breathing room

Once I wrapped up my last clients of 2011 I dove headfirst into making Christmas everything it could be for my kids. Then, on New Years Eve, I got really, really sick. I just today came up for a breath of air.

I feel like I have been running with my head down for the last four months. Running to clients, running to pick up kids, running to drop off kids, running to make lunch, running to a teacher meeting, running to buy birthday party supplies, running to get my camera fixed, running to make dinner, running to the doctor, running to visit a friend, running to behavioral therapy for Mckenna, running to the airport, running home, running to the bank, running to a school function, running to the store for more toilet paper…just running, running, running.

And I want to stop.

And I want to catch my breath.

The last few days while sick in bed, I took a cold hard look at my life, and it has suffered. I have gained weight. We are eating out too much. I am not writing. I have not done any of the projects I wanted to do. We aren’t spending enough time putting energy and thought into our lives. We are just making it.

I honestly don’t know how everyone else does it. I look around and it seems like everyone else is working their asses off, making home cooked meals for their kids, redecorating their homes, redesigning websites, setting up shops, chasing their dreams, losing weight, running marathons, taking quick trips, going on dates, building tree forts, learning to kickbox….and I am just watching it all whiz by in awe while clutching my six year old branding and sage green walls and child bearing hips.

I want to spend some time on myself. I want to get this house in order. I want to take bags upon bags upon bags to Goodwill. I want to stop holding onto things for my perfect house and someday. I want to get my branding finished, (I LOVE IT), and get my new websites created. I want to spend time making healthy food. I want my body to work better. I want to learn how to do new things. I want to take my kids to the park. I want to take pictures of us. Do you know that I took a shockingly low number of pictures of my own family this year? I hate that.

Right now, I have a chance. January is notoriously slow for portrait photographers. So I am taking it.

I am going radio silent on the blog until I feel like I have some things back under control. I have got to cut something out. I heavily feel the weight of the silence here, and I just need to say something so I don’t stress about it anymore. I am not going to be posting. I am not going to be thinking of meaningful content. I am not going to be editing photos for other people.

I will catch my breath. And I will come back. Soon.

For now, if you wish, you can keep up with us on my snapshots blog: I don’t want to forget a thing, where my iphone photos are automagically shared.

Until I feel more alive,

Join the Conversation


  1. my sentiments exactly. you are not alone, not one little tiny bit. i related to every word and every emotion in this post and am doing the same thing myself actually and i am loving it. my new years resolution was to set all of these boundaries so that i don’t feel over-booked and over-worked and then ultimately sad that i feel i missed so much of my own family. we get these lull times as photographers and then do it to ourselves again it seems. i am making it my mission to do it differently this year so that i don’t want to hide under a rock for a couple months just to be able to take deep breaths again. oh, how i feel you. i hope you’re enjoying the silence. :)

  2. this. yes. so this.
    this is exactly how i feel as of late … overwhelmed. overworked. over it.
    my grandmother passed away over our winter break. it was weeks of sitting with her and … waiting. (doesn’t that sound awful?)
    but it was.
    and then she passed and it was busy with all of the planning and the funerals and the emotion.
    and then we emerged on the other side …
    and i saw things on my calendar that were no longer important.
    and i spent a few hours emailing and telling people that those things just weren’t going to be happening. and why.
    pretty much because i’m on the upside down part of the emotional rollercoaster.
    and i’m not feeling the least bit guilty.
    hugs, friend (that pretty much has no idea who i am.)
    you are so doing the right thing for you and your family.
    and how amazing is that?

  3. Boy, I hear you….

    I did one thing a few months ago that has changed my life in SO many ways. I gave up sugar. 100%. No more pepsi, no pie at Thanksgiving, no sugar cookies at Christmas. nada. zip.

    I knew I’d feel better, and I knew I’d lose some weight, but I was just not prepared for such a HUGE change. I have more energy, feel balanced, leveled off, calmer, more centered. I now totally realize that I was living a fake sugar infested life and and I am feeling for the first time in my life what it feels like to be “me” without the sugar highs and lows.

    Give it a try. My only advice is no baby steps allowed. Dive in 100% for the full effect.

  4. Wow! I came to this realization about a year ago. It was mainly work related. I just felt like it was running me instead of me running it. I took steps to make my job fit my life (like NO working on Sundays) and little by little things starting feeling more settled. I just started yoga and took a family vacation to Florida. I get where you are and can’t wait until you get where you want to be. We should all be so honest and candid…maybe the world wouldn’t seem so lonely or fake!

