This year is a strange one for me - I really don't have an 'off-season.' Generally, in the wedding world, events slow down in the winter months. Fewer people get married when it's cold outside, and not many families want to take pictures after the holidays. There is usually a break starting sometime in November-December and lasting until February-March, when my world goes to sleep a little bit.
No such thing is happening this year, however. In November, my first month without a full wedding, I ended up photographing 9 portrait sessions and one elopement, most of which were booked in just a few weeks. In December we will travel to Texas for a few days before photographing our last 2017 wedding (at Trump Winery, no less!). I already have quite a few sessions scheduling before the end of the year. The day after Christmas I will undergo surgery to remove my tonsils, and just a few weeks after that begins the 2018 wedding season, right at the end of January. The winter won't be much of a 'break' at all!
That said, there are still things in my personal life and business I want to accomplish before the year is over, and in the midst of business I want to continue to both work hard and find rest. Here are my goals for the rest of the year.
1) Start our family Christmas traditions. My family had lots of holidays traditions growing up, and I loved all of them. It's so exciting to have a little family of three to start establishing traditions of our own. While I don't expect to have them all figured out by the time the 25th rolls around, I want to start thinking through how we can make our holidays unique to us and exciting for Willow and any other kids we may have.
2) Find rest. I intentionally worded this as an action, because rest looks very different for me than some others that I know. I do not find rest from a lack of activities; rather, I need to fill my time with the right things. This includes reading news or devotional books with a hot drink in hand, writing for myself even though nobody will see it, taking naps when I feel tired, and filling my evenings with friends and family intentionally. This, more than doing nothing at all, is where I will find rest.
3) Say no to the extras. December already feels full and it has barely just begun. As much as I love activities and events, I don't want the month to fly by so quickly that I can't enjoy time spent at home with my baby and my husband. I don't have to say yes to everything - or anything - to enjoy what I already have.
4) Prepare for surgery, and go into the operating room with full confidence. Ugh. This one is not so fun. I need to prepare business-wise for surgery by blogging ahead of time, taking care of winter clients, and being realistic about what I can and can't do when I'm laid out flat in bed. Additionally, I need to prepare freezer meals so we can continue to eat and a series of quiet activities so I can keep my mind occupied even when I can't physically get out of bed.
This year I am praying, as I always do, for full enjoyment in a season that so quickly fills up we forget to remember why we celebrate it in the first place. Even as business stays steady I want my mind, my family, and my home to be filled with peace. This is the best way I can think to end one year and begin another, because 2018 will be here bfore you know it.