Who Will Save Your Soul?

Today I finished a seven week work project. It was good/bad for my soul.

I didn’t think I was going to make it. Then I thought I was going to make it. Then I thought I wasn’t. I thought about those celebrities who go to rehab but say it’s for “exhaustion” and I thought that maybe sometimes it really is exhaustion and not drugs. I thought of myself – silent and alone – for days. Feverish and delirious. I wondered who would swoop in and do ten boxes of data entry. Who would do the eight blog posts a week I’ve been averaging? Who would edit the 11 outstanding photo sessions I have to do? Not outstanding, like, “This work is outstanding!” but outstanding like, “This photo session was over two weeks ago – your very beloved clients are waiting for you to edit their photos in time for the holidays, you fool.”


And so, I celebrated the end of the project by taking my birthday girl, Athena, to the dog park in the cold drizzle. Then the kids came back from 48 hours away and we’re reunited and it feels so good, and then I took a bath to take away the chill of the dog park. And now I’m linking up to Finish the Sentence Friday at the 11th hour, before it closes at 9:00pm tonight!


Maybe you opened up this post, wondering if the title meant I’d suddenly gone religious or something. Not a chance. I’ll stay in my weird, spiritual, celebrating all the holidays zone, though. Rather, I heard this blast-from-the-past song yesterday:

And I wondered, “Who will saaaaave your data entry?” “Who will saaaaave your blog posts?” “Who will saaaave your 11 photo sessions, because you can’t save your own?” Somehow it’s all connected, except that I don’t worry about someone saving my soul. It’s just fine, thanks, but a perpetual work-in-progress. I worry about doing the right things for it – and being the best person I can be. And sometimes that means biting my tongue and swallowing back my fire-hot retorts and insults. Often.

And it means spreading love.


It means acknowledging that I hate loud noises, and always have, and that when I watch TV with other people and I choose the volume, they ask me to turn it up. When they choose the volume level, I think they’re hard of hearing. It means that I sometimes don’t answer my family members because I have headphones in my ears, pumping classical music if I need to concentrate fully, and Pandora if I don’t. It means surrounding my ears, and my soul, with the sounds I like the most.

Like purring cats and crunching leaves.


And sometimes it’s ok if things are loud, like following Cassidy into a darkened movie theater last night, past the screen, up the stairs, and in the high seats – in the middle. With trailers so loud, I wonder about the human race, while loving it at the same time. It’s about knowing when it’s ok if things are loud, and saying that it’s sometimes not ok when things are loud.

Doctor Strange had me like:

Lately, it’s the hum of the pellet stove. The sound of the thud from the cat jumping from couch to floor. A dreamy sigh from the dog. The mouse clicking. Me sighing. A piece of candy being unwrapped. By me. The mouse clicking again. Sighs all around. The cat batting at the dog batting at the cat. My voice as I laugh and murmur to the pets. Another candy being unwrapped. The mouse clicking again. The sound of hand to skin as I stroke my chin and figure out my next move:

Black and white or color?

The click of the keyboard keys that I only can tolerate when it’s my own hands doing it.


And then I set to work and edit another 100-200 photos just like this:

Each one, just a little different.

Just a little closer.

Just a little far away too.

And then close again.

And then PEEK-A-BOO!

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “The sounds around me…” And there’s still (barely) time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

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  1. OK, love how you tackled this FTSF. Oh and by the way, I just literally thought today, “Why didn’t I hire Tamara to do some holiday photos for us?!” So after seeing your photos, I am truly asking myself this now even more! Really, just gorgeous, my friend 🙂

  2. I’m glad you finished your data entry job in time to enjoy the holidays. I hope you get through with your photo editing soon too. Just reading about all your work makes me feel exhausted for you. 🙂

    1. Thank you! It’s a bit later now, but only one more shoot to edit. Plus family ones, but I do feel more caught up! I was starting to lose my mind!

  3. The whole closer and further thing… the why movie theaters are SO LOUD, the boxes piling up. To dog parks, 11th hours, taking time for what matters…would love to see a before and after editing of the photos. SO so so glad you linked up. Hugs and love, friend.

  4. Boy have I missed reading your posts as I’ve waded through my own life crud and change and challenge lately! I feel so behind I wonder if I’ll very catch up again. And I wonder what has happened in my soul that I feel so disconnected from things. And then I remember that I’m just slogging through, much like everyone else… Or at least how I imagine everyone else is doing.

