Radvent Day 1/2: Challenging, Balancing

As the year winds down, some reflection is good, particularly because this November proved too busy (at least, for what we chose to fill our time with) to reflect daily on what we're thankful for. This is why I've decided to do RADVENT (get it? Advent? RADvent? Like advent, but radder? ... yeah yeah OK).

I also want to try this out to try to bring some form to this blog. It's already the 2nd day of the challenge, so I need to play a little bit of catchup. If you want to participate, please do--reflection is always a good thing!

What is challenging me/us the most right now?

I'm going through general What next? kind of feelings, which I think is normal for someone my age (29). Honestly my life is awesome, but I suffer from a lack of confidence about my ability to succeed in my career path (photography) & whether my friends and colleagues respect me; I freak out regularly about whether I'm doing enough, and it's been increasingly difficult for me to relax this year. It's been a huge challenge for me not to take things personally when a friend threatens my "territory" with photography, or seems not to respect what I do; but honestly, intellectually I do know that I can't compare myself to others, and that this is my path ... it just hasn't sunk in to my heart yet.

I expect that these troubles of mine, which have been painful, will continue to transform me; I know that ultimately going through this will make me a better person, a better photographer, a better, more mature Amber. That does actually make me feel a little better, but sometimes I can't calm The Crazy deep within my brain & heart, and I believe that I'm destined to fail/everyone is out to get me/etc.

As far as Scott & I, our biggest challenge right now is figuring out how to take the next steps in our lives together in today's economy; figuring out how we can actualize our dreams and hopes; and figuring out an actual timeline to achieve those things. I hope we'll figure that out in 2012, as I know we are both increasingly eager to get going on those things.

What challenging thing have I/we kicked butt at?

I've definitely kicked butt at increasing the healthiness of our diet this year! I never, ever in a million years thought I could stop eating cheese or re-ignite my creativity with cooking like I have in the last five months. This has benefitted us in so many ways. I feel like my eyes are more open than ever before. I am so passionate--truly passionate--about healthy eating, vegan cooking/eating and animal rights. I know how well I feel now that cheese has been eliminated from my diet, and I'm cooking really neat meals every night that are spicy, complex and super tasty. I never realized how in this country, everything is topped with cheese. Seriously. Go to the store and look at the prepared foods.

This was really tough for me at first because I really love cheese, particularly parmesan, and I also really love pasta. But since I won't eat pasta without cheese, both are pretty much gone from my life now, and I think that's been a blessing in disguise too, simple carb-wise. I feel great. Scott says such amazing complimentary things about my vegan cooking. I don't see myself ever going back now, and I hope Scott will fully join me in this journey at some point, but as long as he's healthy, I don't mind exactly what diet he's following.

The only thing I would have told myself is, why didn't you do this earlier??

I am absolutely terrible at balancing .... pretty much anything. This is a huge challenge for me, and by extension, my home and my work and the people I interact with. If I ever seem like I have it all together, believe me, I'm putting up a huge front.

This year I finally gave in and started using a to-do list again, after years of winging it & repeatedly dropping the ball in endless ways. I can't say I actually get everything done that I'm supposed to do every day, but I've gotten better. I "do it all" less than ever, actually. I think it's because I've started to  realize that "doing it all," much like "perfection," simply isn't possible.

But that doesn't mean I'll stop trying.

What are the three most important things to do on Saturday?

  1. Go to the farmers market & Fremont Bank early in the morning (switching banks; yay!)
  2. Clean the house
  3. Edit & post photos from Thursday night
If I could get all three of these things done, I'd be beyond pleased & I know Scott would, too. 


  1. I think if you cooked dinner for me every night, I could be vegan too :)

    As for the to do list - when I started keeping one, my home and photography productivity SHOT UP. Go you!

  2. Oh thank you Amanda! <3

    Yeah, I also find that when you are rested ,eating well and all that jazz, you also get more done. Who knew? ;)

  3. I stumbled upon your blog and randomly picked this post to read...this line: "I suffer from a lack of confidence about my ability to succeed in my career path" could have been picked directly from my brain (it wasn't, obviously, but what I am clumsily trying to say is...I get it! I'm with you!). I like your writing and I am also 29, about to be 30 in 2 weeks and I am struggling with career and how to make my goals & dreams come true, and I suppose, figure out what my goals and dreams really are. Anyways, it was refreshing to find your blog, I will have to read some more recent posts to see what's going on!

    1. Hi Sarah, thank you so much for commenting! <3 <3

      I just turned 30 a few weeks ago now, and I must say that everything DOES get better :D :D :D


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