One way I stay grounded
If there's one thing I've learned in my 29 (soon-to-be 30) years on this planet, it's that I can't keep going and going without taking care of myself, and that it's something I really struggle with.
As a type-A woman, and for the past few years, as a small business owner, I have a tendency to pour myself into others -- if something could benefit from my attention, and I'm asked, I have a hard time saying "no". Which is how I came to be working a demanding salaried day job, volunteering as the managing editor of a major regional blog, AND photographing 17 weddings this year.
I love all of those things, which is why I do them, but they have a tendency, if I'm being honest, to run me into the ground. Scratch that: I have a tendency to run myself into the ground.
Which makes it all the more important to take some sacrosanct time for me. That's why this weekend, my heart sung with gratitude to take 40 hours away from everything to spend time at a rented house with 13 amazing, brilliant, funny, uplifting women in Annapolis. I almost didn't keep these hours sacrosanct in order to accept a wedding contract this year; I'm so grateful that I made this gathering my priority instead.
Every year since 2010, a group of women (that started as friends who went to grad school together, and since has grown organically as friend-families do) has gotten together from wherever we are -- and these days, we're scattered as far as California and Arkansas -- to just BE in each other's presence. We cook, we drink wine, we eat, we laugh, we talk, we play board games, and (this year) we splash in the pool.
Over the years as we've grown together, we've changed and matured. Some of us have children now. Others are pregnant. Still others are getting married (or getting serious). Throughout it all, these amazing, brilliant women have stuck by each others' side, and it's truly a blessing to have them all in my life.
We prop each other up throughout the year, whether it's at barbecues, birthdays, or just over Facebook, but that annual face time is just so important to me to recharge and recenter myself. When you surround yourself with bright lights, they inspire you to shine your brightest. Count me inspired by these women.