Recently, a series of events has caused me to think about life, our notion of success and what we do with our time. I came across this post by one of my favourite photographers Jasmine Star, where she talked about the notion of busyness, and how oftentimes, we equate it with success.
“Oh, you’re busy? Your business must be very successful then!”
But she pointed out in her post that rest and relaxation are equal indicators of success… that it is important to have a work-life balance and have time for friends and family members.
A week ago, Alex and I started the first of a series of parenting classes conducted by our church. In this course, we watched a DVD with real, parenting issues as brought up by Nicky and Sila, the trainers. Then we discussed these issues between us and also in a small group setting. Through this course, we were reminded that children really need to feel loved and that one of the ways of filling their emotional tank is to spend intentional time with them.
One of the pitfalls of running your own business is the need to ‘constantly’ work 24-7. There were days when Alex and I would be sitting in bed, but both still replying emails or doing some form of work. It came to a point that I thought it was really unhealthy and we needed to set aside boundaries for ourselves. How easy it is to let time slide by, just doing things that consume us at that point in time, but not really things that are truly important!
In the video for the 1st week, a dad related the story of how he used to tell bedtime stories to his daughter, but every so often, his phone would ring, and she would plead with him to just ignore it and finish the story. He would say, “This is important…” and then one phone call led to another and another, and then half an hour later, he would come back to her room with her fast asleep with the light still on and the book next to her head. But now, if you ask him, he can’t remember a single one of those calls that were ‘truly’ important, or what the content of them were.
It is really my heart’s desire to set aside time for the things that matter in life. The thing is that busyness will always be there. It will always consume us and before we know it, a day has gone by, and then a week, and then a month, or a year. If I don’t make intentional time for my family, or for friends, I’ll soon discover that all I ever did was being ‘busy’ with daily life and tasks.
To end this post, I’d just like to share a little video that Alex and I made. The journey of being a parent has been really amazing and one that we wouldn’t trade for the world. I used to think that being pregnant was a bit of a nuisance and a necessary ‘evil’, especially as a photographer. But after going through it with my first child, I realized there is no real convenient time to be pregnant. It shouldn’t be thought of as a burden, but as a gift. A beautiful gift from God.