Wow, its been nearly two weeks since I have posted. SO sorry about that! See, lots of things have been happening! Things that are very relevant to a topic I have really been dying to write a post about. Another aspect of health that I think is sometimes neglected, is mental & emotional health. I don’t know about you, but for me, my mental and emotional state plays a pivotal role in my ability to be healthy on the rest of the spectrum. If I am feeling stressed, depressed, angry or emotional it can really impact my healthy eating and my healthy mindset.
Something I want to share which has just developed recently is a big change we have made. A change that really effected how we live. Well many changes have naturally occurred since the birth of our son, but we have made certain adjustments as well. Since Augustus was born, we have fallen into this kind of routine, Daddy works all day every day, we miss him, mommy works from home and when daddy gets home she runs out and takes photos and comes home and continues to work. This looked promising in the beginning. Daddy was making good money at his job, although it was not the work he saw himself doing for a lifetime it was a good temporary income source. Mommy has her photography business which she has been working on growing and cultivating for years and is finally starting to gain some recognition. This was our life, our dynamic.
However, there was more than met the eye with this scenario. Mommy was up all night with baby by herself because daddy had to do lots of physical labor at work and needed his sleep. Then she still had lots of editing and computer work to do during the day while juggling baby. When daddy returned home in the evening he was exhausted and was not in the mood to go out or do any activities, work was draining him. Mommy craved a few moments of personal time but felt bad because many days were very difficult for daddy. It was really hard. The last thing mommy wanted was to stay in the house all evening when she had already been there all day and the last thing daddy wanted to do was go out when he had a hard day at work in the elements. Clearly we noticed before long that this was not working.
We would sit together in the evening after dinner, while settling the baby down to sleep and discuss why this was so difficult. We wanted to bask in the joy of our new family, our son, we wanted to be happy. We felt so lucky in so many ways but we also felt like all happiness and joy was missing from our lives many times. We had this beautiful new baby boy and instead of enjoying him we were stressed and arguing because we just missed each other and felt like we didn’t recognize ourselves anymore. So it wasn’t long before we were searching for a change. The first change we made, lowered our expenses and moved, this was in preparation to shop for our first home. We decided if we were going to bust our butts paying for a home it might as well be our own. That helped. Then after an arduous and stressful move we decided to search out other changes. Daddy made a job change that provided him more income, this seemed great at first but the job was miserable and he didn’t find he was surrounded with anyone like minded during his work day and that really brought him down.
We struggled with surrounding ourselves with positive encouraging people that would help propel us forward so that we could in turn do the same for them. All that we heard were comments like “get used to it” or “this is life” we could not imagine this was all our life would be for the years to come. We watched documentaries about successful people and listened to podcasts about bettering ourselves and doing what we love. We knew there was a way we just needed a better system.
So we ended up deciding, in one of our many discussions about our future, that my photography skills had to be worth more than I was getting from them presently. I had studied for years with Photoshop and mentored with other photographers, updating my equipment and learning more and more each year. We thought, there must be a way for me to make more money and not be chained to my desk all day and night. So I began searching online. Scrolling through freelance photography opportunities and graphic design job listings.
Finally I came upon a job listing for a real estate photographer looking to have more full time work in the field. That was a field that I had experience in, and found relatively simple and enjoyable. So I applied. I called them every day, I learned as much as I could about the company and realized very quickly this was my dream job. I would imagine some must have thought me insane for a few reasons. One, I have always been an advocate for my own business and why I would never accept just a “job” and two because I was applying for a job in the middle of a bustling end to summer and a hectic start to fall. I didn’t want to get my hopes up but I was excited. So after phone interview and a grueling photo test that made me question everything I knew about photography, I got the job. I was offered a position as an official professional real estate photographer for VHT Studios.
Many of you might be asking things like… “after running your own business why on earth would you want a job?” or “I can imagine you get paid way less per job than if you were independent, why would you want that.” Well if you wondered those things, you are not wrong. However to me, not having to search for work, not having to scavenge for my jobs was attractive and more consistent work was great too! Also I would not be required to do any editing, which was a huge plus, that meant more time with my family rather than on my computer. This was something totally unexpected that if I was approached with two years ago I would have turned down instantly. However, I have learned life is full of surprises and you have to take things one step at a time, right now it could not be more perfect for me, for our family.
So we started discussing how this was going to work, how could I take on this job. I won’t go into the boring details of how and what we discussed but in the end we decided Augustus was NOT going to daycare. That was something we both agreed we were NOT comfortable with. So we figured out how we both could make it work. Its a risk we are taking, me starting a position like this one. It is a large change in our usual routine. However from our extensive search for keys to success and happiness, it seems to me that no one who got where they wanted to go, ever did so without taking some risks. This feels so right, we feel like we are on the verge of some great new things. We see light at the end and we breathe air with new possibility.
For the first time in so long, I don’t spend most of my time in my lounge clothes juggling a baby and my work. I get to dress up more often in the nice clothes I used to wear before I was a mommy, and I get to chat with clients, go on lunch meetings, enjoy being a working woman. I get to see GORGEOUS homes with impeccable decor and style!! I get to see amazing design inspiration and talk to amazing people. However I get to do this knowing my baby is safe, with his daddy, happy. Not to mention his daddy is happy to be with him getting to spend more time with him, not killing himself every day working a job he dislikes. On the days where I am at home with my boy and daddy is working I enjoy it, I love being in my yoga pants and playing blocks with my baby.
However the best part of all this change, is some days, we are all together. We have breakfast together, we stay in our jammies and watch a Disney movie together. We finally have some balance and believe me we are looking forward to more of it. It is amazing when you actively search for how you WANT to live and make the necessary changes to get there. We almost though it was impossible to do this being new parents with a small baby, we were having so much difficulty taking any risk because of fear that we wouldn’t be able to provide for our son. Little did we know that we would be able to not only provide for him but enjoy him and be present if we just tweaked our life a little bit.We are discovering that we do not have to accept what is handed to us all the time. We do not have to work jobs that we hate because we are afraid, we do not have to stay stagnant because we fear risk. We can create our own destiny and our own lifestyle and love it. We want to set a healthy example for our son in all aspects of health, including how we life our life. We want to show him that he can do whatever he wants and he can also have goals that are attainable.
We recently celebrated our son’s baptism, it was a beautiful occasion. We both got to be a part of the planning and we both, along with friends and family, were able to make it a joyous day. It felt like we were being blessed in so many ways, more than just our son’s beginning to his own spiritual journey. We are looking forward to more joyous occasions and celebrating as we end our 2016 year and begin 2017. We are looking forward to celebrating our son’s first birthday, a beautiful holiday season, shopping for and purchasing our first family home, and much more.
Oh… and to anyone concerned about the future of Alexa Johnson Photography, and Artistically Organic, do not worry. I am still going to be doing portraits and weddings in my time aside from my new job and I will be sharing my healthy living ideas and thoughts here regularly. Thank you for following and being a part of this amazing life.
How do you make changes in your life to live the way you want? Are there some changes that you have considered making but are afraid to? How do you make sure you are staying in a healthy emotional and mental state? I would love to know what your story is! Message me directly or comment below!