2020 is the biggest rut I’ve ever been in.

I started out this year with such high hopes and lofty goals for myself. Nothing unreasonable, but maybe just a bit ambitious – something I am usually not. I wanted to improve and grow in my photography. I wanted to try new things. I wanted to learn new skills.

I am good at what I do – editorial interiors, primarily – but it’s been a long time since I’ve branched out and challenged myself creatively. And let’s face it, interiors don’t move or blink. I control the lighting, the staging, everything. I think anyone could be good at it if they take the time to practice and develop a keen eye for detail.

I have really enjoyed this genre and professionally speaking, it’s very fulfilling for me. But I’ve been doing it such a long time, it’s no longer exciting. It doesn’t stretch me. Which is why I decided that 2020, my 40th year on this earth, would be the year I really push myself.

All I can say is that I feel like I’ve failed. I’m hoping I’m not the only one.

See, when Covid flipped our lives upside down literally the week after I began a new job (I’ve never wanted to be more than a part time photographer), I hunkered down the best I could and tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy for my family, as I simultaneously navigated my own new responsibilities.

When online learning was thrust upon us without warning (or much planning by our school district I might add), I dropped everything so I could support my kids through the chaos.

When summer hit in the midst of widespread closures, meaning we couldn’t go to zoos and aquariums, I dove into making whatever fun I could for my kids with whatever we had available. (Note: Some of which involved a trampoline, hose, and our dog’s pool).

Six months later, we continue in this lopsided state of “the new normal” even though it is anything but. Throughout it all, I’ve barely picked up my camera. While some feel their lives slowed down, I feel mine got busier and more chaotic. Just trying to work from home four days a week with all my kids here has been a huge struggle. I know I’m not alone in that. I am the furthest thing from a home school mom.

And so I trudge along and as is my normal tendency, when life gets really hard, I don’t want to document it. Oh, I still take pictures, but nothing like I would if I weren’t so stressed out. Photography isn’t really an outlet for me when I need to decompress. On the contrary, I find I can only make meaningful photographs when decompression isn’t necessary.

I’ll get back on track eventually. Or maybe I won’t. I guess that all depends on what tomorrow brings.

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