Cheers to 2018!
I originally planned to create two separate blog posts – one personal and one business – but they are kind of interchangeable, aren’t they?
At the end of every year since I established my business I reflect back and think, wow, you did it. Some years have been phenomenal, some have been just okay. Some (okay all) have caused some tears. But every single year I’ve learned and have grown. And every single year I have an abundance of gratitude. Gratitude for my family and friends who believed in me and gratitude for my clients who put their trust in me.
This journey hasn’t always been easy but it has been 100% worth it. I’ve pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone (even if it meant taking LOTS of Pepto Bismol), I’ve had opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have had and I’ve been blessed to meet and create relationships with so many incredible people. There have been times, however, that I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, when I fell into the trap of that icky mindset: you’re not good enough, you’re an impostor, you totally missed X, Y, Z in that shoot, what were you thinking at that shoot? Some days I let those thoughts sit and fester for days on end and others just for a moment or two but regardless they were there and it’s not a fun place to be. Far too often I find myself constantly comparing myself to my peers (although it so often feels like I compare myself to the ‘pros’) and why? What good comes of that? But it’s easy to do that, isn’t it? It seems waaaayyyyyyyyy easier to compare and have self-doubt than to say “You are good enough, you CAN do it, you belong in the same group as those ‘pros’”. And that’s not just in my business, that’s in life, period.
I was so incredibly fortunate and blessed this year yet as my 45th birthday neared back in April I had this feeling of dread and thinking ’45? Holy Hannah that’s old and what an icky number. 45?? Ish. What can 45 bring me?’ I was not at all looking forward to turning another year older. But, sometime in the spring, right around my birthday, something changed in my mindset. I started listening to some motivational people - not continuously but enough to get little pieces that inspired me – and started really working on positive thinking. Remembering I’m blessed. Remembering that I am in control of my thoughts and emotions. Remembering that as I sat on a beach in Mazatlan in February I said, aloud to my husband, that I felt like this year in my business was going to be a great year, a defining year and why couldn’t I believe that about my life as well. And so the shift continued. I celebrated many things, was saddened by things but continued to remember that life is short, enjoy it. That kind of became my mantra: Life is short, enjoy it.
45 has become one of my best years yet! I try every day to be grateful, remember how blessed I am, understand how very precious life is.
I was incredibly luck to be able to do some travel this year (managed to take a little vacation every season in 2018!); my husband and I spent time in Mazatlan in February, a day on the North Shore with our daughters in June, a trip to Chicago and Milwaukee in June/July to see our beloved Twins play the Cubs and Brewers, respectively, and to Nashville this fall. In the spring I spent some time in Florida with a girlfriend visiting some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. Beaches, the sun, the salt air, the sand, the waves crashing upon the shore is what my soul craves and quite possibly spending more time than ever near oceans this year is a contributing factor to this being such a fabulous year.
With this personal growth as I stepped out of some of my comfort zones, I connected with a wonderful group called She Climbs Mountains, a non-profit organization based in the Twin Cities serving adult women who have experienced mother loss through death at any age. (For those unaware, I lost my mom suddenly and tragically when I was only 18). I attended, with a lot of trepidation and my nerves fried, a Mother’s Day Brunch in May and a workshop this winter that focused on early loss (those who lost their mothers at 21 or younger) afforded me the opportunity to meet an absolutely fabulous group of women – truly beautiful inside and out – and incredibly supportive.
This personal growth that seemed to take off for me this year was maybe a little bit of being more open-minded, taking a few risks (a few, not a lot – I’m not crazy!) – trying foods I haven’t before: shrimp, ceviche and Spanish coffee. Paddle boarding and kayaking. Running for longer and further than I ever have. Taking an online class to test for the PHR certification (Professional Human Resources – my day job) and full disclosure on that? I panicked and let test anxiety (and study anxiety) win and didn’t end up testing. One day, though – that’s a goal.
Was I a perfect person or did I run my business perfectly in 2018? Absolutely-stinking not! Did I try? Usually but definitely not always! Will I be the level of ‘perfect’ in 2019 that I want? Hahaha – heck no! But I’ll keep trying!
I have so many things to look forward to in 2019 both personally and professionally – I am beyond excited to see what this next year brings!!
So as 2018 comes to a close my thoughts go back to beginning of the year and the overwhelming sense of gratitude; there is so very much for which to be grateful both in my photography business and in life. Grace, Grit and Gratitude; that could be my 2019 mantra.
Blessings for a happy, healthy and wonderful 2019!
St. Paul Winter Carnival
Twins Home Opener
St. Patrick's Day
Keny Chesney concert
Blizzard for my birthday!
A daughter got engaged!
She Climbs Mountains group
She Climbs Mountains group - Early Mother Loss Workshop
She Climbs Mountains group - Early Mother Loss Workshop - an exercise in the workshop. I'll treasure it forever!