Breathing is a minimum but is it enough?
The most self-care I have been able to provide lately has been trying to breathe. The generic advice to “breathe” doesn’t work very well for me, but my best friend Amy shared with me a couple of weeks ago something that does work for me: Breathe as deeply as you can whenever you think of it. 
That has made all the difference to me lately. I have been under so much pressure from so many angles but once in awhile at a stoplight or after sending an email or finishing a phone call, I will think, I should be breathing. And then I remember what Amy told me and I take a moment right then and do it. So I guess overall, I am probably doing more deep breathing through this insane schedule than I would have otherwise. I hope it is helping? That I don’t know. But still it certainly can’t be hurting.

I have so many thoughts during times like these like, “how can I prevent this from happening in the future?” and “why is it okay with me to be living like this?” There are some things that are out of my control, like weather that caused us to change Jaden’s outdoor birthday party for 20 kids to our tiny house with 24 hours of notice. Hmmm. I hear the kids had fun? But me and my house have not recovered yet.

Other things are in my control, sort of, like my job. I read this article this morning about what do you offer that is worth $100 to someone else? It is perfect timing after another insane Wednesday at work. I wonder, why is it okay with me to earn the paltry hourly rate I am earning? It is okay with me because a job search requires time and confidence. It generally takes me 2.5 days to recover from my three days of work each week. I love my coworkers, love being in an environment that is all things photography but it is high stress and low pay. So when will I decide that on my two days off each week that it is more important to drum up some energy for a job search than to simply play catch up on all the rest of my responsibilities? This is a big, hard, scary issue. And earning $100 an hour? Now there is something my husband has believed I could do for YEARS and I am stuck back in 2008 when I was earning $25 and I won’t even tell you how big of a cut I have taken for my current job. When will I believe I am worth $100 per hour?

Isn’t this scary to talk about out loud?! I can hardly believe I haven’t been blogging much and then I’m about to pop in here with a post like this! But seriously! I am facing a health scare right now on top of all that is going on elsewhere (um, hello, an out of state move in 6 weeks?!) and it does make me stop and say WHOA lady! What are you doing with your precious time? I am not spending it in the right ratio on the things that I’m passionate about or are deeply meaningful to me that is for sure. I need to make some changes, on top of all the other big changes though? How would that work?

I know this is a lot to think about. I am trying to be gentle with myself. If you could see my house right now! What do you do when you are stretched too thin? When the responsibilities and deadlines and schedule just won’t quit? When you collapse exhausted each night after the kids are in bed?

Thanks for reading and emailing and commenting and being there still.

Your long lost friend Jess

Kim - Love love love this Jess!!! ♥May 19, 2011 – 8:33 pm

Jill M - Amen! Hope all goes well for you. Now BREATHE :) May 19, 2011 – 8:40 pm

ethanollie - my dad taught me this long ago. if nothing else works…the breathing. always the breathing.May 19, 2011 – 8:56 pm

Jennifer Lees - You are worth far more than $100 Jess. Be kind to yourself, breath and go with the flow. There are great things in store for you, I can feel it xo JenMay 19, 2011 – 9:41 pm

sue@solsticehome - You are not alone Jess. I’ve had a hard time sitting down to my blog these past few weeks. There seems to be too much swirling around in my head to put into words. I’ll try to take your advice and breathe if you do and Never, ever under value yourself.May 20, 2011 – 4:04 am

Anonymous - Thank you for putting all this into clear and reasonable and cogent words. An invaluable post, worth $100, at the very least.
saalb@juno.comMay 20, 2011 – 11:22 am

April | Everything Little Miss - i don’t have kids, but i do work a lot. and when things get to be too much, i stop doing some of them. my normally organized apartment is a total mess, but i’ll clean it when i have time. non-work emails get ignored (for too long). i shower every other day and use that time read and take some time for myself. and i stop what i’m doing to get to bed early when i need to, because i can’t do anything when i’m too tired. good luck, jess! don’t judge yourself too harshly – i bet you’re doing 100000 times better than you think. xoxoMay 20, 2011 – 11:53 am

Anonymous - I love you so much and want you to be happy.

luMay 21, 2011 – 5:52 am

Hettle - Just read this,and I am thinking of you and sending you all of my positive thoughts~ be well Jess.

My life spins largely out of control constantly, and what I always tell myself is that first I have to do what is necessary, then what’s possible, and then, with luck, the impossible. It helps keep me mentally organized. I don’t know if you should sweat what you make an hour with photography, the hardest I have ever worked as a photographer was as a photojournalist and It never paid enough for me to quit my second job as a waitress. Maybe there are things you are getting out of it that aren’t paying you yet, but will in the long run. Chin up girl, your in my thoughts :) May 24, 2011 – 2:03 pm

Katie King - Dear Jess, you are worth 100.00/hr at least. Start from there :)

It is crazy….realize you are not alone going through this insane life transition. I just moved from halfway across the world so I am here with you ;p. There are worst things, like being unloved. Or not loving yourself-and it sounds like you have those taken care of :) May 24, 2011 – 9:10 pm

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