bit for a while, knowing full well that when I'm done "taking it easy", the house will now be a wreck, and *I* will be the one to drag it back together? Why even try to "take a break"? It is all metaphorically shoved in that hall closet now, hiding, but as soon as I open the door onto my "regularly scheduled program", all that crap is going to fall on my head. HARD.

And so.... I am barrelling into the autumn season... with trips out of town and fully booked session spots and no time to do more then flail to the surface and grab a quick breath or two before sinking again....

and you know what? This makes me sad.

I am not this person. At least, I do not WANT to be.

I want:

* magically, there to be six days where I work 13 hours straight EACH DAY so that I can get CAUGHT UP and maybe even AHEAD, and get some of these marketing/fun ideas off the ground and a strong foundation built up so that after that six days, I can START FRESH and do it right and achieve more balance this time. Because even my best intentions are getting swallowed up in the ever-present backlog of past things still needing to get done.

* to know I will be able to slow down and enjoy my favorite season of the year... with Noah. With Joe. With friends and family. NOT with a bowl of pathetic chocolate chips and the glowy-eery screen of my computer at 1 am as I EDIT and EDIT and EDIT.

* to handmake some of the gift ideas swimming around in my head for this Christmas season.

* to begin digging out of the vast hole of personal photos I have created... to get some ORDER in my personal photo files and begin getting them in books.

* to have a date night with Joe more than once every two months.

* to have the time and energy to prepare more healthy foods. And get out and MOVE this ol' body. Such a catch 22..... To get the energy to begin to create MORE energy...

* to blog more about the little things again... instead of trying to "keep up with the Joneses" in some vague way...

* to sew. and practice the banjo. To give my poor, anemic other talents some time on the stage. I am NOT a photographer. Not, at least, as my primary self-LABEL. I am an ARTIST of LIFE, with a collection of many talents and passions, and I am happiest when I am dabbling here, and doodling there, and letting each whisper of creative inspiration take me to the next phase.... whether it be writing for a season, or singing for a time, etc. etc....My soul is crying out for more varied expression.

* to not have to worry about money at the level I do now...

* more babies, and to be, primarily, a wife and mother. To have my primary occupation be nurturing their education, inspiration, and growth.

Ah.... if wishes were fishes. Right?

Instead, I am here. This is my reality. And I need to own it, and figure out how to survive in spite of the less-than-ideal parts. So. I need to let go of the ideal of "perfect balance" and learn to MAKE moments happen. Sew for 15 minutes today. Edit personal photos for 30 minutes tomorrow. Give more wiggle room when I tell clients when to expect their finished products. Go for a walk EVEN WHEN THERE'S NO TIME.... because a psychiatrist told me last year that 30 minutes of brisk walking does as much or more for a person than a prescription of Prozac. Can't beat THAT, can you?? To make myself do the foundational things that are GOOD for me, in order to be better prepared to handle the tough stuff...

Ask for help. Somehow. I don't even know who could help or how... but if there is an opportunity that arises to accept help, I need to TAKE IT.

I need to have faith and practice patience. This, too, shall pass. It has to, right? Even if "this, too", ends up being about 15 years of young-motherhood/working-from-home-mom STRESS, eventually, that 15 years HAS to pass. Right?

And please don't mistake me-- I DO have such a marvelous little life. And I DO make time for joy and moments of spontaneous pleasure... and outings with Noah and snuggles with Joe... And I DO have an incredible circle of friends and family... I really do.

It is just that today-- THIS DAY-- is kicking my existential backside. I am letting the stress attack me, instead of smacking it back and saying, "down, boy!".....

So... I'll get back to fighting stance.

I just need those 6 days of uninterrupted work to get there.



  1. If I lived near you I would visit you with a box full of cupcakes, homegrown tomatoes and give you a back and foot rub. I'm serious. Then we'd sing to "Chances Are" and "Moulin Rouge" until the neighbors begged us to stop.
    My dear, sweet friend, I am thinking of you at this exhausting time in your life.
    big HUGS to you.
    love you lady

  2. Amen. I know this feeling well. Have you thought about getting a sitter just for one whole day? I know its not six, but I did that last month and it didn't fix everything, but I could breathe again.

    Its good to know I'm normal :).

  3. Ugh...ugh ugh ugh. I'm sorry you're so overwhelmed, after just trying to get yourself together by taking a break (but that didn't end up being one at all).

    But--Ooh, I like the 'one-whole-day' sitter idea. I bet that would be wonderful for you...a small-ish expense for the priceless gift of TIME to re-gain, or begin to re-gain, your *Chi*.

