Monday, April 09, 2007

Introspection and Gadget Admiration

Goodness, time does fly when you're having fun--or you've lost your sanity :-) Just kidding! Thanks to everyone who posted kind words of encouragement after my last post. I think it's fair to say that I'm not the ideal blogger as I seem to vent everything out in the blog and then abandon it until the next time I feel that need to let some of the pent up issues and emotions out. Needless to say that although my last post was a bit gloomy and depressed I've been slugging through life and things have been fine. All of the typical ups and downs but I did have a much needed mini-vacation which helped the old mental stability out.

I had a photography seminar in March which was out of state that I attended all by myself! This was quite a step out of the box for me as I used to feel compelled to always have someone go someplace with me. Anytime I wanted to take a class or go to an event I'd always talk a friend into going with me. Don't get me wrong, we always had fun, but there are times in life when you have to be the big girl and go it alone. But this time I flew out by myself and went to a place where I didn't know a soul and everything was just fine. A little intimidating at first, but just fine. It was a break that was much needed from all the mommy and business responsibilities and although I didn't indulge in any pampering, it was great. Well come to think of it, not having to make my own bed, cook or do any laundry for six days was pampering in and of itself. I was so busy during the seminar that I didn't even have time to go sight-seeing or shopping but I had a great time. It was fun hanging out with other photo-geeks who get excited about new gear and lighting like me.

I'm still struggling with some things but I imagine there will always be struggles with some of these things. I'm usually pretty good about rolling with the punches and dealing with things but I think last month it was got to be too much. I was so overwhelmed with all of the mommy/wife responsibilities and the business responsibilities that I felt as though I was just drowning from it all. Thankfully I think we're at least on the road to getting things back under control. One huge aspect of the stress was the book keeping for my businesses. I had been doing everything (appointments, photography, book keeping, photoshopping, lab drop off/pick up, order delivery, etc.) and the book keeping end just fell by the way side as I tried to keep all the customers happy. At least there's light at the end of the tunnel for that since my husband will be helping me out now.

It was reassuring to read from other mom's who feel the same frustrations. I love my kids and I love my job, I just never realized how overwhelming everything could be. Then to throw in some other issues of my own I just needed a little place in the world where I could let it all out. Perhaps one of the better aspects of all the introspection I've been prone to lately is re-discovering all of the promise of each new day and the unwritten future. If I spent all of my time lamenting the mistakes I've made and what I should have done I wouldn't be able to appreciate what I've learned and how to use that experience to shape the direction I want my future to take.

I need to learn to cut myself some slack in some areas and be stricter with myself in others. It's been a crazy year but I'm so glad that God has blessed us with all of the craziness. It's led me to some discoveries about myself and realizations that I'm capable of more than I had thought. I've also learned that I'm not superwoman and no matter how capable I am, I can't do it all and I really can't do it all on my own.

I think I remember reading once that changing careers can be as stressful to a person as having a loved one pass away. And if there's one thing I know about myself is that I'm very good at stuffing all the stress down and trudging on. I obviously need to work on that as well and thankfully this blog seems to be playing a nice little role in that.

But hey, this started out as a knitting blog, right?! Well there has been some knitting, there just hasn't been any pictures taken of the knitting. You'd expect nothing less right? I'll just wait and get pictures after it's finished. I have no idea how people have the energy to stop their knitting and take pictures of what they're doing. I sure appreciate it when I'm reading their blogs, it's really interesting. But when I'm knitting the last thing I want to do is stop, find the camera, get a empty cf card out and take some pictures that I'll then have to download, fiddle with and resize to upload to the internet. No way, when I'm knitting I'm *relaxing*! And I compulsively want to finish that row so I can turn and go to the next line in the pattern.

What is it I'm knitting you ask? (Because really, if I did post what I started it was probably months ago and I'm sure I didn't take any pictures of it). I'm working on the Drive-Thru cardigan for my youngest daughter. I've actually made good progress on it and should finish it this week if things go well. I have the body done, the sleeves done and attached as well as all of the color changes at the top. I'm now finishing up the yoke and will do the button bands last. Yay!

I'm wanting to delve into sock knitting soon so I may check some books out of the library and read up on that. And now for a small techie review, here are my two latest, favorite gadgets:

Sennheiser Wireless Headphones
I received these for Christmas and love them! When I was a kid I had one of my eardrums rupture from an ear infection. Between that and the constant fluid that seems to be built up on it I have a hard time hearing all the mumbling that happens on tv. So, my sweet husband bought these for me for Christmas. I usually only wear them when the kids (or husband) is in bed and I can't listen to the tv loud enough to hear what the heck is going on. It's great because the volume on the tv can be completely off but the headphone volume can be adjusted as needed. And they're wireless! Although how I, Queen of Deep Sleep, ended up with a family of incredibly light sleepers is beyond me. At least now we're all happy with the tv volume :-)

Neat Receipts Scanalizer
This is so cool! Makes tracking my debit receipts enjoyable. As mentioned previously my book keeping had fallen behind in epic proportions. With this slick little device I can scan the receipt in and categorize it by tax expense. It keeps a scanned copy of the image and I can then throw the paper receipt away. Yay! No more faded receipts or piles and piles of ones I need to keep on until I balance my checkbook. I can categorize them according to business or personal use and print out some very nice expense reports for tax time next year. And yes, I am backing it up after every use to a Rev disc along with my quickbooks data so I don't lose it all in case of electronic disaster.

That's all for now!

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