    And, so, my friend, I say Great job to you. And oh how I envy your photography and the beauty you capture in others, and the way you share yourself with us. :hugs:

  5. I definitely keep the volume lower than everyone around me. In fact, my parents were here to help out last week, and they keep the tv much louder because their hearing is going. I was surprised by how intrusive just a few clicks of volume are to me! What a gift you provide to your photography clients. These are photos they will look at over and over, celebrating the miracle of life and family. Glad the data entry is behind you – that is such a heavy weight!

    1. It’s so funny what happens when my parents control the volume. I nearly need earplugs! Then if I put it to what I think is high, they’re complaining they can’t hear!
      Too many rock concerts, I tell ya.

  6. You are so gifted. Come visit Arizona some time and take my family photos 🙂 Glad to hear you are done. Hooray! Onto the holidays…. Um, so not ready for any of that here yet. Never may be, but I’m going to try. I haven’t seen Doctor Strange yet, but the 15 year old said it was AMAZING!

    1. I would love to visit Arizona! Every part of the country seemed crazy yesterday, though. Cold in Florida. Windy in California. Snow in the south! What the what?

  7. Oh I just love this post and I especially love the photos. It just shows your awesome photography skills and makes me wish that you were close by to do my family portraits. I might have to make the trip to you so it can be done since you’re not coming to Colorado. BTW, don’t you just love how things have a way of working themselves out?

  8. Your photos are so pretty! I cannot imagine how you get everything done. At present time all I hear is the heater going on in the office. Glad you are getting caught up. That always feels so good!

    1. I honestly don’t know how I got everything done. It was very bird by bird. It’s giving me the space now to focus on building the blog, so it all worked out, I hope!

  9. I’m in awe of how you manage your jobs, life and family. Sounds like you have figured out how it works for you. I love finding my zen through nature and by myself, though I’m really a social person. I love music, but the sounds of waves and the tune of birds. Since i love to dance, I can always hear pop music, but will be really chill when I hear the piano playing. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Piano is my favorite sound, so I’m thrilled Scarlet is taking lessons now.
      I have an app that plays me San Francisco bay sounds! I’m not sure if it’s real, but I’m totally into it.

  10. The fish tank is my background music, and I am oddly okay with that. There’s something soothing about it. And staring at it leads to the most creative and imaginative thoughts too. Who knew? Other than that, there are a lot of strong female power anthems sounding through this house. Are they too young for Alanis yet? (um, yes – don’t play that one) But hearts needed lifting when the world proved a more than qualified women would not get the job when in competition with an oompah loopah. Cause honestly. Souls had some cracks but it’s okay because mama’s gonna fill them up with another chorus of Sit Still, Look Pretty and you will rule the world one day girls. Just keep fighting and stay gold.

  11. Who are those precious kids? What a beautiful family and BREATHTAKING photos!!

    You are a MACHINE GIRL!!

    I can just sense this strength growing inside of you. Confidence, security, integrity, and a burning passion finding its place permanently fueling you. Oh, it’s just so fantastic to get that feel about you through your words AND your photos…

    I love Jewel. Oh, how I love her… and that song! (We are so into the same girl singers… BRING IT!) I wonder what happened to her?! I haven’t heard from her in a while, have you?

    1. Those are our good friends! They hire me every six months, which I LOVE, because I get to watch the cuties grow up. The oldest goes to school with Scarlet.
      I love Jewel too!!! Where did she go? I’m off to Google it.

  12. This week the sounds around me have made me happy, and sad. My college boy is home, so the house is filled with all those kid sounds – him and his friends. Which I love. But in typical “me” fashion, I keep counting the days until he’s gone again, and it’s all too quiet – again. Sigh.

    1. I think I would/will do the same thing one day. I’m not good at being present with time, and instead I think about when it’s ending? Ugh, I hate that!

  13. I’ve had those moments of wondering if I would make it through epic amounts of work. Last week I wondered if I would make it through all those orders of safety pin necklaces + Eve’s birthday & birthday party + a trunk show + prepping to leave to go to NJ. I was packing orders until 9 the night before we left, and I’m usually in bed by 9:30! Glad you made it through to the other side.

    1. Oh boy – I hope it went well! I have NO idea how I got through all that work. I still have remnants of it, but nothing overwhelming, luckily. The storm has passed!

  14. Awww love the Fall photos!! I wish to take photos in that setting or probably have myself photographed in that setting. Soo golden and alive!

    I can’t take loud noise too. In fact, any type of loud noise. My husband turning the volume up and then me telling him to turn it down is a common scenario in my household. Then he would tell me he couldn’t hear the sound when we’re watching a movie when I can completely hear it and we’re just seated beside each other. Lol.

    This week’s been busy for me as well. I had to swap work and personal stuff from time to time and I felt like my head was spinning many times this week. Good luck to us! We shall survive. 🙂

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