Monday, July 20, 2015

One of Those Weeks

Yay Monday because last week was one of those weeks. I know it's inevitable that it will happen, but this was a convergence to be sure. What the heck happened, you may ask? Here is the rundown:
  • I experienced some challenging feedback regarding some recent work. It didn't shatter me, but it did shake me some because I walk this line of thinking I've worked so hard on something, but always fearing I haven't worked hard enough. When someone criticizes, it brings up that lurking fear that maybe I am just a giant poser. The next day, someone unsubscribed from my subscription site. 
  • Later in the week, a photo client was less than thrilled with the results of our photo session. I get that it's actually impossible to please everyone all the time, but I still have little heart attacks in the moments when it happens.  
  • I found out about a very large medical bill that was totally off my radar and I wasn't sure out of which hat I would magically pull the money to pay it. 
  • We found out our lovely old Honda will be totaled by insurance. Eric was rear-ended in heavy traffic the week before and the cost to repair the damage is greater than the value of the dear, almost 10-year old thing. Now we have the task of looking for a replacement, or learning to live a car down. At this point in time, that would mean me going without a car all the time, because Eric, Sara and Sam & Madison all have to get to work in separate places every day.
As usual though, I've been trained for and have seen the results of counting blessings and keeping things in perspective. There are connections to the way I live my life and the way I view my challenges. It's not always easy to get to the right perspective, but it can be done. In the end, these circumstances served to increase my determination to improve, rather than any of them causing actual discouragement for more than a few minutes (okay, hours).
  • I came up with a responses to the critiques of my work that I felt were fair and validating. Later in the week, we got a new subscriber. 
  • I got a ping for another possible photo shoot before week's end. I was also totally honest with the client and the ball is now in their court about how to proceed. 
  • I got a payment for teaching that was more than I was expecting and it is within a few dollars of the amount on the unexpected bill (still cashflow chaos, because that teaching money was earmarked for something else, but at least no need to panic).
  • Insurance is paying us for the car and providing a rental, so the car situation is really a non-situation. It's just one of those things that gets me thinking too much, like my life just has too many moving parts. I kind of wish we could do without 3 cars. I'm up for learning to be a local bicycling ninja, but there are some roads around here that actually terrify me, so some of my regular destinations, while within 5 miles, would just be rough for me on a bike. 

Then, in between all the times I may have looked to the heavens and whispered, "Really??" there was some delightful fun. I got to see dear friends who live far away. I learned to make Beavertails (the epic version of fried dough enjoyed by our Northern Neighbors)! I spent time with Corinne and her family and actually had so much fun I was exhausted (in a good way--seriously). I got back to running with Kathy, which feels wonderful. We talk and talk and before I know it, 5 miles goes by and I've had a great time. It's good for my body and mind.
So, on balance, even though I really want to, I can't logically complain. The fact that I want to, even for a minute, frustrates me, because seriously people, I have it so easy. So. Easy. In the big picture at least. Compassion requires that I acknowledge what's hard for me, and there were some times this week that challenged me. It's the way life works: the ups and downs, the chances to choose, the opportunities to make the most of the learning experiences. So, okay. It was a rough week for some moments, but not rough in any significant ways, just in ways that act as directional markers. "Do this better next time." or "Make a decision and move forward." It's kind of a sideways blessing to not have to guess what to work on, right? I have a hard list of about 6 things I can improve on in real and focused ways for work and personal organization, and I'm glad about that. 
My tendency is definitely to be problem oriented and stay stuck in the past, but I'm really liking the results of choosing mindfulness, practical action and compassion. If that all sounds a bit woo-woo, well-spotted. I've been learning my way round meditation training for the sake of my elevated blood pressure, and I have to say that there is something to spending a few minutes everyday doing nothing, and doing it on purpose. Today was a nap in the hammock, and yesterday, when I got out my camera to try and get a snap of the hummingbird in the yard, I noticed that my lens fogged up, thanks to the humidity. I looked at my flowers through the foggy lens and forgot about the hummingbird and everything else for about 20 minutes. Here are a few of the shots I got. Nothing is stellar in terms of composition, but I love, love, love the dreamy look of these. I hope you do too.


  1. I love that first photograph.

  2. As I've tried to say over and over again, WE MUST SHARE HEARTS!!--I love (and totally relate to!) every word! That constant balancing of blessings/adversity is dizzying, and often keeps me from basking uninhibited in my joy, since I know it's always linked somewhere with pain!, and YET--somehow that's what makes it all so beautiful and all the more WORTH holding onto! AND!!---let's go to a mindfulness retreat together!!--I just finished an 8 week course (okay, 6 months ago, but still so fresh in my life) on Mindfulness, and you are a poster child for it, and I do love what it does to/for me and my perspective. Anyway, I so admire your effort and ability to see beauty--it is so reflected in who you are! Love that I know you!


Thank you for sharing your insights!