  5. i need to share this post on my blog…you said what is on my mind, my heart, and what is making it so hard to breathe right now, i am literally having chest pains. i really hope to meet you one day. you’re an astounding woman, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

  6. Hi – Boy am i glad i just read your blog! Whew – one word….DITTO. Although not as experienced & fabulous as your work – This season was crazy – which was great – but along with my daughters Cheer Season (where we won #1 in the Nation in Orlando Fl) I don’t want this new business venture to spoil my love of taking photographs. A much needed break is needed by all. I have already started “digging out” and cleaning closets. There are bags (for the Vietnam Vets) of HOPE in my garage waiting to be picked up and hoping they pick someone else up!

    I had big plans of taking some workshops to hone my craft and feel more comfortable about what i have set out to do; but my family needs me more now and they are my first, second and third priority over anything else. I am a MOM first, the most important and most difficult job in the world!

    Im sure you are well surpassing what you really think you are falling short of!

    Happy & Healthy 2012 to you and your precious family!

    ☺ Lynn Ajello

  7. Good for You, Tara . . . for the record: I have way less responsibilities than you and I can barely keep up, those that “look” like they do are either good at “looking” like it or are super-human.

    Take a Breath, Girl, take a nice Loooooooooooooooooong Breath.

    PS: I think the picture (most recent) of you is Adorable <3

  8. Oh Tara…you just spoke directly to my soul. Breathing. Catching a breath. Yes. I find myself in the same position. I am doing my best to be intentional about every day. Some days are great, and others not so much. But I am learning to forgive myself for the bad ones (bad decisions) and move.on. Here’s to a wonderful new year!

  9. Hi Tara,
    I have to say that after reading your post, I simply wanted to give you a vacation…pronto! But being a complete stranger and knowing nothing of what its like to be in your shoes, I thought I should step back and just simply suggest visiting “zero waste home” blog…

    Simply put, until I came across that blog, I was going through life…”running” and thinking the same thoughts you are…
    Goodwill, goodwill, goodwill…

    …and then it happened, I decided I was done with all of the expectations, dream projects, and time wasters. I hope and wish you the same…a balanced life filled with nothing but the things you love <3

    Happy New YOU!

  10. Oh, you took the words right out of my mouth. I dont know how everyone else is doing it either…and I find myself in a state of extreme exhaustion all. the. time. the running never stops but it never feels like the outcome of my efforts pales in comparison to the energy I put into it….so I am on a similar journey and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. Damn! I feel that exact same way …. “just making it”…. or as I recently told a friend that I’m getting through by the skin of my teeth. Hanging on by my fingernails. My husband tells me I’m a feather in the wind, going wherever the wind blows me. You know, I don’t think everybody else has it together as much as you think. I think some people are just more honest than others. And some are better at asking for help when they need it, or saying no when they’re overextended…stuff like that. Or maybe I’m fooling myself and someone is not sharing the secret of life with us. Let me know if you find out, lol!

  12. Oh, how funny! Once I posted I noticed all the above comments and yay! We’re not the only ones. May 2012 be our year to get a grip. Happy New Year to the Whitney Family from the Eyring Girls!

  13. Hi Tara,

    HUGS to you and totally understand the need of hiatus.. I have done it myself and I am doing a period or enjoying myself immensely with the things I wanna do right now…which for the past 33 months, have been missing out when on an IT job.
    Before I embark on my next career in IT, I will thank God for the Grace & Favors to give me a wonderful unceasing fruitfulness 2012!

    Same to you! I wish you this and wish to see so much more of your inspirational photos of portraiture and life when you are back!

  14. Tara…I don’t know how you do it…time and time speak and write what I’m thinking and feeling….TO A T!!! I too am going through these same thought processes and wonder how EVERYONE else does it? I think you have found your answer and given me mine….time to catch our breath! That’s it….it’s really simple…catch our breath and breathe again. Breathing in the new and breathing out that stagnant, energy draining lifestyle! Kuddos to you for being so forthright and honest and for making this stay at home mom who feels this way often, not feel so alone!!! Thank you,

  15. We will be here for you whenever you want to return. You have been very kind in sharing so much anyway.
    Enjoy your “You” time, you thoroughly deserve it!

  16. Hi Tara

    I hear you on the home front………your family is the most important thing and you should not be apologizing for taking the time out to focus on yourself and them.

