The First Paid Gig

Photography is a hobby I have had for many years.  It started out one afternoon when I was bored and my parents had a new digital camera.  Pretty soon I was snapping away at flowers, bugs, cats, dogs, people…anything that I could snap. Pretty soon I was the family photographer, snapping away during holidays, anniversaries and family reunions.  Next to the cook, the photographer is the most loved, or hated, person in the room.

Photography has been a great hobby from which I have derived a great deal of enjoyment.

And then my employer needed some shots taken. And they decided I was the one to do. But I am not a professional, I told the. And they reassured me that they were not worried and knew I could do a great job.  I swallowed hard.  My first paying gig!  I wanted to do the happy dance, then it was promptly followed by the thought of “Oh crap, I hope I can do it.

When the time rolled around, the camera was in hand, tri-pod ready and I was feeling creative. The people I was shooting were a lot of fun and everyone had a good time.  And, the pictures turn out fine.

They will be delivered Monday on a disk.

So all that worry and anxiousness was for nothing. And isn;t that the was it is in life? We worry and are nervous…and everything turns out fine. The hard part is remembering that.

Dr. Heavy-bag

Years ago when I lived in New York, my boyfriend got me interested in kick boxing. He was very big in martial arts and self defense, as he practiced Grav Mcgaw. For those who are not familiar, it is the Israeli marital art of hand to hand combat – do everything you can to avoid conflict, but if you must, here is how to disable your attacker, or even kill if if need be. I tried it, but liked kick boxing better.

And indeed knowing how to box served me well when I was attacked. While my attacker was so much larger than I was that I was not able to completely fend him off, I was able to defend myself and cause some damage. I can only imagine what would have happened if I had not had the confidence and know-how to fight back.

And I still box. Dr. Heavy-bags is what I call my boxing bag, is in the garage and always ready for a good workout. Indeed, the Dr. has been very helpful for my best friends as well. If one of my besties has a bad break-up, she simply comes over, pins the ex’s picture to the bag, puts on the [ink boxing gloves, and boxes her little heart out, until she is too tired to box anymore. Then she comes to the den and we have wine and conversation.

Who would have thought that a heavy-bag and a boxing class would lead to so much fun?

Healthy is as Healthy Does

In life, most of us strive to be healthy. We watch our weight, cut down on carbs and trans fat, exercise, get check ups, take our vitamins and generally stay away from anything that might make us unhealthy – for the most part. But that is just the physical.  If we do not take care of ourselves emotionally as well, we will be just as crippled as if we are in a wheelchair.

But the emotional isn;t as obvious, because no one can look and see they emotionally unhealthy-ness. If our arms is broken, or if there is a bruise somewhere, we cam see it. We know it needs attention and to be looked after.  But what happens when we stop taking care of ourselves emotionally?

Our life breaks down. We start making poor decisions that can affect us our whole lives, if bad decision after bad decision stacks up. And then all of the sudden, you look up and realize, your life was never what you thought it would be. Because little by little, it got slowly chipped away by each time you did not take care of yourself.

But it;s never too late to change, never too late to get emotionally healthy. You are never too old, never too young, never too far gone.  You just have to do what you know is right, no matter how hard that is.  Stand up for yourself, don’t be afraid to say no, or stop, or just to voice your own truth.  And if making someone else happy is hurting you or making you un happy-well, that is called being co-dependent. It’s an ugly word for an unhealthy way to live.

“To thing own self be true” is the saying, and believe me, it keeps your mind and spirit healthy.

How do you do that? By simply being honest about how you feel, what you need, what you don;t need, what you can do and can’t do. The people who love you don’t want you to be run dry. They don’t want you to be depleted. They want you to be happy and full, so by disrespecting yourself, you are also disrespecting them as well.

I had to learn that this week, and it was a hard lesson for all those involved. And some are still mad and me and may be mad for a long time. That’s OK. I can;t help that. I can only help myself and make sure my life is healthy. And everyone will be better off, in the long run, even if it’s a little hard at first.

I have never been one to be pushed or bullied around. And I have taken down quite a few bullies in my time. But I am such a people-pleaser that if I am not careful, I will sacrifice my own comfort for the sake of those that I love. This is not helpful, and it does not serve me very well. Indeed, it may seem you are doing that person a favor, but you, in fact, are not.

The best way to take care of those you love, the best way to make sure you have a good and happy life, it truly to take care of yourself first. When you make sure you and your life are full, you have plenty to give those you love…but make sure to set firm boundaries so that you continue to take care of yourself and have something to give.

And remember, healthy is as healthy does. Sos honor yourself and be healthy.

In The Still of the Night

I am constantly amazed at this thing called life. Constantly amazed how beautiful it is, how much larger and more wonderful God’s plan is for you than what you ever thought possible. I am amazed at what you can accomplish if you ignore the haters, stand up for what you believe in and do what you know to be right.  I am truly amazed at what happens when you take care of yourself and tune out all the irrelevant outside noise.

When your life is red hot with wonderful blessings, it doesn’t matter how cold the weather. A wonderful man in my life, who is warm, wonderful, amazing, patient, kind and wise. Romantic; he brings me flowers, chocolates and tells me I am beautiful. And looking in his eyes, I know how lucky I am to have found such incredible human being.

More work than I can handle, I get calls and emails every day with someone wanting to interview and hire me. A new place to live soon, my family healthy, friends all around who love and support me. My favorite sunglasses in the car, lipstick on (hey, a girl must be prepared!) and the radio loud with my favorite music, it’s going to be a great day. It may be winter, but this is the Spring of my life, where there is more love surrounding me than ever before, and the possibilities are endless.

Yes, life has it’s ups and downs, in and outs, readons and doubts. But there is nothing so aweful in ly life that the word stands still. ife is breathing, heart beating, one moment at a time. With all those that I love near.

Maybe it’s my age, and the wisom that comes along with it. Maybe it’s just not caring what those who don;t like me thik anymore, maybe it’s that my life is too full to care about the negative things that used to drag me down. Maybe it’s being feisty enough to stand up for myself and those I love, maybe it’s knowing I am a strong independant woman who knows what life is about, what shold and shouldn’t happen, and what to do about it. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above.

And in the still of the night, as I lie need thinking about the day and my life, I am so very thankful for all that I have, for all those who are in  my life, mostly because, all because, they help make my life a safe place. y remind me every day, that God’s spirit and Grace are within each of us. And they make life much more full, light, happy, and wondrous. And in the still of the night, as a drift to sleep, I say a prayer and give thanks for each and every one of them. Every little thins and every person, makes a big difference in my life.