I am a photographer. But I am also a dad. And a husband.
Balancing these roles is a cross between shooting a spaceship around the moon and walking a tight rope across two skyscrapers. All while holding a Canon 7D Mark II in my hand and a baby in another.
The delicate balance of maintaining all of these roles requires constant calibration. Never-ending refinery. And thoughtful contemplation.
My priority for my business is always: quality first. Do not skimp. Don’t take shortcuts. Never settle for anything less something I can take pride in.
My priority for life is always: relationships are gold. They are what gives our lives meaning. What fill us with satisfaction. With joy. With tribulation.
Relationships are everything.
So, how does one keep all these things in check? To be honest, I’m not sure how it happens.
I try to pay careful attention to sleep modulation, self care, time management and evaluation of priorities. On a daily basis.
Oh, and a little caffeine helps, too.
Being an entrepreneur, a dad to two little girls, and a husband to my wife requires a lot of work. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are days I come home at 7:00 am to my little girls, arms outstretched, looking for a big hug. And to be fed. And dressed. And played with. And taken places...all off of 3 hours of sleep from the night before.
I nap when they nap. I am there when they are awake. I am working while they sleep. My wife and I have carefully crafted a very unique routine that most families would find mind-boggling. But, we make it work.
Without my wife, I would not be able to sustain my business. She supports me and encourages me. She is flexible and understanding. She has taught me how to love and support another human being. She has made me a better man.
In return, I try to give back every ounce of expendable energy into that that sustains me most: my girls. Without them, I simply would not exist. They feed my soul. They make me want to do my best. Always.
Another component is scheduling "Daddy Daughter Dates" with my daughters at least once a week. To go to a coffee shop and have a cookie. Or up to my office to play tag. Or a walk around a pond to inspect bugs. This is what keeps me balanced. This is what fills me up.
My wife and I squeeze every second out of our short-lived free time with one another. Seconds count. We fill them with words, hugs, and usually end up bantering about how cute our daughters were that day.
This isn't easy. But no one says that the most fulfillment comes from it being easy. It's hard. It's damn hard.
But it's what we created. And it's the best.
In the end, I hope to look back on my life and say that I paved my own way. That I never gave less than 110% to my career and my family. That I did the very best I could.
That's about all we can do, I guess. To look back and say, "I did the very best I could."