    Just a quick question if you get around to reading this. I popped over to your little photos on “I don’t want to forget a thing”. Is that instagram? And if so, which frame did you use to get that look. email address is
    Thanks and take care and enjoy your time living your life. Kathy

  17. Omg! stumbled across your blog,looking for ideas for my i have done exactly the same,i seem to have forgotton my kids.Im a student photographer studying an extended diploma.Its so hectic,i have 6 kids and im a single mum,its as though i never have time anymore for them and for all the ideas i have and assignments on top of that..not to mention the running of the house and pets i feel i have forgotton my kids latel.I to feel run down and on the brink of exhaustion..that is untill i found this blog…it jolted me back to reality the second i saw it.You are an amazing photographer,your images are simply beautiful.You have inspired me deeply and i thank you so very much for that..
    I hope you feel better soon and spend some magical time with your i know i am to after seeing this..thankyou..and please keep up your wonderful work..not just for your clients but also for fellow photographers with children whom understand how hard it really is.
    kindest regards

  18. Wow Tara, I knew I would find a post here that described me in a way too, and sure enough I did! WOW Girl, I feel your pain. Let me offer you some advice (I am a grandma now so I can do this right?) Go to the Doc and get a B-12 shot. While you are there, get you and the whole family FLU SHOTS. Getting the flu will knock you out for 3 weeks, no joke. Get it this week! #2, You need some help getting all that stuff togetehr for Goodwill. Can you hire someone? Do you have friends who will help? Dont do this alone, seriously. #3, Do what I did and hire a housekeeper. I only have her come Every other week on Thrusday. Thats two days a month. I clean for 28 days, she cleans for two. I havent had to scrub a commode (we have 4) or a bathtub, or dust cobwebs in 2 years. I have a hispanic lady who is great, and brings me tamales or just her smile and in about 4 hours my house sparkles. She charges me $100. a day and its so worth it. She stips the beds too and washes sheets, etc. Its worth every penny! (and dont help her, go to the salon, or get a massage or something but enjoy that luxury.) #4 a class once a week on spinning, yoga,meditate or just anything to be kind to your body will make you feel good, A place that is away from the house, like a gym or spa. One day a week isnt too much to ask. I find if i Have one day a week, where I do something for me, Im just a happier, wife, mom and friend. I mean, we take better care of our cars or our pets than we do ourselves. One day a week, even if its only 1 hour isnt too much to ask is it? #5 Read your bible or have quiet time to strech your spirituality. Whatever works for you, do it. #6 date night with the hubbs, no LESS THAN 1 night a month. Ideally 2 times a month, but MINIMUM one night a month. We’ve even gotten a nice hotel room in TOWN before just to escape. Babysitter and Date night. Put these things on your calendar. If I take care of my body, my marriage, my house, and my spirituality IM GOOD TO GO. Oh I almost forgot FOOD. I like to cook lots of meals on Sunday and freeze them. I make a lean Lasagna, Chicken and stuffing, Cassaroles, etc. and freeze them so during the week I just grab and microwave or heat. Theres a show on cable called “FIxing Dinner” and its the easiest recipes. Or find her online Sandy Richard. Best of luck to you. Its not about being perfect every day, its about being really productive ONE DAY A WEEK, that will keep you sane. CHEERS DAHLING.

  19. Good for you! It’s so difficult sometimes to admit that we need to take time for ourselves. Will be thinking of you and wishing you and your family all the best while you take the time to renew and enjoy!

  20. My word for 2012 is intentional…with God, myself, my family/friends and business (in that order). I’ve been under the same convictions and have come to grips with the fact that life is far too short. Best wishes to you in the coming year.

  21. Hi Tara, I just read this post of yours as I am too taking a hiatus and only thought of catching up with some of favorite photogs and look at some of my favorite blogs again. I too feel like I’m running everywhere and look in awe at others who ‘appear’ to have it all together. I guess I just wanted to say is I can relate, I have put my camera away for almost 6 months now and trying to find away to reignite that fire and passion I had for photography. But unfortunately the busy-ness of everyday life something had to give. I guess what I wanted to reach out and say is – I can completely relate and your not alone in those feelings. I hope your finding some air. Kerrie.

  22. This is exactly what I am talking about Tara. I am proud of you for taking care of you and your family. I look forward to seeing what a little time off will do for your creativity, life, and overall well being. I hope this time off is everything you needed it to be. xoxo

  23. Hey

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate how real you are. I actually use to love photography and now I find myself dreading and almost anxious over sessions. I feel as though I am barely surviving at times. THE INTERNET IS MAKING ME CRAZY!!!! I use to like my work, but now all I do is compare it to all the other photogs out there…. AND AS FAR AS “LIKES” GO on facebook, I FEEL LIKE I AM IN FREAKING HIGHSCHOOL AGAIN, it sucks!!!! I just can’t keep up with all of it. Ugh… I miss my kids and feel as though I will regret so much as they age. I love your blog on tumbler and it has encouraged me so much to take BACK MY LIFE!!!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.