    Also, WE should just make a pact to walk, even in different cities. I heard the same thing from my doc last winter, when I was so down, but it's remained on my "should" list ever since, rather than on the "DO" list. Now that the weather's getting delightfully fall-ish, what if we made a promise to each other to get in a walk every day? or every other day? And answer to each other about it, so we won't slack off!

  4. I think the previous advice is perfect. Maybe a quick call to RS president to ask if she knows someone who could take Noah for a time in the wake of your miscarriage to allow you to catch up for an afternoon/evening. Oh, good luck!!!

  5. Every Thursday I am home with my kids playing in the yard, creating art, eating snacks and hanging in our jammies.



    And then take one of my massage gift certificates that are gathering DUST and go relax. Then go catch a noon movie BY YOURSELF. Or enjoy a good lunch. Or even go back home, run around and get some things checked off your never ending list.

    I get it friend. I seriously do.

    Which is why I have help FOUR days this fall. It's how busy I am and what I needed to survive.

    But I have one day home and it happens to be tomorrow. And I have three little people that would love a fourth thrown in for good measure!

    I'm not kidding Em. You JUST SAID you should take the help offered.


    I'm help.

    And I'm offering.

    Call me: 541-9944

  6. Thought... jumping off of Genny's comment...

    What if we had a "walking date" at least once a week - to call each other and walk and talk (if my lunch hour could correspond with 30 minutes in your week, that would be best) and another one or two (or more) with Genny... Or at least can I get in on the accountability thing if you do it with Genny...

    Just a thought.

    Meanwhile, I'm still thinking about and praying for you...

    Love ya :-)

  7. :) Beth8:48 PM

    It's nice to see good karma coming home to roost in some of these comments! See, you give it out, that goodness of yourself, and somehow, when you cry out to the universe (metaphorically or literally, or blogically, even) because you need it BACK, it does come back. I love that.

    Sadly, nuthin' much I can do for you but type. And think happy thoughts. While I consider jammies 'n' art Thursdays because it sounds like a FAB idea!

  8. some good ideas for you in these comments.....

    And, not that it helps but I feel (and have felt) your pain. Sigh.

  9. Emily-I just got caught up on what's been going on and wanted to give you a great big e-hug!!!!!! You're in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Emily, as many people tell me, you do not have to qualify your statements with "but I know that I have a wonderful life." You are allowed to feel swamped, overwhelmed, and that life sometimes is not where you want it to be.

    It has been a rough few weeks/months for you, and that's OK! Your friends and family are here to bolster you when things are less than desirable, so take people up on these offers to walk, to babysit, and to allow you a few moments to breathe or create or both.

    I feel the same way you do--sometimes life marches on ahead when I really want to stop time, catch up with all of the little projects that are hanging over my head so that I can tackle life PREPARED and caught up. It WILL happen--life ebbs and flows and right now, it's running too fast with its demands and tragedies for you to catch up.

    I can't and won't offer any solutions--you have some great ones above. And sometimes you don't necessarily want solutions but acknowledgement that yes, sometimes life isn't what we want it to be!

    Good luck...and DO enjoy fall. It is my favorite season, too, and we're seemingly being graced with its presence early!

  11. You know it's funny. I just got off maternity leave and was feeling pretty much the same way. Then oddly enough, I was watching Bridget Jones Diary #2 (I think...Is there 3) and she was complaining about a boyfriend who wasn't as attentive to her as she thought he should be. So the other girls that were with her were telling her they're story's of how they were beat up, or forced into prostitution, then she thought...Hun, I guess I don't have it that bad.
    Just remember that things could get a lot worse and be happy for the things that you can accomplish. I now have 2 and am working. I'm getting gray hair faster, but I'm happy to be able to just have them with me.
    Count your many them one by one.

  12. I normally don't comment, but wanted to say that I also really FEEL you here. Balancing mamahood/work of any sort/being a wife and taking care of myself is a constant and evolving work in progress.

    Hugs from NYC.

  13. PLEASE take Jodie's offer! One day, unencumbered by diaper changes, snacks, tiptoeing through naptime, etc, WILL get you started on the right foot for those 6 days you need.


    And DO give yourself more wiggle room when you tell clients when their stuff will be ready. I did not die because I had to wait a little longer to see my pictures. In fact, I was just that more excited when I "finally" did get to see them. And even then, how long did it take ME to order them? You had to do THAT waiting, so it all works out fairly in the end. :)

  14. Another one of your many talents is that you are an awesome writer! I can feel the emotion seeping through this blog! I am sorry you are stressed. Please call me and let me take Noah for several hours so that you can do whatever you'd like to do for yourself! I'm serious!


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