Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Before Christmas, I was on warp speed. We had the January edition of the Long Way Home to complete with Amanda. I had a still life project and it's website that I was launching with my fabulous partner, Angie Marie Photographer. One of my goals for 2015 was to apply to a stock agency and I had thought about it a lot from January to November. As December said, "Hello", I knew that I needed to submit. Why wait?
It was the end of the school year here in Australia and I had end of year performances to attend, class parties, ceremonies to enjoy. There are Christmas parties and end of year functions with the adults as well. And of course, organising Christmas presents for my family and friends.
I moved from one project to the next; ticking from my to-do list. But to be honest, I wasn't enjoying it. I felt the need for chocolate and coffee to get me through each day, and that only added to the buzz. Each morning, I promised myself fruit and water. By 3pm, I knew I could try again tomorrow.
And so, it all came to an end on the week of Christmas. My parents arrived for a visit, and the kids were on holidays. I sat looking at my to-do list. It was almost clear. We had pulled the magazine together, and the "Wonders of the Oddments" website project was launched. I had applied to two stock agencies.
I decided to hit pause. I needed to hit pause. I stepped away from social media and the business of my photography. I enjoyed time with my family. I enjoyed time exploring Sydney. I read, I baked, and I enjoyed time with my camera. I slowed down and shot for the sheer enjoyment. The holidays ended and my husband returned to work. This was the date that I thought I would return to my page and my business. I wasn't ready. I still felt restless and wound up. I realized I needed more time.
I listened. I spent more time with my children. I reflected on my feelings. I was moving too fast. I forgot to feel gratitude for my projects and creativity journey. I was rushing to get to some imaginary end point. I realized I wasn't being the grateful artist that I set out to be. And so I continued to nourish my creativity by doing the very simple tasks that inspire me. I went to the beach. I visit an orchard. I read my favourite author even though I have read of her books two or threes times. I took my children on adventures and stopped at the little craft shops along the way.
Then I felt my gratitude return. I started to see ideas for photo shoots and creative ways to capture my art. I felt a return to the grateful artist that I strive to be. Now, when I pick up my camera it is not to complete my 365 project or my 100 days of summer project. It is not for a blog post or to post a picture on Facebook. It is because I see the beauty. It is because I feel gratitude. It is because I felt the need to slowdown and enjoy this journey. It is because the view is amazing and I don't want to miss any of it.
My name is Cindy Cavanagh, and I live in Sydney, Australia. I am a Lifestyle photographer of home and heart. I am a storyteller, an artist, and a photographer. I'm Co-Editor of the Long Way Home Magazine, contributor to Journey to Artist and Wonder of the Oddments. I am a Mum to 5 gorgeous and crazy children. I enjoy baking, a good coffee, and escaping with a good historical fiction novel. Website | Facebook