Rural decay
And when all else fails ...

Your best advice

I loved reading your comments to my post about losing my job - really cheered me up to hear from you! I thought I'd put everyone's ideas together here. I'm also making my own plan, which I will post as soon as possible just in case it'd be helpful to anyone else.

Many of you - Natalie, Monkey's Momma, Alex, Toni, Amy, Lisa, Elizabeth, Kim, and Jessica - say to breathe, relax, and/or reflect. I figure if everyone says it, it must work.

NON-Superwoman - says that trusting that your gifts and talents will make room for you and offer an opportunity that affords you to stick to your homeschooling commitment. That sounds good to me! I'm trying to keep an open mind so that I can recognize opportunities that might come my way.

Sharanya says to pray and keep faith. Doing that, for sure.

Lindy says just remember what's important to you and keep your eyes on the goal post - this too shall pass. True, that. And I'm looking forward to when it passes!

Amy says know that you're not alone. Oh how I know this to be true. That's what makes me worry most - the whole it's going to get worse before it gets better cliche.

Allison says to remember that your family is precious and worth every challenge you go through to keep it stable, safe and happy. Absolutely. I'd be nowhere without them.

Jen says surround yourself with things and people that make you happy. If you can't do that everywhere, create a corner where the breeze can flow, where the colors saturate, and where you can stop for a minute and drink in the beauty of the crazy, complicated mess of nonsense that is life. I happen to think that the crazy, complicated mess of nonsense is beautiful. Really I do. More about this later - my thoughts are still brewing.

Toni says a glass of wine and long walks. I think I could use a bit more of both.

Kim says removing yourself from a potentially volatile situation and spending time in your room/sitting in your favorite chair knitting, knitting, knitting. I like this because it's realistic advice - it can be so very easy to take your stress out on your kids or other loved ones. But it feels rotten and doesn't solve any problems really. Occasionally, I'll have V hang out in her room and play or read or watch a video so that I can get 15-30 minutes to chill out. Makes us both happier and I can get my head right so I can get back to giving her the attention she needs.

Alex says to make lists and think in simple terms - seeing the positive in our lives (love, health, closeness of our family, etc). Definitely. I think that when people feel stuck in a situation it very often leads to depression. I have felt myself slipping into that but I really don't want to go there. It's good to remind yourself of the good things in your life so you can readjust your outlook.

Gayle says don't worry about what might be around the bend. Stay in the present. That can be really hard to do, but very, very helpful when you accomplish it.

Kristen says exercise really helps with working off steam. Yes - it's one part of keeping yourself sane in good times and bad. I need more exercise. That's going into the plan.

Michelle says to take this time to reflect on what you really want to do -- maybe it's your photographs! :). This bump in the road will prove to be a blessing someday. Just trust it! This is also going into the plan. More later.

Jessica says drive while listening to the radio loud while crying and laughing. This is something I used to do a lot. It's harder now with V, but not impossible. And my singing always sounds better in the car. Ha.

BlushingInk says that sometimes getting out of town for a few days makes you realize how good you  have it back home - but I think she may have had an ulterior motive there when she went on to suggest I go to Louisiana later this month and photograph her wedding! It's tempting - it'd be my first wedding, which I'd love to try, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that kind of responsibility.

Julia says to concentrate on what you CAN do right now and not think too much about all the things that are out of your control. That's just the thing - feeling out of control is what brings all those irrational thoughts into my brain. That's where the lists Alex suggested might come in handy - writing down concrete things I can actually accomplish so that my thinking is less scattered and I can see positive results when I cross things off the list.

To add to these, I find that it helps me to:

Give myself permission to worry. I'm a worrier from way back. For several years, I've felt that I had an increasing number of things to worry about. It can feel like an avalanche sometimes. I've come to realize that if I give myself permission to worry instead of making myself feel guilty about it, I worry less and when I do worry, it's not as stressful. Does that make sense? Works for me.

I also try to swing the opposite way and refuse to worry when we are spending fun time together as a family. V doesn't need to go to the park and have me stand over in the corner biting my nails. No, she needs me to be in her face with the camera as she's sliding down the big kid's slide. Right?!

Watch mindless TV, knit, or read a favorite book. Everybody needs a cheap escape.

Soon I want to write about the plan I'm hatching. It's not a "how I'm going to replace my lost income" plan, but more of a "how I'm going to find balance in my life" plan. I haven't laid it all out yet, but that's what I plan to work on this week. I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks on paper.

Comments

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Amy

I think there's value in each word of this post. It gives me hope to see you supported by so many thoughtful women. My comment about you not being alone didn't have to do with the state of our economy (although that certainly is true). Rather - I was attempting to remind you of this same support. Wanting you to know that even though we've never met that there are many people thinking of you and directing good energy your way. It helps me to know that in my darker moments.

maya | springtree road

amen to that, amy! and see where my focus/stress led me?? right to the dark side. bollocks to that!

spread your wings

what a wonderful community of caring women. sounds like a lot of really great advice, but more than that, support and understanding.

maya | springtree road

so true, leslye. i love all my readers/commenters - i've never had a bad experience with my blog. :)

kim

That's good stuff! Glad you took the time to compile it for us.

Recent blog post: Mixed bag

Lisa Renata

How wonderful to know how you've taken such a tough time and are making it a positive experience. Good for you Maya! I am very proud of you.

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shelli

This is all great advice. I look forward to hearing about your plan too!

jessica

These are all such great words of wisdom-I enjoyed reading everyone else's suggestions.

Gayle

This is great advice for all of us. Stress is not good for our bodies or our minds.

wende

I'm so sorry about your job. However, I'm looking forward to hearing your plan. A plan can be a very good thing indeed. :D

Sandi

So sorry to hear about your job. It sounds like you're getting great advice from everyone. I know when things happen like this it is easy to get down, but from personal experience and from what I have seen from others - it generally is an opportunity to find something new and even better. It's weird sometimes how things work out, but try to keep a positive attitude, and surround yourself with people you love. :)

wende

and PS--as for advice, you've received probably more than you can use. However, I'll just add this: when things get really bad, IZ and I sing the Sanford and Son Theme song a la Scrubs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj22p3YPACQ

Strangely, it helps. :D

Maiz

Okay... you probably don't need any more advice, but here's some anyway: Go shoot BlushingInk's wedding!!! A little $ and a chance to "break the ice" in a new aspect of your future photo career! I just know you'll be great at it when you do try it. Call me if you want and I'll help you figure it out!

alex

what a wonderful post, thanks for putting everyone's thoughts together. this post is getting bookmarked, never know when i might need to read it again!

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