Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Random Thoughts Tuesday

Hello interwebz. I haven't been writing too regularly, and I'm trying to remedy that.

I think one of the reasons is that I feel like... I've said all that I have to say. I can't imagine anyone needs or wants to hear me prattle on about my issues, random things I find funny or frustrating, etc. etc. yada yada

Yet here I am, writing again. I guess time will tell how it all shakes out.

School is starting for my kids in 2 weeks! YAY! My 3 older kids (Peppermint Patty, Charlie Brown, and Linus) will be in 7th, 6th, and 4th grades respectively. ho my golly they are getting so dang old.

Little Sally will start preschool this year and she is READY!!! Of course I'm biased but I think she's ready for kindergarten. She knows her numbers, colors, letters, can count up to 50 already, she can write her name, she can add numbers up to 10. She's smart as a whip. She is so excited to meet some new friends (and so am I!!! - Finally someone else who might play My Little Ponies with her.)

Violet and I will be at home alone. Finally, my baby will get some one-on-one time with me.

My Blog
I am torn, I don't know if I should change the name of my blog; if I should change the name of my online handle; if I should change my blog layout. Maybe something green-and-yellow? (Except I don't care a whit about the Packers). Maybe something with lots of cheese and cows? Maybe I should call myself Cheesehead Mama? What would my URL be? www.theblogformerlyknownastexanmama.com (it's available, btw.)

I wish my blog were funnier. I think I used to be funny at one point. Now I just don't know if I have it in me. I haven't genuinely laughed in a long time. Except, a friend did pass along this unbelievably funny Amazon Product Review. You MUST go check it out. Go ahead, I'll wait...

When I read that I was literally gasping and had tears rolling down my face. I needed a good laugh, and it did not disappoint.

My Feelings
I have decided to go back on some anti-depressant meds. I did this 3 summers ago, when I was pregnant with Violet. At the time, I think I was suffering from some hormonal issues but ALSO I was depressed because I knew I was so far away from family, I had no support system, and my husband was working a lot. Plus, he had a new job and the stresses that go along with any new job, and I felt really helpless since I can't take that stress away (and I had my own stress at home to deal with.) Summers are always hard for me since having a lot of kids has always been a juggling act for me to figure out how to keep them amused. Anyway! This summer I started to feel a lot of those same pressures. I don't have any real friends here (yet... I'm not giving up! I know it will happen eventually.) I don't have any sitters who I can call. Yes, I have contacted everyone I can think of but no one (it seems) uses teenagers. EVERYONE has in-laws or parents they can call on. (except me. boo hoo.) Plus we moved up to Wisconsin for my husband's job - a promotion - so again he has a new job with new-job-stress.

I noticed I've been unable to handle things calmly. Anything that shouldn't be a big deal suddenly is occupying my every thought. It's causing me to be unable to focus on the parts of my life that really SHOULD demand my attention. It's causing me to lose sleep. It's causing me to cry. So, I really felt that I needed to talk to my doctor. She is super nice and listened to me, and I really needed that. The intake nurse was very helpful too. Very willing to listen. That's a whole battle in itself - moving to a new town, finding a doctor that I LIKE, that doesn't keep me waiting in the waiting room forever, and who's near to my house. It's like the hat-trick of doctors and I don't find it too often.

Again! Anyway! I am on meds again and I don't know if it's helping. I think I am better, but I'm not exactly where I want to be. Some days I feel myself getting really anxious and I'm checking my watch to see when I can take my meds. Yet, taking the meds don't actually make me FEEL anything differently - I think just knowing, like - in my head, that I'm taking the meds makes me feel better. Hell, it could be a placebo for all I know and I'd probably feel better just because I believe that taking the meds makes me feel better. I have no idea.

My Photography
I'm trying to enjoy my photography. It's a roller coaster. I know I've grown and I know I can take some decent stuff. Yet, I know I still have so much to learn and I wonder if I'm kidding myself when I take an image that I like. Is it REALLY any good? I've got a business setup in place, but I'm not really taking clients. Well, I guess I am. I mean, if someone contacted me I would take them but I'm not exactly advertising. Well, I am sending out a newsletter to a handful of people, hoping my name will get passed around. But it's almost like I would be relieved if no one called me. I know! I know! This is the stupidest business plan EVER!!! And I don't need a psychologist to explain it to me. If I don't have any clients then I also can't disappoint anyone. If I don't make a REAL effort to succeed, then I can't really say that I failed. I get it. But also, I do want to focus the last few years that I will have home with my kids on taking care of them. I don't mind a photo shoot here and there, but I don't want to have a full-on business. If anything I do starts requiring my time so much so that I need to get child care for my kids, then I need to back off that project. At least, until Violet goes to Kindergarten. Then, I do want to go back to work. But actually, it's never been my dream to own my own business or to be a full-time photographer. So even then (which will be in 2015), I don't plan to launch a full-time photography business. I'd like to go back to teaching, and maybe take on photo shoots on the side.

