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Break the Rules

Lake Tahoe, children
I’m just like you. I do my best to be a mom, a wife, a business person, get in shape, eat better, send a thank you note, keep up with the laundry, pack the lunches, drop off, pick up, cook dinner, wash up, keep the calendar…sometimes it feels as if that’s all there is to life and all that there is time for. However I’m beginning to notice something.

When I break the rules magic happens at warp speed.

I first noticed it during my first Year of Me. I wanted to do a project for the Earth Island Institute‘s Brower Youth Award Winners. I wanted to honor and celebrate them by making their portraits and turning them around in just a few days to large prints to be displayed at the Awards Ceremony. This would take some focused time to make it happen and it would happen in October, my busiest month. I felt like a rebel putting a stake in the ground with my flag flying, doing something crazy like blocking time out for “giving” during a month that doesn’t HAVE time. Guess what? There was no dramatic backlash. What happened is my river of regular work just flowed right around that stake and happened anyway. I got to have my fun AND the work still happened as it always does.

I got bold. How else can I break the rules? How about no client appointments on weekends? Convention says that people are busy and they want to get their portraits done on the weekend. Yes, that is true. It is also true that the weekend is when my family is home. I used to think that was mighty convenient because my husband would be there for the kids while I worked. Then I realized I was missing out on prime family time. Valuable family time. No regrets family time. The truth is, the sun sets late enough three quarters of the year to do portraits at a time when families are home during the week. It can also be made into a fun excuse to take a short day on Friday and start the weekend off with a fun photography romp through the woods, creating memories with their families and even maybe breaking their own rules of what’s right and good.

One more experiment. Rather than fitting in exercise when everything else is done, why not put it first? Remember the stake in the river? Guess what? Everything flowed around it with no problem and the added bonus is I have a stronger body and happier mind to do better work for my clients. No guilt here. This is taking care of the tools of my trade. My body and my mind people. Hey, kids have recess every day. Why shouldn’t we?

Last night my husband and I sent the kids to the grandparents, got dressed up  and went to a grown up dinner party. With three forks! The gracious hosting couple live in my town even though I met them at a Vintage event two hours away. An event I didn’t want to go to because I didn’t want to be an “Event Photographer.” Turns out I could be any kind of photographer I wanted to…no one cared and I got the creative candy of photographing the singer of the band on the bar. But I digress…my husband and I went to a grown up dinner party and magic happened. Real magic. I realized even though I thought I was playing the part of the rebel, I’ve actually been wallowing, yes wallowing in the part of the Should’s and Must Do’s. No wonder I was crabby and restless. Where was my fun? Because of saying yes to this Vintage event, I met these amazing new friends who are making it possible for me (with my husband) to enter the Vintage world of dress up, parties, dances and more new friends. Guess what? What better place to live if I want to meet people who like to dress up and want artful portraits made? (What’s that? I hear angels singing!)

I feel like the bells are going off all over the city at once, from every church and tower!

My husband and I recently wondered what we did before we had kids, now we have something to look forward to…together! A new world means learning, borrowing, searching, trying, all those things that spark your brain because they are new and not a part of your daily routine. Guess who had fun at the dinner party? Guess who realized she needed to get out more? Guess who is eternally grateful for new friends, happy coincidences and of course those who push her when fear and comfort say no, but all other arrows point to YES as being the road to happiness? You guessed it. How about you?

What can you say YES to?

I don’t want to miss out! Let me know when new posts are up at The Year of Me

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Jim Griesemer - July 10, 2013 - 6:07 am

Thank you, Laura! We loved having you, Tim, Karen and Denise over for the evening. We had a great time, I think evidenced by how quickly the evening appeared to pass. We’re really looking forward to spending more time with you and Tim (and Karen) at the events and in the neighborhood.

I love the article and can relate to it. Remind us to tell you about our recent “stake in the sand” experience, sometime. It is a similar story of being bold, following intuition, and experiencing magic as a result.