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May 17, 2011

Did you know I could juggle?

(me with short hair from last summer. guess what? short hair is making a come-back! just a few more days . . .)

I first learned how to juggle in third grade, during P.E. class. Many many years ago! Nowadays, I’m pretty rusty but give me 3 bean bags and I can juggle them with 2 hands. Give me 2 and I can juggle them with 1 hand. Impressive, huh? šŸ˜‰

Nah . . . not really. I may not be a great juggler of items like bean bags and scarves and bowling pins like these people but I do another kind of juggling on a weekly basis – juggling life’s components of my part-part-time photography business, being a wife, working 40 hours a week, cooking, running,Ā  investing in my relationship with the Lord and hanging out with friends. Sometimes I beat myself up over the fact that I can’t do it all. Because I can’t. Because I have limits – physically and emotionally. Knowing that these are all good, good things forces me to constantly re-prioritize because I admit, my focus can get skewed and I forget what is most important. Regardless of what your belief system is, you and I both can agree that we all have priorities and at times, we lose sight of what should be first and so on and so on. For me, my walk with Christ is most important – something I have to really invest in and constantly pray for. Then there is my husband – enough said! He is my favorite person to be with, no matter if we’re just sitting at home or doing yard work, or going out on the town. I work full-time so that’s a huge chunk of my time. We have to eat and I love to cook so I try to be wise with our money and meals. Pretty successful overall but there are times when deviate from my meal plan and go out to eat. Then there’s running, something I truly love to do and want to continue until I’m really really old; cultivating friendships and reaching out to my girlfriends to see how they are doing; picking up various photography gigs here and there and trying to be better at my craft; cleaning the house, tackling DIY projects, and so forth. It’s a lot of juggling. And I don’t even have any children yet!

I need to make the most of all that I have, especially my time with these components of my life. To put thought and care and action and prayer into all of them. As of late, I’ve got these two things I’m concerned about:

Running. You may not be a runner and may even think I’m crazy for wanting to run more than 1 mile at a time. I guess call me crazy? I honestly love it. It’s something very personal to me – even when I run with a group of friends, it’s just me and God. It’s one of the most peaceful times I experience, and the pain I go through is a perfect example of my reliance on the Lord’s strength to get me through a run. It makes me think about other trials and struggles I go through, and how I am not alone in any of those things. Now that I’ve achieved my goals of running a half-marathon once a year (actually, 2 in 2011), I’ve set another goal for myself – running a faster 5k. I really want to run 3 miles in 24 minutes and my coach thinks I can with more training, but at the pit of my stomach, I AM SCARED to even try. Weird, because I’m one of the most competitive people I know (my husband can attest to this)! I’ve been called a firecracker before (by numerous people) for my determination and spirit. But when it comes to running, it’s just not there. Maybe it’s because I know there will always be faster runners than me, or maybe it’s because I know my limits. Or maybe my competitive nature just isn’t as strong as it used to be. I’m fine if my friends beat me at a race. No grudges held there. I am happy when my friends achieve fast times in their races! I do know that whatever running goal I set, I want to reach it for me, not for anyone else. It doesn’t matter what others achieve; what matters is how I train, how I eat properly, how my attitude is, how much time I put into it and how an actual race day goes. Each time I enter a race, I’m competing with me and no one else. I am perfectly fine with that. So the question is – can I do this? Can I push my self to run a faster 5k? My fastest 1 mile run is 7:43. My fastest mile during a 10k was the last full mile at 8:42. My fastest mile during a half marathon was at mile 10, completing it at 9:45. I want to train my body to run “comfortably fast” at a pace between 8:00 and 8:30 min/mile. Aaaaack! That’s me being really nervous about it. We’ll see how running this summer goes. I’ll keep you up to date about my progress (or lack thereof?). One thing’s for sure – I want to continue to enjoy running, regardless of my goals.

Photography. I’ve considered myself to be a photographer for 4-5 years now, doing it as a side business (my website needs to be BADLY updated!) here and there. But I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I can remember. I was always the one in the group who took pictures of everything and gave copies of prints to friends. Now I have the reputation of putting pictures up on FB soon after an event is over. Sometimes I get made fun of for this, so I now wait several weeks to a month to put them up online. Mwahahahaha! Anyways, I’ve been fortunate enough to have photography as a skill, helping me to earn extra cash while providing a service for people. However, I don’t think I’m as good a photographer as others are, or as I should be. (I know there will always be “better” photographers out there as well as those with a different style and voice from my own.) I work 40 hours a week and that hardly leaves me any time to get better at my art. An excuse, perhaps, but a very valid one. At this point in time, there’s no way I’m quitting my full-time job – I actually love being an administrative assistant and working with college students. But I find myself wondering if I should continue to pursue photography as a part-part-time business, something that I could possibly do just “part-time” if we have kids one day. Which brings me to this – do I love photography enough to learn it more, to go through the struggles of being a small business owner, to be in stiff competition with others in my field, to learn about art and how it affects my skills? Which areas of photography do I want to pursue more than others? Engagements and weddings? Family portraits? Senior pictures? Event photography? Art photography? Which area will I enjoy more AND will bring the kind of cash I want as a part-time job? Am I willing to spend the $$$ to invest in better equipment, classes, web design? A lot of things up in the air – things I want to research and definitely pray about.

Whew! That’s enough juggling for today šŸ˜‰ For any readers out there,

what kind of things do YOU juggle on a daily/weekly basis?

how do you deal with all your responsibilities and passions/hobbies?

I’d love to hear from you!

PS – if you could, please go here to vote for my blog friend Amanda at Runninghood. She has become an inspiration (a Christ follower, a mom and a runner) to me and it would be awesome if she won this blog award! No worries – it is a safe and secure website. Thanks!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2011 5:29 pm

    For me, part of the fun of running is to see if I can run faster than I did before. You’ll never know if you don’t try. Have fun running!

  2. May 19, 2011 5:20 pm

    Memories of elementary school gym class juggling are making me cringe. And I only run when my life depends on it. So the fact that you can do both deserves my respect. šŸ™‚ Walking and a good elliptical machine workout are more in line with my tastes.

    I feel like a lot of my hobbies have been on the back burner for a while (how’s that for a cooking blog pun?). I also work full time, so it’s difficult to come and home and want to do anything after dinner except watch TV or go to bed early. My novel has gone into remission. The growing weeds in the flower bed have added a new half-and-half look to the yard. We’re also planning a trip to Oregon next week. I just need to get through my travel books (that I bought several months ago) and we’ll be good to go!

    I have to say, though, I hate grocery shopping. I like having what I need in the fridge and pantry, but I think of actually braving the crowds to go and get them as a chore. When we have kids, and when they’re old enough to drive, their first missons out on their own will definitely be grocery store runs!

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