What I appreciate professionally and what I crave in “real life” overlaps. I am fortunate that working in lifestyle media allows me–requires me–to create stories to help other moms cook delicious meals and plan adventuresome outings and organize a cozy home. My time at work improves my time with family. My advice? Consider how to match up your free-time interests with what you are paid to do. Throughout my career my outside passions have informed my work, but more and more, professional skills help shape time outside the office, too.
In particular, photography compels me; each image is a story that needs shaping and sharing. I have collaborated with amazing professional crews on magazine and digital shoots, which have been among my favorite projects. But over decades, as asks and tasks have shifted, I spend less time on photography in favor of other responsibilities.
How do I keep engaged with my interest and stay fueled by still-image storytelling? I dabble off-hours. You should too: Consider how a work task might morph into a hobby or the other way around. (Downside: My husband gets irked when I ask him and my sons to hold off on first bites until I get a picture.)
I blend up breakfast bowls and smoothies almost every day and shoot them for Instagram. Fruit, add-ins and toppings all make for variety with quick, easy results as I practice to become a better photographer. I mix and match the recipe ingredients, techniques and surfaces, and I play with the light. It’s fun and gratifying that my friends like them, and I like the idea that maybe they’ll start their day with a fruitful blended breakfast. But as important, honing this real-life-work-life hobby satisfies one of my creative cravings and feeds another inspired day.
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