I picked a doozie of a week
to try to focus on Gratitude…
I’m grateful for my son – he’s so funny and seriously the cutest human being I’ve ever known. He’s almost 4, which seems impossible. And he woke up in the middle of the night crying with pain in his ear. His cold had triggered an ear infection, not for the first time. He spent a difficult, feverish night nestled in our bed, and it was not until the next day we could see the doctor for antibiotics. So, two hard days of my little guy feeling really sick, sleeping through fever, and eating next to nothing. Today, though, he’s much better and was back to his usual brilliant and goofy self. Not to brag but he’s kind of a genius at rhyming words, and can practically make blueberry pancakes by himself. I can still remember how it felt when he came into the world, and his tiny. mind-blowing little face the first time I held him, and the irrationally intense jealousy I felt when anyone but me was holding him. His fat baby legs, which slimmed into little boy legs overnight. His pale golden skin and honey-colored eyes. He wakes me three times a night to “fix his blankies” and I do it even though I hate getting up because I know one day I’ll realize it’s been days since it last happened and it never will again. I love taking naps with him and every time I feel him sleeping against me, I’m at peace.
I’m really grateful for my business. Right now I am insanely overloaded – I have a hard time saying no, which means at this busiest time of year (for all family photographers) I am overbooked and pushing hard to keep everything on schedule so my beautiful clients are getting their photos and holiday cards on time, and all the “work” of business is happening. While I tend a sick 4 year old. Oh, did I mention I have had a cold for two weeks? When you run your own business, and you are the principal service provider in your business, sick days are “nothing happens today” days. So it’s a catch-22 sometimes – being in business for myself means I have control over my schedule and SO much more work/life balance; but also means when I need a break, there’s no one to cover for my absence. I had some hard problems to solve this week (well, easy to solve, actually, just expensive.) And I’m feeling pretty worn out. But at the end of the day, and the beginning of each new one, the fact remains: I get to do the work I love, I answer to Me, my business is generating income for me and two other people, and I am among the best at what I do, in the very large city where I live. I’m very grateful for that.
Meditation. Early this year I took a 10-week meditation class, with two goals in mind. First, to create some mental space in my own head, calm some of the constant buzz of daily life. And second, to see if, given some space, there was any untapped creativity awaiting expression. Well, both goals were met in quiet and surprising ways. I’ve yet to establish a reliable routine of meditation, but for a few weeks early in the year, I was doing so: sitting for 15-25 minutes 2-4 times a week. I still want that (and can feel my mind craving it during busy times like now), but even without that, I’ve gained this: I know how to pause anytime that I need to, find my breath, slow myself down and come back to the present moment. A favorite time to sneak in a little meditation: while washing dishes. I am really grateful for this ability, and for the way our brains work and respond to meditation. What a gift!
I said at the beginning of this post that I picked a doozie of a week to focus on gratitude. Because it has been a hard week. Every little thing has become a big thing. Every done thing undone. Everything a little behind schedule. And I’ve passed my stress on to others unintentionally.
But it’s so beautiful.