Of course it happens! How often? For me, about once a year around late winter. It’s pretty predictable. I should schedule a lunch date with Puxatony Phil, the groundhog who makes his early February appearance every year. I can feel it coming on in late January. After the previous year’s paperwork and files are sewed up and the calendar starts filling up once again. I feel like Oprah pulling her famous 50 pounds of lost fat in her red wagon. Some years are better than others. Since I network with a few groups, jumping back into my normal routine in January is not where it starts. For the most part, it starts around the first of February. As I sit in my networking meetings, the voices of my friends sort of echo into a blurb as if I am in a cloud. I daydream more of ocean sounds, birds chirping and in general, that big globe that appears ever once in awhile in the sky called the “sun”.
This is the time I could easily pick up the phone and reconnect with my “Debbie Downer” friends. You know the ones….. I’m sure we all have one, two or even several. My mom always says “Misery loves company.” How true. In that sea of burnt out matches, I have to remember to stay positive and push though this time every year. I’m not going to lie and say that being a business owner is joyous. It is work and hard work. Staying on top of the mountain is even harder work. There are some photographers who choose to take the elevator. By that I mean, that their business consists of the same type of photography day in and day out. They are happy with their lighting that they learned years ago. For me, I feel that education is the highest form of success when elevating your business from normal to superior. So not only does the daily pressure of getting new business in, the constant push to educate myself in state of the art lighting techniques, camera angles and techniques and so on and so on, are just as high on the priority list.
Burn out comes and it is expected. So, for me, the best way to handle this is to put the camera down for a few days. Bow out of social media for a wee bit. You would be surprised how a few days of this can really clear your head. I call it “defragging”. Remember years ago when computer experts said you had to “defrag” your computer. I remember asking my computer guy what the heck that was. He said, “it put’s everything back to where it should be.” For me, that may be just a walk on the beach in the winter.
I love what I do. I love being a photographer. I believe that I am good at what I do. My passion to create an image for you to enjoy and pass on to your children far exceeds any job I can think of. To see tears of joy in a new mom’s face as she sees her newborn’s photograph is exhilarating. To make a woman feel beautiful lost in a sea of negativity brought on by social stereotypes is a gift.
As I sit here writing this, the snow has stopped and that warm sun globe is squeezing through starting it’s quick melt. The birds are getting together for a networking event and making so much noise that I may even open my window a crack to see what the party is all about. Burnout period is over. Thankfully, it only lasted a few days. I’m ready for 2016. Bring it on my friends. I’m taking the stairs and leaving the elevator to the other folks.