My Doctor Prescribed a Sabbatical from Photography

Yep, it’s true. I am still trying to sort out what it means. Actually, I know what it means. I just don’t want to admit it. I have been having some medical issues for several months now, and I have been attributing them to getting older. I tried changing my diet, but it wasn’t helping. I finally went in to have some tests done as it got worse. After talking to the Doc, he said he would still do the due diligence and do all the tests to be sure, but he didn’t think he would find a medical condition or have a pill that would help. That is what I was afraid of. Stress and lack of sleep. That’s it. I need more sleep and less stress. After listening to what was going on in my life he suggested I take a sabbatical from one of my two jobs. Programming (I own my own company), or Photography (I own my own company). Since I can’t even cover the ridiculous monthly payment of the cost of health care for my family (yes that’s commentary) with my photography income, that would be what I should take a sabbatical from.

By the way, I am not sure how the photo is supposed to connect to the post. It’s a yoga pose. Yoga is for relaxation? Something I am not doing?

I’ve been trying very hard to balance a full time job, time with my wife, raising two kids, and everything else that everyone deals with along with trying to get my photography business going. To do so, I have been trying to squeeze in the time at night and on weekends at the expense of my health. It sucks. I am confused, frustrated, and unsure what to do next. The doctor was talking about my business, and not eliminating photography all together. I am still crushed. I was trying to work toward a change of careers. Even if I take a few months off, then what? Back to the same schedule? That’s not going to work.

I know that what’s in the back of the minds of most people reading this, is that this is the opportunity to make the switch. If I need to give up one job, and the one I want to do is photography, then the one to give up is clear. Wish it was so easy.

I am going to spend the next few weeks trying to finish the work that I owe to clients from this fall. Then take a break from actively perusing clients for a couple months and try to figure out what this is going to look like in the new year.











5 thoughts on “My Doctor Prescribed a Sabbatical from Photography

  1. Chris, I’m so sorry to hear this news. I can empathize with you in a very personal way since I am approaching my transition to working in photography in a similar way albeit a different focus. Most days I get 5-6 hours of sleep and if I’m lucky I can pull 7 hours. I fear that I am going to reach the point that you are now at and your post serves as a warning to me.

    Let me know if I can do anything to help.

  2. Hey Sabrina, that sounds about right. I hope you can go without sleep better than I could apparently. I kept waiting for someone to post that I just need to buck up or give up. I just need to figure out what a balance looks like. Tough when getting as little sleep as I was getting, I still felt like I was getting behind.

  3. wish I knew what to say Chris – let me know if I can help in anyway but first take care of your self. Don’t give up the art just the business if that is needed to make the art.

  4. Sage advice from Ray.

    You might just find that if you step back, make some photographs for the joy of it, continue to hone your skills… when life opens up a little for you, you’ll be in a great place to take advantage of it.

  5. Chris, I think it’s great you went to see a doctor. Please take care of yourself. We only get 1 body to play with, you’re lucky you got a good one, so treat it well 😉

    Even when we met last year, you were putting so much pressure on yourself. And that was a holiday like. Forget about what everyone else is thinking. Nobody here is judging you and neither should you.

    I hope you enjoy your break times. You’re already trying to figure out what to do next, no no no. No thinking about what you want or should be doing next for a while. Focus on what made you smile that day. 1 smile a day keeps the doctor away. And if you like, write it down or take a photo and share it with someone. Me, here, tumblr, whatever you fancy, we can take turns if you like :)

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