Clutter can be paralyzing. At least for me. Not just physical clutter — yeah, that drives me crazy, but the “clutter” I’m talking encompasses far more than that.
There’s the clutter of the never-ending to-do list. Right now, that list feels so long that checking one thing off of it just creates room to move something up from the B or C lists. Those ‘B list’ things aren’t big priorities, but constantly nag me as I go about daily activities (organizing the garage shelves… putting away the off-season hats and gloves…). And the ‘C list’… well, that’s the things I want to do — like finally creating Chatbooks albums from my iPhone pics, or updating their baby books — that just always get back burnered. They don’t feed or clothe the family, nor make our home more livable, so they’re put off, yet constantly linger on my mental list of things I wish I could find time for.
That’s fogging my brain, and I also have the mental clutter of, what should I be prioritizing right now? My career-driven side is aching to implement new ideas I have for my work, expand product offerings, take more classes. But that’s my side job; I’ve made a commitment to full-time mom-ing it. I am the full-time childcare, and this is what I want to be spending this time doing, in the fleeting young years. Right? right? So much easier said than done, however, when inspiration and drive is coming at you from all directions on Instagram, photography classes, peers’ blogs and Instagram posts, and more… This is the clutter I find most paralyzing.
It’s a dance. I’ve been itching to focus more on the business, but I know, now’s not the time. In a year and a half, my youngest will be in nursery school five days a week. That is the time.
Often, I find I need to clear the physical clutter around our home, and chip away at the to-do list clutter, to be able to address the mental clutter.
After several weeks of cleaning out and chipping away at home, and sifting through these cluttered thoughts, I think I’ve figured out how I can tweak my dance to make it more do-able and fulfilling. Of course I’ll keep working with my current clients and accepting new ones, beyond that, it’s not about blog traffic and instagram hits. Rather, I want to re-focus on photographing and writing about my family. In impromptu chats with friends and peers, I’ve realized we often all feel the same way — torn in many directions, working so hard just to keep our kids fed and safe and happy, facing the same daily ups and downs and the greater emotional challenges of balancing it all.
…As I type this, my middle child is curled up on my lap trying desperately to get my attention by rubbing her toes on the laptop screen, and I keep telling her, give me five more minutes and I’ll be all yours…
I love that photography and written words can provide a window into that, and we can relate to and learn from each other so much! And getting my camera out with my kids? I can still grow as a photographer, and I’ll have the memories of them documented.