When someone greets you at the door with a huge smile and shouts, “HI!!!”, you now you’re about to have some fun. I met Kelly and John for their engagement session at their wedding venue on a very snowy afternoon. They gave me a quick tour of the plans for their wedding day and then it was time to bundle up and head outside. Doing engagement sessions in the winter isn’t commonplace for me but I’m going to start recommending it from now on!
Winter is now my favorite season because I have experienced the healing energy of the snow that covers the world around us. At times, I used to find winter to be my most challenging season because of shorter days, colder temperatures, and the always-lovely seasonal depression. But this past year, I have found the snow to be comforting and inspiring. Waking from an overnight storm, the world is fresh and neutral. A clean slate.
It snowed on October 29, 2011. I was leaving the hospital after having half of my tongue removed from oral cancer. I spent a week recuperating from what was one of the most challenging and painful times of my life. Going home-evoked anxiety because of recovery, learning to talk and eat again, and finding ways to communicate with my children and family. But when I woke up that morning and started packing my bags to go home, I watched those white flakes fall from the sky and I saw a world that wasn’t so scary. I saw comfort and warmth in that snowstorm. I knew that going home wouldn’t be so bad after all. I could get cozy in my own bed and start healing. It became my fresh white clean slate on “day one” of being home cancer free.
It snowed on January 21, 2014, the day after we said goodbye to our sweet kitty cat Dexter. He passed away after a long fight with intestinal lymphoma. The morning after, our hearts were heavy because he wasn’t nearby to give a brisk belly rub to and exchange meows with. But outside our window, a fresh and cozy blanket of snow was covering the raw ground over Dexter’s final resting place. It was the end of a long and exhausting routine of medications, injections, and doctor’s appointments that came to an end peacefully.
It snowed on February 13, 2014. I had just returned from my first “Inspire Experience” and my heart and thoughts were overflowing with new information and lots of positive energy. This was the first time I had been to an overnight workshop, first time away from my kids for more than two nights (besides cancer crap two years ago), first time emotionally connecting with some of my survivor’s guilt from said cancer crap. Needless to say, when I came home Wednesday night, I was dog-tired. I needed a few days to detox my body for the “excesses of vacation” and ease my way back into the “real world”. This mom of two boys really enjoyed her independence and naps!
Winter can often be a time of doubt as it’s considered the off-season for wedding photographers. I do not spend as much time photographing and editing as I do during the warmer months. My creative mind needs to stay working all year long! Just as things were winding down after the holiday season, I went to my first Inspire workshop and had the chance to recharge and reconnect with myself on a personal and professional level. I learned about great techniques for running my business, motivating ideas for taking photos, writing out goals, and connecting to the personal and creative side of who we are why we do what we do. I went outside my comfort zone and made the effort to meet new people and make new connections and that came back to me ten fold! I’m excited about the upcoming year and next year’s workshop. I submitted my speaking proposal for next year and I’m hoping to find out by summer if it will be accepted.
So far, my winter has not only been filled with snow, which warms my heart, but has also been filled with inspiration. As spring continues to hibernate but shows small little glimpses that it’s coming…I’m motivated to help others and myself.