Monday, June 29, 2015

My Intermission

Greetings friends!

I haven't posted any professional photos in nearly a year, and although most of you may not even have noticed my absence, I thought it was high-time that I explained the intermission in my work.  (I chose the word 'intermission,' as opposed to 'hiatus' or 'time-out,' because it has a positive connotation for me; I anticipate good things to come!)

Last winter, I was diagnosed with 'frozen shoulder,' or 'adhesive capsulitis.'  I had never heard of such a condition and my practitioners couldn't tell me what had caused it, but the pain was absolutely debilitating!  Basically, I couldn't move my left arm without doubling-over in pain.  To make matters worse, I was told that it often takes up to two years to fully recover.

I immediately began an intensive series of treatments that included massage, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and I.M.S..  I ate healthily,  I meditated, stretched and exercised regularly, and did everything I could to keep my mind, body and spirit strong.

Professionally, I canceled the photography sessions that I had on the calendar, and had to turn  away potential clients.  I decided against making a public announcement, partly because I was hopeful that my pain wouldn't last long, and partly because I simply didn't want to talk about it!  Chronic pain is not fun!

Just as I was growing concerned about the loss of income from my photography,  the universe delivered a wonderful opportunity:  I was offered a part-time teaching job through P.I.E., (Partners In Education,) which is the Distance Learning School that my daughters are enrolled in.  I knew that I could confidently fulfill the requirements of such a position despite my frozen shoulder.  In fact, I accomplished a lot with the use of only one arm!

I'm not one to toot my own horn, but this past winter I managed to nurse my husband through his hip-surgery, maintain our household, home-school my daughters, take on a new teaching job, make, launch and promote my daughter's music CD, and take pretty good care of myself...without having a nervous breakdown!!!  TOOT!!!  TOOT!!!

And that brings me to today; this morning I had another IMS treatment from my miracle-worker/physiotherapist Kendra Mulligan at Ascent Physiotherapy, and I've made great progress.  I'm in the 'thawing out' stage of frozen shoulder, and I'm optimistic that I'll be able to accept photography clients in the months ahead.  To start with, I'm volunteering at Vancouver Island Musicfest again this year, albeit in a limited capacity.  VIMF is one of my favourite events of the summer, so you can expect to see some photos on my Facebook page in a couple of weeks.

I wouldn't wish frozen shoulder on anyone, but taking an intermission from my photography work has been enlightening.  It has provided me with several gifts:

Firstly, because I haven't booked any wedding clients this summer,  I will be spending every weekend with my family.  What a gift!

Secondly, I have become better at saying 'no.'  I have been able to accept a few photo-sessions in recent weeks, but I've been very selective.  My health comes first.

Thirdly, taking a teaching job with P.I.E. has shown me that, although I may not wish to be in a traditional classroom, there are many other ways to utilize my teaching skills and experience.

And now you know the reasons behind my intermission.  Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I appreciate you.  I hope that there will be many good things to come in my work as a photographer, and I look forward to sharing my journey with you.

I will leave you with a photo that was taken at Ruckle Park, Salt Spring Island, on my birthday.  In it, I am making my girls giggle; one of my greatest pleasures in life!

With gratitude,