As the saying goes “opposites attract”, I find this fitting in several personality traits that Kris and I have. But I think a better way to say it would be that God knows how to place two people together to balance one another out. And sometimes, the very thing that annoys you about your significant other could be there very trait you need to learn from! Let me explain better…
As I am assuming most of you reading this know that I have my own business that I started from the ground up. I have worked endless hours these past 5 years trying to build a successful business doing what I am most passionate about. In these past 5 years I also planned a wedding, worked another job, youth pastored alongside Kris, and got my bachelors in psychology. And just a few years back, there was a time that I was doing ALL of that at once.
I am used to my schedule being full and I will work tirelessly to meet every deadline early. I am always trying to perfect the business side of things as well. Running your own business is really a never ending cycle because there is ALWAYS something to do.
And here is where I noticed that I tend to be a workaholic unlike my husband.
Early last year we decided to try to make it possible for Kris to become full-time with me. He loved wedding videos and thought it could be something we could add to our packages. So we tried it. But shortly after adding it, Kris got a job offer with a heating a cooling company that he had been hoping for.
We had already booked several videos, and while Kris was great at capturing moments and artistically putting them together, I realized a major difference between him and I.
On a typical day, I start editing sometime around 8 or 9 and will work until Kris gets home around 4. But if I have galleries that are piling up or business things that I have to get done, I will work until I complete them or at least a good part of them. Not mattering how tired I may be or how much of a break I should probably take.
And it caused us to argue so much. I felt like he was just procrastinating (Even though he always returned it in his promised 8-12 weeks). In my mind, it made more sense to just work really hard for a couple of weeks and return it early. But in his mind, it made sense to work on his videos just enough each week (while also working 40 hours at his day job) so that he also had time to rest and not lose his mind.
That is a word I am very unfamiliar with. And time after time these past 5 years, Kris has tried getting me to see that there should be a time of rest and that it is okay to pull away from work. But when you run your own business, you don’t get to just clock out like a 9-5. Or at least I thought.
Being married to someone who knows how to relax and rest really annoyed me, yet has helped me in so many ways.
I have realized that if I step away for a weekend getaway (when I don’t have a wedding of course), that my business won’t fall apart. That if I don’t get to those late night emails until the morning, that doesn’t mean I’ll lose a client. And when I tell myself to not take more than 25 weddings for 2020… I can turn people away who want to book after I have reached that goal.
So I definitely recognize those workaholic tendencies in me, but I am thankful that my husband, who knows how to rest, can pull me away from the computer when I need it. And this year more than any other year, I think I have really learned this all to be true.
Earlier last month we had a very unexpected loss in our lives and I stepped away from my computer and my to-do list for about two weeks. There were people I needed to be with and with the exception of photographing weddings, I did very limited work. And for the first time in 5 years, I actually missed a deadline. On my way to the first of two weddings that weekend, I realized a wedding gallery was due that day when my bride sweetly reached out to just make sure she hadn’t missed an email from me. I did, indeed, freak out as I had never had to let a bride (or anyone for that matter) know that I had overlooked the deadline. I apologized, asked for a 4 day extension, offered a free print product, and briefly explained the unexpected situation that delayed me.
And guess what? She understood. She let me know that she’d be praying for us and that the 4 day delay was absolutely fine. And my business didn’t crumble…
Now, I totally understand that it could have been a different situation. If it were a bride who was not understanding, she easily could have been very ugly about it. (And a huge thank you to that understanding sweet bride of mine) I am so thankful to have such understanding couples, who treat me as a human, and want to even plan dinner dates with us. But if you want me to be honest… the workaholic nature inside me would have stayed up after the wedding to finish her wedding and get it back to her just a few hours short of what was promised.
And if I hadn’t been trying to learn how to rest, I probably would have been working more those two weeks than I should have. So sure, I wouldn’t have missed a deadline, but I also would have missed out on being there with those I needed to be with during that difficult time.
This unexpected loss of a very young friend taught me a few things. There are never too many pictures – enjoy the moments but take a second to capture them too, tell your friends you love them, and stop being too busy for your loved ones. That last one hits hard. No matter how many bookings I get, I can never receive enough money to buy back a moment with someone no longer here.
So I will leave you with this question.
What do you define success by? Money? Position? Title? Fame? Busyness?
I know this goes for more than just those who own their own business – but with the industry I am in, your success is often defined with how busy you are. And it makes it really stinkin hard to rest when we live in a culture where busyness is celebrated as success and resting is looked at as laziness.
But I can promise you that things can wait. And the world wont come crashing down if you step away from your computer/(insert here what consumes so much of your time) to rest and be with those who love you.
With Love, Kayla