May kind of kicked my ass | hitting the "reset" button

May was definitely one of the toughest months I’ve had so far this year so I thought I’d share a little about what’s on my heart today. It was also an amazing month- I shot this truly incredible intimate wedding in Joshua Tree, I traveled to help Nathalia Frykman shoot a wedding in Atlanta, I photographed an engagement session for a couple whose wedding I’ll be shooting later this year, and I got to see a whole bunch of family! This month was a ROLLERCOASTER.

I sat down at my computer ready to blog a photo session (that I’m way behind on blogging as it is) and all I could think about was the fact that almost half the year’s over already and this last month has really put me through the wringer! May was pretty stressful for a few reasons, the biggest of which being an unexpected emergency surgery for Lucy, my puppy (she swallowed a tennis ball at the dog park). The whole situation, the recovery, and the changes it’s required of our daily life … it’s way more than I bargained for when I took her for our morning outing. It’s shaken my routine up, a WHOLE lot. Since she couldn’t climb stairs after surgery, we had to turn our living room into a makeshift bedroom. Luckily we purchased a daybed a few months ago with two twin mattresses and it has seriously come in handy during Lucy’s torn paw ligament last winter and her surgery this month (sidenote: why does my puppy get into SO much trouble?!? Does every husky/malamute owner have stories like this???) And since our apartment has an open floor plan, my office essentially became part of a bedroom too. Talk about a productivity suck! Mornings are way different too. Although she’s been cleared to return to the dog park, we’re holding off until we get some professional training to avoid ever going through this again! Instead, Lucy and I are hiking or taking long walks around the neighborhood - which we used to do about twice a week before the surgery, but I’m missing the dog moms and dads I used to see several times a week. We’d talk about silly dog stories while half awake, sipping on coffee between throwing sticks and balls for our dogs.

On top of it all, Lucy cries and whines when I work at my desk now, so I’ve been working from the couch ever since, which I actually hate doing because I know it kills my focus.

I say all this to get to my next point: every week is a new week, every day is a new day. We get as many at-bats as we want, as many chances to “reset” as we ask for, and every opportunity to reinvent ourselves as we need. Adapting to these changes wasn’t easy and I definitely wasn’t entirely successful, but I’m determined to get to a new point of equilibrium this week + start the second half of the year off stronger than ever. I’m so excited to do some training with Lucy - we always seem more bonded after we work through new commands together! We’ve got a pro coming in to drop some major knowledge this week and I can’t wait to see what it does for us. But in the meantime, I’m starting to work back at my desk as of today (ahhh, proper posture never felt so good) so that’s a start!

Since I’m hitting the reset button, I figured I’d share one of my top hacks for getting back into focus. Getting clear about where I want to go always helps me focus on what needs to get done, which is why I started holding weekly “Status Meetings” with myself (open to new names for that though).

Part of my weekly routine is having a this weekly meeting on Monday mornings. This was something we used to do when I was the salon coordinator at a high-end salon in Atlanta years ago, and even though I’m a solo-preneur I think it’s really helpful. Every Monday (except for the past few chaotic ones in May), I sit down for a status meeting with my financial advisor, my project manager, my energy healer… and by this I mean I’m entirely by myself. It may sound silly, but I find it incredibly useful! I look at the projects on my plate (last week’s, this week’s, upcoming), my numbers (monthly, yearly), who I need to follow up with (other vendors, upcoming wedding clients, etc), my personal to-do list (grocery shopping, laundry), this week’s mantra (usually inspired by a book I’m reading or a tarot card drawing), and possibly most important: areas for improvement.

I recall the week before + think of situations that could have been handled differently to learn what I can do better next time. I’m always trying to see what I can do better because ultimately that means I’m being the best version of myself and providing as much value to my clients as I truly can. Going through this list clears my head and kind of filters out my list of priorities! I use a template I made myself and each week it’s absolutely full of goals, ideas, and actionable to-dos. Would you be interested in a template like this? I’ve been thinking of sending it out to my email subscribers but first I’d like to know if you’d find it useful!

What do you do to get back in the right mindset when you’re off track? Would you like a template like this? Tell me in the comments below!