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I’ve faced burnout in a BIG way this past year. I was not keeping up with my desire for a healthy work-life balance, and I’d been doing the same thing day in and day out for so long that it had become boring. There’s only so many ways you can say “Free Toothpaste.” Ya know?

Over the past year I’d reclaimed my Sundays. No working on Sundays allowed. Then late last year I reclaimed my evenings–no working after 8 p.m. allowed. I was still exhausted, and I was still b-o-r-e-d. I have a great job–a job I love! Why was I bored?

Because I’d taken something that I loved and turned it into a job. I had this epiphany one day while reading the description for one of the sessions at the upcoming Blissdom Life Development track. I’d taken this thing that I totally loved doing, and turned it into my work. It was no longer a hobby. It was all consuming, taking up 50 hours a week or more of my life. When someone asked me what my hobbies were, I was like a deer in headlights. Hobbies? What are those? I couldn’t answer, because I didn’t have any.

So at the start of 2012 I did two big things. First, I bought a Kindle and made it mandatory that I read for at least 15 minutes every night. Now, I used to love to read. I have thousands of books to prove it. I could devour a good book in a day or two. I was a reading machine. At some point, that changed, but I’m not sure why. Anyway, in the past six weeks I have begun to rediscover my love of reading. I find myself reading for an hour or more every night, and I’m beginning to branch out again and try some new authors. My second big lifestyle change was that I resolved to find myself a hobby–and I’ve chosen photography. It isn’t a huge leap–I am constantly taking photos with my iPhone. I snap more photos in a day than most people will in a month. I decided that I wanted to not only take lots of photos, but I want to learn how to take good photos. I want to learn about aperture, composition, and perspective, to make a good shot great. I want to experiment and have some fun as I tackle a new hobby.

To that end I have bought a new camera, the Nikon P500. It isn’t a DSLR or a professional camera, but it is light years ahead of the little Kodak I often carry around. It has the option for many different settings, and will give me good tools to begin learning the basics with. I have begun reading photography tutorials, and have signed up for some photography sessions at Blissdom. Is there any better place to learn photography than Opryland? I think not. I will have the perfect canvas right in front of me to test out my new skills during the conference. I’m really excited!

So expect to begin seeing a lot more Wordless Wednesdays. And Photo Fridays. Cause I’ve got a hobby, Ya’ll!

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