So about this whole COVID-19 thing. Crazy right? No, but seriously this is crazy.
Life is far from normal for almost every person on the planet. This disease is bringing so much pain and loss.
I have friends and family who are on the front lines of fighting this (including one of our past wedding clients who tested positive for it and is thankfully now in recovery). I’m seeing people lose out on work or lose their jobs entirely. Weddings, celebrations, graduations, travel, and countless things are being canceled or postponed. Like so many in the photo, wedding and event industries – and the whole world honestly – I’m left with a lot of uncertainty about what the future will look like.
In spite of all of this, I really am filled with hope. The sun is still shinning. Spring flowers are still blooming. Coffee is still a magical beverage. Eventually the world is going to recover.
At the same time, the truth is that I’m tired.
It’s not just a new dad trying to do it all kind of tired – it’s something more, something different, something extra exhausting. The more people I talked to about it, the more I realized that it’s not just me. It seems like a lot of us are struggling with what’s called ‘moral fatigue.’ Things that were once mundane, simple tasks like going to the grocery store have now become ethical dilemmas that we never had to consider before. Even going for a walk brings the added pressure of making sure no gets closer than 6 feet away.
Rolling Stone posted a great article about it here if you’d like to read more about it.
I’m struggling with not having the energy to do all things I want to and could be doing. For the first time I can remember, I’m all caught up on my client work. Am I allowing myself to actually rest? Of course not.
IT’S OK TO NOT BE YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE DURING A FREAKING GLOBAL PANDEMIC.
I saw my friend post this a few days ago and it hit me really hard. Under normal circumstances I have a hard time slowing down and letting myself just ‘be,’ and these are definitely not normal circumstances. In the midst of all of the uncertainty and craziness of life right now, I’ve been feeling this massive pressure to be doing amazing things with the ‘extra’ time I have.
The thing is though, this isn’t extra time. This is stolen time. This is time that’s been taken from our lives in the spring of a year that is turning out nothing like we hoped it would. It’s okay to be exhausted from dealing with that.
Thankfully the rush to extreme productivity that exploded on social media has been dying down as we all realize this is going to be a marathon and not a sprint. I keep coming back to what the Bible says in Psalm 46:10: ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ It’s not just ok to slow down, rest, and be still right now – it’s essential. Once we can do that I think that we’re going to start focusing on the things that are most important and there in front of us.
Right now taking care of my family has become my full time job, and photography feels more like a side hustle.
I’ve been doing the stay at home dad-tographer thing since our son Jasper was born last year. It’s the most amazing and hardest thing I’ve ever gotten to do. I’m so grateful that this job gives me the ability to take care of him during the week, but I am really missing the days when his grandparents could come and watch him for a few hours. It’s not exactly easy to focus on work when you have a 7 month old who wants all your attention.
I was starting to get crazy frustrated a couple weeks ago about all things I couldn’t get done and had a little bit of a breakdown. As she’s been so many times in our relationship, my wife Amanda was the voice of love and reason to me. She made me realize that I wasn’t giving myself a chance to just be. She let me know that one of the best things I could do for our family is to allow myself to stop. So now that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do.
Instead of worrying about all the things I need to do during Jasper’s next nap, I’ve been trying to focus on spending time with my son. Everyday he’s growing more and more into this incredible little person, and I want to be present for that. Sometimes I get work or chores around the house done while he’s napping, and sometimes I just sit down and read a book instead. If it takes me over a week to write a blog post (like this one), or if I don’t get all the dishes done right away, so what? I’m experiencing a lot more peace and joy than I have in a while.
Throughout all of this I’ve been trying to focus on the good and beautiful things that are still showing up.
First and foremost, getting to be with my wife and son.
We’ve been able to spend the most quality time together as a family since Amanda was on maternity leave last year. The weather in Atlanta is amazing right now and we’re going for as many walks as we can. We’re really blessed that she has a good full time job that’s letting her work from home.
We’re still able to talk and connect with family and friends. We can still enjoy some good food and coffee and support some local businesses, even though the logistics are more complicated now.
The current view inside our favorite local shop Rev Coffee.
In the next few weeks I’m going to try my best to get some things done that I’ve wanted to do for a while, including share a lot more here on my blog. There’s a lot of work I’ve made over the years that I haven’t posted and I’m really proud of it – including some personal work and collaborations with friends. I want to update my portfolio, develop and scan some film, and get things more organized here at home. And if I don’t get that all done, it’s ok.
I’m happier being more present over being more productive.