New Year, Less Stuff

Happy New Year!! I can’t believe 2016 is already here, but boy am I glad! 2015 was one of the most action packed years of my life, getting married to the love of my life, moving to Texas, buying a house, and bringing home the cutest puppy of all time! Whew! This year I am looking forward to settling into my new life, enjoying time with my husband and fur-baby, and pursing my wedding photography in Dallas, Texas.

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This past weekend, Aaron and I went to church, and I was probably more excited than usual just because I love the feeling of starting a new year! It is like starting with a clean slate. You can do anything differently or repeat things you think you did well. Sunday was a harder message to hear but I think it’s worth sharing because chances are, I’m not the only one who struggles with “Margin” in their life. And, what better way to start off 2016 than by getting my priorities in line? Here are the four boxes of “stuff” that we talked about.

CLUTTER: TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH

I can’t even begin to tell you how this describes me and so many people that I know and love.    Everything is right at our fingertips. How many times do you ask someone how they are doing, and their response is “I’m busy, but good.” I know I am guilty of that a lot of the time! Especially as a photographer, there is ALWAYS something to do. There is another shoot that you could squeeze into the last 30 minutes of sunlight, or there is a wedding that needs to be submitted, or 100 emails in your inbox. Whatever it is, even if it is a good thing, too much of it can clutter your life and distract you from what is really important.

COMPARE: TRYING TO IMPRESS PEOPLE

I can sum this up into one word. Pinterest. Or maybe two words. Social Media. We are constantly portraying ourselves as something much better than we are (some call it marketing, others call is fraud). I think as photographers this is something that has really caught my attention over the last year. I follow so many people who have these gorgeous feeds on Instagram but when you really talk to them, their lives are falling apart. I am guilty of this too. I may take a photo 5 or 6 times before I actually post one. Maybe you are not a photographer and you try to impress people by “having it all together”. Whatever it may be, we all compare ourselves to others. It’s human nature.

CRITICIZE: WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING

Man. It just keeps going. I criticize. And, I’m really good at justifying it to myself. I say things about people that I probably struggle with as well. I really want to work on this. In photography, I may criticize another person’s work (just to myself), but I really should be focusing on what I need to work on instead of what they need to work on. I am not going to improve if I don’t take the time to look at my photos with a critical eye.

CRISIS: WORRIED ABOUT THINGS WE CAN’T CONTROL

This is so easy to do, especially when we are overwhelmed and our lives look completely cluttered. It’s hard not to worry about things that we can’t control. I constantly wonder, will that bride and groom book me? Will that magazine or that blog publish my photos. But, at the end of the day, my worrying is not going to get me anywhere. So, why do it?

All this to say, I think there is big room for improvement in my life. I really am going to try to work on these things, not only in my photography life, but in my everyday life. I want to start 2016 with “less stuff” on my mind. In efforts to rid myself of some clutter, this TV junkie has decided to give it up for 21 days (while my church goes through this sermon series on Margin). I thought about it, and I probably watch over 10 hours of TV a week. Do you know how many better things could be done with that time? Let me tell you, it’s only been 24 hours and I already feel like this is impossible, but I have also seen how much more I have accomplished starting my new year with less stuff, less clutter. You can start your year with less stuff too if you want to join me. I encourage you to evaluate where you spend your time and where it could be better used. Happy New Year, Friends!

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