I'm into my NEW typical Sunday morning routine - Sheila and I are both up with the pups. Belle is with her on one side of the house, and Lucy's hanging out with me. "Alexa" has music playing throughout. And, the pups gave us a little extra time to sleep this morning. So, it's starting off to be a pretty stellar day.
At least twice this week, I pondered the meaning of life, wondering what we were thinking to take on two puppies at once. Several times Sheila and I said to each other, "We're too old for this!"
I even went online to search for trainers specializing in house-breaking dogs. Exhausted, often before the day even started, the love of having pets in the house was overshadowed by the bags under my eyes! Looking in the mirror, all I'd see was Yoda looking back at me and saying, "Puppies got I - tired I am."
Then two days ago, at the eight-day mark for these to four-month olds, things changed. They were starting to get it. No accidents in the house; playing in the right area of the yard and staying out of the garden and barking less while playing more. The fun moments started to outweigh the effort.
And that takes me right to my point this morning...
So often we give up too early. We don't have the confidence in a decision we've made, and we start second-guessing the direction our hearts have taken us. We get "buyers remorse," as we struggle to justify whatever path we're on, that's taken more energy than anticipated. And, when we make the decision to give up, we rationalize until we convince ourselves it was the right thing to do.
Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line.
They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.
Years ago, I had the honor of interviewing Mary Ellen Mark in a podcast. She talked about how she made her students tape over the screens on their cameras. She wanted them to shoot like they were working with film. I'm paraphrasing, but mostly, she said, "Photographers give up too early. They look at the screen, think they've got the shot, and then move on. But what if the real shot was yet to come?"
Think about it, what if the embrace between the bride and her grandmother was only the beginning? What if the memory-making moment was the tear in grandma's eyes thirty seconds later, but the photographer chimped, got the shot and moved on?
So, whether it's the way you photograph or the projects you take on - don't give up too early. Listen to your heart. Believe in your convictions, and don't forget there's very little in our lives that's truly forever. Stay focused on your dreams, and never underestimate the power of a decent night's sleep!
Before you give up, remember why you started!
Wishing everybody a terrific day with no regrets and plenty of time to stay focused. You know how to hold focus with a camera in your hands - don't forget how to maintain focus on other aspects of your life. And as always, go for those long hugs...apparently eleven-seconds is the old guideline - now they're saying you need twenty!
Happy Sunday, or Monday, if you're on the other side of the world!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.