Just For Me

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Three years ago, shortly after starting this blog, I wrote about how I needed a hobby.

Well, I never really did find one.  Except maybe canning – that’s growing on me.  It better be, because after we get our plants in the ground I can expect to be canning 300 pounds of tomatoes this coming fall.*

Yikes.

So three years ago, around the same time, I finally bought a DSLR camera.  It’s been fun to play with, and I’ve gotten some good pictures and preserved a lot of our memories.

But even though I’ve read books and blogs and practiced and I know how the camera works, I’ve never been quite satisfied.

Last month I finally signed up for a photography class.  And boy, has it been fun!

Conlan April

I do plenty of things for myself.  I write.  I exercise.  {Sometimes.}  I crochet.  I cook.  I genuinely enjoy all those things but I kind of fit them in among all the other things I have to do.

This time, I’m in a class.  I’ve had to carve out time, attend class, pay attention, practice what I learn, and do homework.  Thursday nights are mine and nothing can overwrite that time on the calendar.

Beyond that, I’m proud of the work I’m doing.  I’m noticing improvement in my skills and feeling more competent behind the camera.  Instead of taking ten pictures and hoping I got lucky that one of them was a good shot, I take two or three because I feel like I have more control and understanding.

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But above all, I’ve made intentional time for me.  I’m spending time doing something I enjoy and feeling good about improving myself.  It doesn’t matter that I have a million miles to go or that I’m not going to have the skills of a professional photographer.  I love the change of pace, using a different part of my brain than either at home or at work.  I don’t even need to think about the kids because I know they’re happily eating pizza at home with their daddy.  It’s my time.

It’s been so, so good for my mama-soul.

As mothers I think it’s easy to feel stuck – like we really can’t take time for ourselves.  But can I challenge you for a moment?  I think that sometimes we say we “can’t” when we actually mean “it’s too much work to figure out how to take time for myself so I’m not going to do it.”

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Do you need time for yourself?  If you do, why aren’t you taking it?  Is it really because you can’t?  Or because you’re too worn out to solve one more problem?

Trust me, I get it.  It’s taken me three years to finally find a hobby.  But I’m confident that if you really want one for yourself, you can do it in less time.  It just takes some work, if you can find the energy for it.

*Slaney Family CSA sign-ups are being accepted now, with delivery expected sometime in October when I angrily throw in the towel and decide that I can’t bear to peel one more tomato and decide to give the rest away.  Zucchini may also be available, depending on crop success, how many ways I find to cook zucchini, and how long we tolerate zucchini bread.

 

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2 thoughts on “Just For Me

  1. I love photography! It has been such a great hobby for me this last year (although it can be a bit expensive with getting equipment). I still feel like I have a lot to learn to get the pictures that I want but it will come. Hope you enjoy your class. What are you learning about?

    1. So far just hammering down the basics…assignments that make us try different things with aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. It’s fun because I have to take pictures and do things that I wouldn’t normally be inclined to do.

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