I’ve seen this meme running around on social media lately in the midst of all the Coronavirus pandemic madness. While a lot of the memes hit me in a way where I instantly agree or disagree with it, this one made me stop and think…
Sure, this pandemic has totally hit us from what seems to be out of nowhere. If you would have asked me back in January, February, or even early March if being in quarantine, having businesses and the economy all around us in jeopardy, and people fearing for their lives and livelihoods would become our “new normal” I would have thought you were crazy. 2019 was an amazing year for so many people, myself included, and 2020 was shaping up to be an even better year. Then BAM! In the course of essentially 1 week EVERYTHING changed.
It’s like we were all nibbling on this cookie we were SURE was chocolate chip, but then we get to the first chip (the best part if you ask me!) and NOPE! Surprise! It’s a raisin! While it definitely was not what you were expecting, you’ve got two options. You can either let it ruin your whole cookie experience OR you can learn to adapt and enjoy the raisins (or maybe you just eat around them).
For me – it’s a good thing I also like oatmeal raisin cookies! 🙂 However, this journey has NOT been without its ups and downs for me as well.
Trust me, when everything started becoming a reality, I cried like a 2 year old who didn’t get the cookie she wanted. I was scared, angry, and frustrated because I was on track to having an amazing year, quite possibly the best year I’ve ever had in my business, and that was all ripped away from me and nothing I could do about it. I was frustrated with the people around me NOT doing what they should, like staying home instead of traveling, so that maybe we could get “back to normal” faster. Then, the worry and anxiety set in as all the scenarios of what could happen to this photography business I built from the ground up, that I poured my heart and soul into for so many years, if I wasn’t able to photograph portrait sessions for a month or more. All these negative feelings while trying to stay slightly positive and be strong for those around me. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!
But then I decided that this was the cookie I was given (that we were ALL given) and I could either let it ruin me and my whole year, or I could suck it up, find the silver lining (hey, I have a COOKIE…it’s not like it’s a sardine!) and make the best of it.
While yes, I cannot be photographing portrait sessions right now which means little to no income, I HAVE been given the gift of time. Time to get some of these projects off my to do list that have been there for so long because I didn’t have time to get them done. Like this new photography website redesign. It’s been 5 years in the making because I kept kicking the can down the road saying “I really need like 2-3 solid weeks where I can focus on this”…well here we go! Wish granted!
I have been working on getting my life reorganized. Getting things filed away in my office, my hard drives cleaned up, my closet gone through and my fiancé, Patrick, and I even hung up some more photographs and artwork on the walls this weekend (I mean we’ve lived in the house for almost 3 years…it was time!). All these little projects that I “never had time for”. I’m also working on getting my work/life balance back into balance. Bella has really enjoyed the extra long walks and laying in the grass.
I’ve been working on education – in many different aspects of my life. I’ve been watching photography courses I’ve bought over the years to sharpen my skills, reading lots of personal development books (see some of my faves here), and also doing a TON of research on finances and how to diversify your income to create a more stable situation when things like this happen.
I decided that if I came out of quarantine the exact same person I was when I went in, I didn’t use wisely this gift of time that we may never (and actually hopefully never) get given again.
I decided to take this time and put things in place so that when I can return to photographing kids, families, high school seniors, weddings, corporate headshots and the like – I’m ready to hit the ground running and am in better shape than ever!
So my question to you – what are you going to do with your oatmeal raisin cookie?