Slowing Down // Spady Sundays

Oh boy. This one, I've needed to write for a very long time. Maybe about...1 1/2 years. It's kind of a painful subject, mostly because I'm still working through all of it. At my brother's wedding, I decided to pursue a career in photography. I talked to Lori Hedrick, an incredible photographer and such a sweet person (she was the photographer at his wedding of course!), and she told me about being able to have a family and be a photographer because of its flexibility. Pretty soon afterwards, I started photography school at the New York Institute of Photography and since then, I've been running almost nonstop.

Over time, I've added little things here and there. I got promoted at my job, started helping people with social media after work hours, and began to start shooting weddings and portrait sessions. I love it. I really do. And I hope to continue booking lots more in 2014! But before surgery, I'd gotten into an insane schedule. Just crazy. Here's what a typical day would look like: 
5:30 A.M. - Get up, read my Bible, and spend some time in prayer
Before leaving for work - exercise, shower and get ready, do a few house chores, take care of the dog
8:10 A.M. - leave for work
5:00 P.M. - get home (unless I hit traffic)
Between getting home and bed - run 3-4 miles, make and eat dinner, work on my photography business for about an hour, and finish whatever house chores or other things I needed to get done, or go to small group/hang out with friends
10:00 P.M. - go to bed, unless I was working on something

Honestly, it was pretty nonstop. I was exhausted most of the time, and I really wasn't feeling satisfied at the end of the day. Instead, I'd go to bed thinking about what I had to finish the next day and what I hadn't already accomplished.  And then...everything just STOPPED. My first big accomplishment after surgery was going the whole day without taking a nap. I went from running 15-20 miles each week to not even being able to walk 1 mile (yeah, tried that three days after surgery...that was a huge mistake). My goal a week after surgery became just to walk every day. That's it. Just walk.

And I did it. And I'm still doing it. But even still, 4 weeks later, life is much slower. I'm sleeping a little later, I'm not able to run, and my body is still taking so much energy just to heal that I just can't do all that I used to do. And you know what? NOTHING HAS FALLEN APART! Nothing. I've been able to work every day, maintain my photography business with pretty good consistency, and my pants haven't shrunk one bit. 

It really has been difficult. It's weird to not get as much done, and getting meals from people or having frozen meals has given me a ton of my time back. But I'm enjoying each day. I'm feeling accomplished with what I've gotten done, and I'm making a habit of thinking about what I did instead of what's left undone. 

It used to drive me crazy when people would say they wouldn't change a thing after a huge life shake-up like surgery or something tragic happening. I honestly didn't believe it for a second. Now I totally understand. My life has slowed down without stopping. I'm still running after my goals, but I'm learning how to take five when I'm exhausted. My shoulder is minor in the grand scheme of things - in awhile, I'll be back to normal. But normal will be so different now - and because of that, I'm so thankful I've had this time in my life! I'll probably always be learning how to slow down, but I know that I've already made a huge step forward.

Have a great Sunday!

chincoteague sunset

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.