It's a funny thing... I want to learn and grow and improve. I want to be as good as any pro. And yet, I don't really want to be in business. But somehow, saying that I am a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER would mean (in my mind) that I'm charging people for my services. It would somehow legitimize my hobby. Because if I'm not charging people, can I really say, "I am a photographer."? If I get to the point where I can shoot with the best of them, but I'm not earning an income from it, then do I just say, "Well, I like photography and I do some in my spare time"? Because for the amount of blood, sweat, and tears I put into it - it's no little side interest. No sir.

*sigh* One day I will figure it all out. Not to mention, how many hobbies do people have, where once they get good at it someone inevitably chimes in with "YOU COULD MAKE MONEY AT THAT!!!" The almighty dollar is so sexy, so appealing, so tempting. Who WOULDN'T want to make money doing something they love? But the reality is that any kind of business - whether it's a service or a product - will only succeed if the focus is on the BUSINESS side of it. An artist can be an artist till she's blue in the face but if she doesn't market herself, get her name out there, have a facebook fanpage, have a business website with a Paypal account linked to it, etc, etc, then how will her art ever make her any money? See what I mean. It's exhausting.

Now, because this post is already incredibly long and you might have checked out by now, I'll just close with a few pretty pictures.


Sarah on blanket-7399
ugly tractor 2-5114

silhouette - 5kids-7068
Texan Mama


Ellen aka Ellie said...

I'm glad you're talking to a doctor about your feelings. If this med isn't lifting your burdens a bit, perhaps another would be better?

As for photography, you could just, you know, let it play out. I still would love to have you take our pictures. I'm waiting until I'm not having a bad hair summer! (Growing out my short style right now, and it's not pretty.)

For baby-sitters, you should contact a school counselor who might know a good kid who needs some cash.

Start now to see what it would take to go back to teaching in WI. That could be your part-time job!

And now I am done.

the salvage collection said...

keep plugging along and you'll find your "thang"...esp after the meds kick in AND THE KIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL!

it's hard to finish a thought let alone a project when someone is begging for a snack or a band-aid every 45 seconds. i go to be feeling quite unaccomplished and like a cruddy mom. not fun.

writing all of this down is brave and wise, my friend. you're heading the right direction.

the salvage collection said...

oh, and if you need more laughter in your life then look up "regretsty", a blog mocking the "craft" site, etsy. make sure you go to the restroom first!

Jennifer said...

I don't know about changing the name and all of that. That is up to you. But I do want you to blog more. I've missed you.

I was talking with a few people at BlogHer about how far your photography has come since you've started. I'll say it again, you have no idea how good you really are. For real. I'm not saying that just because you're my friend.

I think the meds are a good idea. If those aren't working you may need to try a different one. Sometimes it is trial and error to find the thing that works.

Gigi said...

I was JUST thinking as I clicked over how glad I am that you are posting again.

Meds - and writing, I think, will help. And I agree with everyone else, if you don't feel different then maybe you need different meds. At this point, I'm even beginning to think that maybe I need to go back to the meds. Except....I don't want to have to go through the withdrawals again. Something I need to consider.

As for changing the name, well...I, for one, would miss it. It reminds me of home. But then, I understand that you aren't in Texas anymore and that you aren't a native so I can see how it would make sense to change it. But the thought of changing all that would give me a headache. Knowing me, I'd just write a "you can find me here" post and just start from scratch....but that's just me being lazy and not wanting to figure out how to do it properly.

As for the photography. Well, *I* think your skills are amazing! And we all know that *my* opinion means something! ;-) I would just keep at it - even if you don't make a run for a "real" business. It is something you enjoy. Sure maybe you can pick up some extra cash here and there. But until you have the time and the willingness to jump into a full on business; I would just keep learning and growing and grabbing side jobs when you can.

Okay, I'm done telling you what to do now. ;-)

And speaking of pictures - just LOOK how big your kids are getting! I was shocked to see how much the younger two have grown. And, of course, all the photos are fabulous - so much so that I can't even pick a favorite....

Swizz said...

Everyone jumped on the "so glad you're on meds" bandwagon, but no one said that the Veet for men review was roll on the floor hysterical? What!?!

I'm glad you're on meds. Really, I am. I'm gonna direct message you.

And about the name...LEAVE IT! We all love it and...well, just leave it! :o)

Miss you girl!