Welcome, 2018 and the big 4-0!
Not only is it the New Year, today is also my birthday. A big one. One that has a big, fat zero behind it. Why not celebrate in a BIG way? I am posting my first blog and gave myself a birthday photo shoot.
Having a birthday on the second of January has been a blessing and sometimes a curse.
Growing up, parties and big celebrations were few and far between because everyone was either already partied out, back to work or flat broke from the Holidays. My doctor even pushed to have my mom induced for a January 2nd delivery instead of the 1st because he had a party to go to on New Years. There was either a blizzard, ice storm or just like today, tundra-like temperatures that kept people home instead of skipping out to a party. Case in point with my 21st birthday party was being held in downtown Chicago, while I was stuck in the ‘burbs, during a blizzard. We had family visiting, so I drank TGI Friday wine coolers while sleeping on my sister’s floor. #classy
But, having a Birthday at the beginning of a new year, has also given me pause to think more about the year ahead. I always plan out my new year’s resolutions/goals and add them to my wish while blowing out my candles.
My goals are bigger this year, but smarter than they have ever been.
- My first goal is to tell more stories. I am well on my way by posting this first blog post. I look forward to sharing more of the experiences I have had and plan to have with friends, family and clients. Through this blog, I will be sharing and showcasing personal projects, travel and photo shoots.
- My second goal is to take it all in. Life has moved pretty fast these past 40 years. Yikes! I want to stop rushing. I want to listen more and let life sink in. The hours, days and weeks just fly by. Life continues to happen around us no matter how much work we have to do and I don’t want to miss it.
- My third goal is to streamline. We all do so much but do we really have to do it all? How can I accomplish goal one and two, without three? I will be working on finding ways to be more efficient this year by doing more of what is important and less of what is not.
A number is just a number.
We all grew up with the notion that when you hit 40, you are officially over the hill. I hear 40, and I immediately think, Grim Reaper, black streamers, plucking grey hairs from my chin and walking canes. My husband and I have friends of all ages. None of them fit this imagery. They are all hard working, active and incredibly awesome people. There are no nursing homes in any of their near futures.
I have also been fortunate to surround myself with strong, positive and independent women of all ages. I strive to be like all of them. I want to be one of those admirable women who say, “Hell yes! I am 100% a-okay with this number” and age gracefully, but honestly, I am only 85% ok with it. Anyone else out there feels this way?
That 85% is filled with loving my family, having a supportive husband who has been making meals for weeks as I catch up on work from the busy season, a son who is kind hearted and hilarious and an incredible support system of friends and clients that drive me to work on my business every single day.
The 15% that holds me back is split evenly between self-doubt, the not being ok with where I am physically. (I can point out every amazing thing about others around me, but those mean little voices, the ones I know others hear, still make their way into my ear.) I also have the feeling that I am not doing enough, doing it well enough or fast enough.
Technically, I should already have my sh@t together by now, right? But, then I look back at everything that I have accomplished, tried, overcome and explored in life already. It feels like I have lived a few different lives already with everything that has happened thus far. And that is no small thing.
Ok, this is a photography blog, so let’s talk about this photoshoot!
I tell women that it is important for them to step in front of the camera on a daily basis. That if you wait until you lose that last 10 lbs, for your kids to be more cooperative, for you to cut your hair or when you have more time, then you will never do it. So I headed my advice and just got in front of the camera. I wanted to pay homage to the fact that I am now officially “over the hill,” hence the black balloons, but darn it, I am wearing the little black dress I bought a year ago and still haven’t put on.
My friend Michelle of “All Blushed Up” came to my studio and made me feel like a princess by doing my makeup. Red lips were a must.
I did my own hair but thankfully snuck away for a haircut last month with my friend Haley at Jeffrey LaMorte Salon, here in Lemont. I am still getting used to the darker and shorter do, but it is growing on me.
Then my friend Melody, who was featured in my “Brew”doir photoshoot images, jumped in and helped me with my camera. I was going to use a tripod, but instead I set up lights, adjusted the camera settings and she worked that camera like a pro. She was the perfect friend to have help, since she is silly, spontaneous and just makes me happy. Mel is also the right amount of inappropriate to bring out a genuine smile. The laughs are always my favorite with clients and they are now favorites of the shots of myself too.
I am so HAPPY I got in front of the camera.
Of course, there are images I am like “Nope” or “Yikes,” but there are so many more, that I am just thrilled about and truly in love with. I feel great, I feel special and I am excited about the start of my 40’s.
Thank you for being here. I look forward to sharing more stories and experiences with you all throughout this new year. In the meantime, meet me over on this Facebook post, to talk about what your new year resolutions/goals are, or if you have a special birthday wish to share.