It wasn’t big-time or anything, and I was a bit young at the time, but I studied and practiced and earned ribbons and trophies and I do believe they were well-earned. I rocked the 4-H fairs and the Warren and Sussex Country fairs like no other. I used to get up at 5:00am, which is dreadful now but was even worse then, and I once slept in a horse trailer. It was magnificent.
The first time I ever entered a horse show, in the first competition, I actually took first place. I didn’t believe I had, because I’m not one to know my own power and I certainly didn’t back then, but the loudspeaker called my name and I didn’t hear them. I was too busy leading the horse out of the ring. An employee came up to me with a trophy and a blue ribbon and asked, “Are you the winner?” “Nah, sorry.” I said. Meanwhile my mom and sister were SCREAMING my name and yelling, “You won! Yes, you! Tammy, you won!” Holy cow. Me? I won. I was bewildered when I accepted my trophy and ribbon. I won?
I’m not always one to know when things are going well. And I’m even worse when I know that things are going well because then I’m afraid to move the wrong way, or blink the wrong way, or step on an imaginary line, or find the spark and set it on fire, or lose the spark, or lose the mojo. What is it that keeps our spark alive? The best news is that it’s inherently in you, so if you trip the spark or lose the spark or eat the spark or set fire to the spark, it comes back in your hands – warm and alive.
Not many people know this about me, but I used to compete in horse shows until I didn’t anymore. Something changed. My mom said I discovered boys, but heck, I discovered them waaaaaay before middle school. I think I just did it for a bit, until I didn’t do it anymore, because I couldn’t do it all – or even halfway. Sometimes people are meant to do things. I believe I’m meant to write and take pictures with a spark and a magic. Last night at a golden hour shoot, I was looking down at the thumbnail photos on my camera to make sure I had taken the kind of photos I wouldn’t leave without taking. These are fourth or fifth time clients so I can let my guard down, and I said, “Aha, that’s where it happened. I remember the photo and the smile and the moment now. That’s the moment I finished warming up and finally found my spark.” I can’t go home without.
There are things that never produce sparks. It’s more like they produce non-starts, or worse, full-out fire. So then I have to delegate and outsource. I have to ask for help in ways I’m just learning about – how to ask, and how to receive.
I’m buried under a mountain of work. I’m underwater, nowhere near the surface. It’s my busiest time of year as a photographer. Blogging is heating up for the rest of the year. I’m still doing a 4-6 week long data entry project.
I don’t know if you’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” one of my favorite bloggers – Mrs. AOK – but she’s pretty much my twin. And I have a few of those. Are we triplets? She does a weekly “Thank You Notes” feature, referencing Jimmy Fallon (and sometimes The Cure). Some of these were written two years ago, but I’m revamping even those. Thank you…
..Cassidy, for asking how you can help with my crazy work projects, and really meaning it. Setting you up with data entry might be more trouble than it’s worth, but the culinary help you provide is much appreciated. It’s my bread and butter!
Thank you, Janine, for your blog design help. I think it’s already working! Thank you!!!
Thank you, Avery, for doing the complex Photoshop/InDesign stuff! Sometimes, I just take the pictures.
Thank you, Cloverdale Nursery School, for making Des look like this: (although this wasn’t taken there)
(written two years ago but still true) Thank you, to Des’ daycare. Childcare is a privilege for us, and not a necessity.. Mostly. I do need that time to work and he does need that time to explore the world a different way, but if we couldn’t afford it, we would make do. That said, with Des being two-years-old and totally ready to do something more than hang out with just me, day after day, it was time. The transition went better than I expected and it is a safe place for all of us. The toys kick a**, the other families are wonderful, and the “teachers” provide two healthy meals and a number of fun activities. When Des isn’t at daycare, he’s asking to go. When we pull up to their house, he screams with joy.
Thank you, iHelpers.NET (affiliate link alert!) for the best hosting for my two websites – photography business and blog. They were the only ones who could help me, one dark weekend, when both of my websites had connectivity issues and my old hosting company gave me the runaround. They were the ones to talk to me on the phone, like humans, and help me figure out what the problem was and what I needed to do. Also, did you notice how much faster my website got? It used to be so slow! Thank you, iHelpers, for the speed, the insanely good customer service, for being brilliant at what you do.
(also written two years ago)
Thank you, Scarlet’s school. Although we are not wealthy, at all, we do have choices. There are private schools and charter schools and homeschooling options and choices of other public schools in this town, and surrounding towns. We are very happy with the elementary school that will be in our lives for many years to come. And I know we didn’t choose Scarlet’s teacher, but she deserves mention because she very honestly made me cry once. In a good way. And there are good ways to cry.
..you guessed it. Two years ago.
Also, thank you to the other school moms and dads. From conversations about camera strobes to why women belong with other women, from whining kids and rude adults to people who annoy us, thank you for making me feel normal. Ish.
Yes, two years ago but still valid. More so. Thanks for snacks, drinks and friendship.
Thank you to our favorite farm/restaurant/market/deli/butcher/orchard/ice cream/all-in-one. For the special breakfasts at the counter with whipped cream pancakes. For the egg and cheese sandwiches, apple orchards, and all-around great personalities. For the Easter Egg Hunts and fall hayrides. For the festivals and sunsets. (still valid)
Current me agrees with the last four or five points, and has so many other thank yous out there. I really needed help all this time! Who knew? So I don’t miss out on anyone, thank you to everyone ever who provides a kind word, a kind smile, a hug, a kiss, a potato knishe (what?), pie, extra sprinkles, expert advice, starting my car with its dead battery, paying for my food, hanging out in parking lots, LulaRoe leggings, my hair people, that girl who taught me how to raise one eyebrow (this needs a video, no?), vitamins, peanut butter cups stuffed with Reese’s Pieces, and a million little things, from my heart to yours.
This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “My life is so much easier due to..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.