Wednesday, October 15, 2008

just say no!

all of my adolescent to adult life, i have had a pretty consistent flaw. i am an extravert to a T, a strong ENFJ on the myers-briggs, and quite succintly, i love being around people. i love being busy.

i love trying out all of the numerous interests i have and even picking up some new ones. i can do the artsy-crafty thing, i miss playing music (by piano, clarinet or voice) so much that it hurts sometimes, and i'd be lying if i said that our recent trip to the community theater didn't get me thinking about auditioning again.

i love people, especially children. i love photography and capturing a moment, an expression, creating a memory. i love volunteering and working with youth and helping lead them to a strong relationship with Christ.

i love relaxing evenings with my husband. i love hanging out with my friends, and i love visiting my family and spending time with them.

i have a planner (and google calendar) that remains full of events, dates, appointments, meetings, parties, cookouts and gigs. my planner has always been my lifeline, and though many may jest at my reliance on the planner, it's what makes this schedule work.

this schedule is not working, though.

since starting my new job, my hours are completely different. i'm beginning to see clients around the same time i used to get off of work. it's stressful and crazy, but i feel worthwhile and rewarded. however, it's starting to be an early day when i get home at six, and now the other activities begin. clinical supervision, volunteering, family dinner, photography jobs, concerts...the list goes on. just when i'm about to wind down, i'm gearing up for another event and heading back out (or just going straight there from work.) weekends aren't much better, with games, more photography, meetings, weddings, etc. it seems like there's been little time to just "be."

so here's my consistent flaw. i can't say no. i end up trying to squeeze in one more thing, or get guilt-tripped into taking another photo job or going out of my way to do something. and the combination of the schedule and my exponentially more-stressful job has taken its toll.

so i'm saying no. i'm "trimming the fat" off of my schedule. i'm kicking out the stuff that isn't absolutely necessary and choosing those things that mean the most. mainly, my husband, my family and friends, and my faith.

if you see a few less photo jobs, you'll know why. i want to ENJOY my photography, not just do it because i feel obligated. i'm excited to do some family portrait sessions in the next few weeks, and that sparks my creativity.

and if i turn down an invitation, or ask to postpone it to next week, please understand why. i lost myself in my schedule, and i'm just trying to find the best balance for me. i'm not becoming a hermit, but i am placing priorities and learning to focus on what really matters.


  1. how much would you charge to do a family session? just curious

  2. Good for you- I am the same way- i also have a hard time saying no. I had to learn the lesson the hard way- Migraines and tension head aches- the docs thought i had a tumor in my head i was in soo much pain- stress is not a spiritual gift ...haha so dont waste your time with it....It may take a while for the guilt to wear off but you will be surprised at how invested you can get when you are focusing on a few things and not everything- the Lord will bless your time and the guilt will wear off...Keep up the good work...