Rocks

I loved to play in the rocks in our garden when I was younger and growing up in Illinois.

I still love looking through them still. Nowadays parents think These football sets are perfect for the garden and that there is no other way kids can play outdoors… no true! Life used to be so simple back then.

Things You Should Know – My Greatest Fear…

The Grand Tetons, Summer 2013

“What is your biggest fear in business?”

My friend and Philadelphia wedding photographer Mike Allebach asked that question today in the Brandsmash Facebook group. It stopped me.

Fear? I don’t have fear in my business. Ok, ok, I mean – I have the fears everyone has. Will there be customers? Will some major catastrophe happen and shut my business down? But I have systems in place for a lot of things. I have an amazing network of friends locally and nation-wide that have my back. I don’t have fear about my business.

“Letting my business take over my life, no longer having free time.”

It is so easy as a business owner to slide in to this mentality of it consuming everything. What I offer to my clients is built around my passions, so it is a part of me as much as my eyes are blue.

A few hours later, it hit me.

I have a far bigger fear — my story not being heard.
(Which of course starts with me telling it.)

I’ve spent a lot of the past six weeks going in circles. I have stories I want to tell, and choosing where to tell them is hard. I know I want them on my blog and not on Facebook, even though it is easier to just slide them in there. Faster. Always open. Quicker feedback from people.

But Facebook is so transient. Fleeting. My stories belong on my blog.

Having so much that I want to say leaves me silent. I don’t know where to begin.

Then there are the stories that overlap with the stories of others, and the blurred line of what I can share and what is not my story to tell.

If I want my story to be heard, I need to tell it. Plain & simple. I should get on that, shouldn’t I?

I thought long & hard about this week’s Things You Should Know Thursday. If we’re going to be BFFs, you should know that I need to be heard.

My goal for 2014 is to tell more of my story. Here. On Vivid & Brave. When working with my mentoring clients. When working with my photography clients. It is all about the story and being heard – and hearing them. We all have stories to share. I can’t wait to see what the new year holds.

I’m More Grateful Than Ever Before…

Walking in Yosemite National Park

I didn’t realize it until this morning, but this year has taught me one HUGE lesson more than anything else. GRATITUDE.

I’m grateful for my amazing husband, Mike. For my parents and my son. My in-laws. I’m so very grateful for their support, their encouragement, their wisdom and advice. I’m grateful for the life we have built for ourselves. For them giving me room to roam, and for making sure I know that they are always, always there for me even if they are 2,000 miles away or just in the other room.

I’m grateful for my incredible friends. The secret to going on a four month long road trip? Friends along the journey and friends waiting back at home. Both the ones you’ve known for years and the new ones that you make. The ones you share meals with, who let you stay on their couch or in their guest room, who loan you a washing machine when you need it, and give you a hug when you need it even more. The ones that greet you when you return as if you have never left.

I’m grateful for this country that I live in. I have learned so much this year about the geography of the land and how it influences the people that live there. I have a far greater understanding of the Western spirit than I ever did before, and I appreciate it so much.

I’m grateful for nature. In unexpected places, I found my sanctuary. My peace. My joy. Myself. From mountains to valleys, to the street that I live on.

I’m grateful for my work, that having a camera in my hand is my “job”, worthy of quotes because it rarely seems like a job at all. That magical black box has taken me places for 30+ years now, and I can’t imagine it not being a part of my life. It is only within the past six years though that it has helped take me far beyond my wildest dreams. It is surreal some days. I´m even more happy because I found the best cameras for vlogging and shooting any kind of videos.

This gratitude is not something that I think about only on the day that the nation sets aside for giving thanks. I have felt it rather intensely every minute of the past 5 months, since I stepped out the door to head to Portland. I thought it was going to just be a quick road trip. A little vacation. I had no idea what it was really going to mean to me, and I’m still working on putting it in to words, that visit to the house from twiddy rentals during my vacation literately changed my life.

If we’re going to be BFFs, you should know that while I might not always say it out loud, my heart is overflowing with gratitude. My life is more than I ever dreamed it could be, and I am grateful for you being a part of that.

Things You Should Know Thursdays, or #TYSKT, (which Thanksgiving just happens to fall on) was inspired by a journal prompt at Vivid & Brave – join us in sharing things we should know about you if we’re going to be BFFs.

Above: Yosemite National Park, a hike in solitude along near Lembert Dome.
Below: My beloved Grand Tetons in the summertime.

The Grand Tetons

Because of good and enough sleep, I am also very thankful because of this stuff: sleeping bags

I Can’t Keep Up With a Daily or Weekly or even Monthly Meme…

A few days ago, I was thinking about what I was going to share this week for Things You Should Know Thursday this week. I was drawing a blank, so I decided to come back to it later.

Earlier today, well, actually it is after midnight, so it was yesterday, not today, I was thinking about it again, and I came up with a few ideas that I didn’t stop to write down.

So now that it is minutes after midnight, I realized that I know EXACTLY what I should share this week! Things you should know about me if we’re going to be BFFs? I’ve never been able to keep up with a daily, weekly, or even monthly meme for posting. (I know, irony in starting one myself, right?)

Every time I say I’m going to join in on something like this, it seems as if is the kiss of death for the idea for me. I tried to do a 365 photo a day project? NO. I think I made it to day 8. I was going to photography my dinner every day for a year. NO. I made it, sadly, to only the second dinner. So the fact that I’ve managed to write this post every Thursday? Brilliant!

I’m sticking with it. I’m determined to make them happen. Even if they are late!

Things You Should Know Thursday was inspired by one of the daily prompts in Vivid & Brave. Check out the site for all of the details!

Ok, I’ll Admit It – I Suck at Setting Goals…

death-valley-sunrise-1

If we’re going to be BFFs, you should know that I really suck at setting goals.

I’m working through a course right now for my photography business, and I’m stuck on week 1, lesson 1. What is tripping me up? All of the questions are about setting goals. What goals do you want for your business? What goals do you want for your family? What goals do you want for your life?

Uhm, I guess that filling in all the blanks with, “To be happy!” is NOT an acceptable response.

I’ve been pretty successful in my life and my photography business for the past 6+ years. I am happy with it, it has been profitable. I am mostly happy in my personal life. Perfect? No. But happy. I just suck at formally setting goals.

Back in 2010 when I met MeRa Koh, she asked me what I wanted to be doing in 10 years. I stared at her with a blank look. Uhhh… still living? Fortunately she then flipped the question over and asked what I did NOT want to be doing in 5 years, and *bam!* immediate answer. I can tell you what I don’t want to do right away.

Part of it is the fact that I’ve been a part of this internet world for too long. Time passes at breakneck speed. Where will things even be in 5 years? Who knows?!

If I dig deeper though, I know exactly where it started. I was in a relationship for 8 years that was tumultuous. I’d make plans on Wednesday for Friday, and they would fall through. I don’t deal well with plans being changed, so I stopped making plans — but even worse? I stopped setting goals.

I’m working on changing this — I believe goals are quite important. How can I know how I’m going to get to where I want to go if I don’t have goals?

So for this Things You Should Know About Me Thursday, I’m coming clean. I suck at setting goals, but I’m trying to learn how to do it. I think it will make me a better person.

PS – if you have any tips on how to better at setting goals, I would LOVE to hear them! Leave a comment for me!

Things You Should Know Thursdays was inspired by a Vivid & Brave journaling prompt. Our goal with the Vivid & Brave program is to help creative women dig deeper and find their authentic voice — this is mine. If you share a thing I should know about you, be sure to come back here and leave a comment so I can link to you too! The hashtag for social media is #TYSKT.