Seattle Wedding Photographer | Jacilyn M Photography Blog »

Excuses Mistaken as Reasons | Living a Full LIfe

You know those things we all say we believe, or we agree with, or know to be true? But we don’t really actually do them or be true to them. And then we justify a reason as to why it doesn’t work for us.

I should workout this week.

We should eat healthier.

I’ll travel one day when I have enough time and money.

I can’t pursue my dream because it might not work out.

I have to get these things done. So I prioritize them first cause they HAVE to be done.

And the millions of other things we say to continue in the patterns we’ve created because they’re familiar. They may not be comfortable but they’re comfortable in the aspect that it’s what we know. Change is certainly easier said than done. However, it’s simpler if we just try one thing at a time.

Everything is about priorities. Truly what is most important to you in this life? Are you putting the important things first each day, or are you riding out the “reason” you can’t put them first. I’ve come to learn and believe that often we mistake excuses for reasons. But at the heart of it, they’re not reasons, they’re excuses.

My biggest one, which I’d venture to say many of you might relate to, is time and money. I don’t have enough of it. But, I do. If I really look at it I do. You probably do to. We all get the same number of hours, minutes, seconds in a day. It’s just how we prioritize them and letting go of excuses that don’t let us utilize it to it’s maximum. And money, well I can’t speak for everyone but when I sat down months ago and looked at my accounts I sure spent lots of money at Target, and on coffee, and on those 4 shirts that now they’re in my closet I never wear them, eating out (WHOA eating out, cooking for 1 or 2 is hard) and so forth. But I’ll start with time and my personal experience.

I’m a workaholic. Full-time self-employed. Single mom. Not only do I love what I do so much I want to do it all the time, I at one point felt like I had to as I had no one to fall back on. It was up to me to keep this house running. My kiddo would come home from school, do her homework, grab a snack and run out the door to gather the neighborhood kids to play. I felt like since she was playing outside anyway it was ok that I sat at my desk and worked. There were things I had to get done anyway. She’d run in and out occasionally but she was busy so it was fine. But, I’d randomly hear her make comments about me at my desk. To me. To others. I recognized that she saw it as I valued work over everything to always be doing it. Therefore, valued it over her. And this wasn’t how I wanted her to see and remember me. So I made one small change. I was going to stop working when she was home. I could work all day and after she was in bed but not when she was home. Even though she was outside. I could clean, do things around the house, watch tv, read. Whatever, just not be working at my desk.

Let me tell ya!

What a weight lifted. It was actually a relief to step away from my desk. My relationship with my daughter changed so much. Not only were we getting more time together, but I was now available to her. I wasn’t at the desk, so I was available! We were able to connect more. And my gosh I can’t explain in words how amazing this is. We talked before but the way she opens up to me now is incredible. I would work after she’d go to bed, but in the months since things have been even better. All those things I had to get done so I had to work, they still get done. Nothing is being left out. I’m more focused during work hours. And actually that stopping work between 3p -8p has changed to not working between 1p and the next morning most of the time. By 1p I step away from my desk. Have some meetings, go run errands, read, anything & everything, just nothing at my desk. And the only time I really pick up my laptop after my kiddo is in bed is to reply to any inquiries that came in that afternoon. Now there is the random day usually on the weekend she goes out and I sneak in a quick project but life has shifted so much she rarely ever sees it. Making her feel like the biggest priority, cause she is. What a drastic change in my life by simple putting down my foot and saying nope I’m changing priorities for a few hours during the day. For those that don’t have kids imagine the effect this could have on your relationship with your partner if they’re in your home? I don’t have that lol. I’ve even seen a change in the depth of my relationship with friends and other family members as my thought process has shifted. Yes things do need to get done….. At some point. And a lot of times the world and life itself will not end if you don’t do them right now. Prioritize your time. Value it. Be intentional with it. I know a lot of you right now might be going well duh… cause it is well duh… but are you doing it in your life? Maybe it’s not work at a computer maybe it’s something else (like the phone always up to your face…..) that takes you away from your top priorities. It’s one of those we all agree we all believe but how are we ACTUALLY implementing it in our lives. Are we at all?

Money, same deal. Make a small change. We have more than we think we have. I’m not someone who can go full budgeting and no wiggle room, sell your things, etc. That sends my rebellious soul into more spending. At the end of the year I start to look over my financials. Truthfully each year gets better but this last year I’ve started to layout what my priorities are exactly. They’re actually written down. I started recognizing that I don’t have a savings problem. I have a spending problem. And some… ok a lot… of my spending is preventing me from keeping my priorities as priorities at the top of the list. I started making small changes each week with how I budget and how I spend and I’M NOT MISSING OUT!!! Even things I think I really want I don’t get them cause often 3 days later I don’t really care, glad I didn’t spend money on them. Especially things. I need less things. As Caterina grows I want her to travel more with me and that’s become a possibility as I spend a lot less time at Target 😉 And other places. Staying away from temptation of temporary happiness in things. I have always said I’d never go anywhere with her over spring break, it’s just too expensive. But this year with new spending habits in play there was the budget to go and we could really use some sunshine. So I took her on vacation to Palm Springs. It’s THE BEST time I’ve ever had with her. The conversations, laughter, experiences. We’ll never forget them. We must do it more. And thankfully to small changes, one at a time, we will.

I realize this isn’t something I’ve blogged about before, or even really anything like this. But after this spring break trip I came home and started having conversations with others about these excuses in life we call reasons. They’re holding us back. They’re holding YOU back. How can you change them? What’s the first step? The smallest things can often make the biggest impact.

It’s been so inspiring and empowering in my own life I feel called to share it with others. These were things I said were priorities before, but really they weren’t, I wasn’t treating them as such. I had excuses as to why they couldn’t be at the moment. But if you don’t make changes now will will you later on? Honestly?

Start one small thing now to move you forward into a life you love. I promise you won’t be missing out.

And because this trip prompted this all, here’s some photos of our little spring break getaway (cause I’m also prioritizing photographing our life more!). Get excited about Caterina as she might start appearing more as she gets older. It feels somewhat better sharing her more on the world wide web as she grows. Also she actually joined me on shoots last year, taking photos!!! She’s actually really good and has so much fun. I’m excited to bring her more and see her blossom! And if you haven’t thought of Palm Springs as a destination to check out you should. It’s one of my faves!

Happy Monday party people, hope you’re brain is clicking with new small ideas to enrich your life! 😀

XOXO

I took Cat to The Living Desert while we were there and she loved the ostrich. When she saw it coming down the hill she freaked and said take a picture, take a picture!!!! She said “It’s just so beautiful!!!!” I laughed and she said “What?! It is! The way it walks all up and confident and it’s feathers just flow so pretty. It’s beautiful.” You guys…. We need to see the world more like children!!! And when I told her we were going there she immediately wanted to know if they had a Fennec Fox?!?!?!!? They did and this little guy stole her heart.

This meerkat though…… LOL

share on facebookshare on twitter