I disconnected yesterday.  Not because our internet was out, I needed to disconnect so that I could re-connect.  There are times I feel like I’m burning both ends of the candle.  Days where I feel like I can’t excel at anything because I’m too busy trying to do the next thing.  Every aspect of my life gets little pieces of me, but none of them get all of me, the best part of me….most days I feel like I just move from one task to the next.  I don’t want my life to be one big to do list.  I miss the spontaneous moments with my kids.  I miss taking off for the afternoon or morning, without even thinking about work.  I miss doing nothing with them.  I miss being with them without my mind being pulled in another “what else needs to get done for work” direction.  I miss just photographing them for no reason, just because.  I miss not having to be plugged in….to my laptop, to the tv, to my phone, all the little things in our day that don’t seem like much, but when you add up 10 minutes here and there to check my mail, a few phone calls, updating my site / blog, reading other peoples blogs, checking in on a few photography forums, it adds up to much more time than I would like to admit.  My word for 2009 is “simplify”.  I’ve chosen to cut out a few areas of my life, all good decisions for me, for my family, because it makes things simpler for us.  I have more time on my hands for my family and for my business as a result.  I’ve tried to ask myself with every decision we make, be it for our family or for our business, will it make things simple?  Running a successful photography business is tough.  It is a lot of work.  A lot of hours behind the scenes.  We, as in my entire family, make a lot of sacrifices so that I can do this.  Actual shooting time is probably the thing that I spend the least amount of time doing.  Editing, ideas, plans, to do lists are always running through my mind and it was while reading Jodies blog a few nights ago, I realized I’m not alone.  Jodie and I emailed back and forth a bit and decided to disconnect.  I would love nothing more than to shut off the computer, tv, cellphone, etc. during the day when the kids are awake.  I would love to only work when they are asleep.  But it’s tough!  It’s so hard to disconnect when your biz and livelihood that we depend on to help pay the bills revolves around being connected, checking email, updating the blog, finding that new vendor or brainstorming ideas with a client.  I had a blast with them yesterday ((and I extended it to a lot of the day today)).  We did craft projects, we colored, we layed on the floor and played, we read books, we cooked.  That’s not to say we don’t always do these things, we do, but it’s never without interruptions.  10 minutes here to check email, just a quick jump on to my computer to email that portrait agreement, a quick trip to the post office to ship that album.  Our days are always filled with biz distractions and it was nice to have a day off.  I did cheat twice ((and feel slightly less guilty doing so since Jodie did too lol))….I needed to send a document to a client and I had to do a bit of proofing last night after everyone was asleep….but they didn’t know any better, and that is what mattered the most to me.  They had ME.  Undivided.  And it was awesome.  I will be taking some more time off in a few weeks, as Teagan will be having a minor surgery.  But I’m going to need my family to have my undivided attention during that time, but I’m not sure just when that will be as of yet.  We will find out more on Thursday.  Overall, I feel more centered and capable of finding a balance.  At least for the moment.  I will do better.  For them.  For me.  And for my business.  I want to give every part my all, instead of little parts divided to everything and everyone throughout the day.  I just need to simplify.

Of course I now have a very full email inbox ((178 new messages!!  Holy crap I didn’t realize how many I get in a day, and that is not counting the spam!  Yikes!  I’m getting to them one by one!))