Hello and welcome to my latest blog post on mental health. I’ll do anything to avoid starting my tax return. Procrastinating over that has led me to my blog; something else I need to stop procrastinating over. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t posted on here since January, and we’re only 12 days away from tossing out this year’s calendar and embarking on 2019. It’s time to start one of my New Year’s Resolutions a wee bit early and hit ‘publish’ on here for the first time in 11 months.
Redundancy and terminal cancer
2017 was something of a nightmare with my redundancy taking effect on the same day that we received the devastating diagnosis of my dad’s brain tumour. 2018 hasn’t been any less challenging. After a long, brave battle with cancer, my dad finally slipped away peacefully on 28th June, aged 65, with me, my mum and my brother at his bedside. We’re approaching the six month anniversary already but I know that I’m only at the start of a very long journey as I try to come to terms with my loss and my grief.
On a more positive note, my business has gone from strength to strength this year. Since my last post, I’ve captured around 30 weddings, led several landscape photography workshops, given a number of talks, and undertaken numerous commercial photography assignments. I still feel that I’m in a period of transition but I’m settling into life as a professional photographer and am daring myself to start enjoying it. Please feel free to check out my photography services website.
A light at the end of the tunnel
This summer I found myself in the impossible situation of juggling time with my family with the peak of the wedding photography season, and all the desk-based post-production work that entails. There’s no compassionate leave in this job and, as a sole trader, I’ve no-one to delegate to. After months of working six or seven days a week, wading through treacle, I feel like I’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel but I haven’t come through it unscathed.
Life’s too short
Landscape photography, long walks along the coast, peaceful bike rides in the countryside, not to mention my blog, have all been casualties of my world having been turned upside down. For me, life shouldn’t be about ‘getting through it’, as has been the case these last couple of years. I’m determined to make a fundamental change and achieve the work/life balance I had in mind when I became self-employed. I’ve learned the harsh reality behind the saying, ‘life’s too short’.
Writing for WalkHighlands
I haven’t stopped writing altogether; far from it. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I’ve written my best work this year. Since the beginning of 2018, I’ve been blogging for Walkhighlands, writing alongside well-known names such as Cameron McNeish, reaching an audience in the tens of thousands and even being tweeted by one of my favourite authors, Ian Rankin. You can check out my Walkhighlands articles here.
Back to blogging
My quest to write great content for Walkhighlands has resulted in me writing literally nothing on here. ‘Blog’ has featured on my weekly to-do list for months and has never been ticked off! While I’ve been away, I’ve been considering what direction I want to take my blog in. I’m still coming up with ideas for content. Crucially, I’m going to make the effort to post much more regularly, not only to keep the Google boffins happy but also to build up my audience again and enjoy connecting with some old friends on WordPress.
As the saying goes, you wait ages for a bus and two come along at once. Go and boil the kettle and come back later, as I’ll be hitting the ‘publish’ button again very soon! Last but not least, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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