Gardening is my favorite thing to do besides photography. I get my exercise, prayer time, and relaxation by digging in dirt and taking care of plants I have brought up since seeds. At first I thought gardening and photography were two separate things in my life. Gardening was a way to recoup when photography took too much out of me.
But every once in a while, the two cross, and I gain lessons from plants that don't talk. It happened to me just the other day.
I was looking around at my favorite flowers that had bloomed in the summer: my monstrous sunflowers, Queen Anne's lace, and a few others that I know aren't going to last much longer. In that moment, I wished they could be around forever, always there to greet me in the morning. That thought caused a realization.
These beautiful flowers don't bloom all year round; they take breaks and spend months underground strengthening their roots. In their dormant state, they are growing stronger to protect themselves against the elements, gathering all the energy they can little by little. By the time they are called to bloom again, they are bigger, better, and more beautiful than before.
Why do we expect ourselves to be in full bloom 365 days out of the year?
My favorite flowers don't bloom all year round, so why do I expect myself to?
There are periods of time where I feel no desire to pick up a camera. I push, and I push (with very much excitement) and work until I have fallen asleep on my bedroom floor. I try to stay in bloom all the time, but you know what happens? Weak plants.
Even though I believe you should strive everyday to be great, there are times where you will be at your best and times you will not. When that hard time comes just relax, sip your coffee and take time to strengthen your roots before you bloom again.
It is OK to rest.
It is OK to take a break.
When you're ready to go back at it, you'll be strong again.
You also don't have to stop altogether; you can do little things here and there, but don't try to do these big elaborate things all day everyday.