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Pressure

I baked cupcakes this weekend.

At the tail-end of a terrible week for me, emotionally, personally, and in some ways, (even if only in my own eyes,) professionally, I pulled down a sacks of flour and sugar from my new kitchen cabinets. I melted bakers chocolate. I sifted the dry ingredients, patted my black pants with flour dusted hands.

I didn’t think about the queue of editing that is growing, the list on my computer screen that punches me in the gut every time I sit down.

Instead, I popped open a bottle of vanilla extract and creamed butter and sugar and milk.

I did a session on Friday. I shot a family in the drizzly rain on Saturday morning and then worked a wedding through Saturday night. I was up early and sang with the worship team on Sunday morning, and I remembered that afternoon, as I walked through an apple orchard with clients, that I hadn’t yet taken my children to pick apples or pumpkins this season.

And, I’m fairly sure, we might not get the chance.

I was indirectly asked this week, how I have time to write blogs and do things on social media, while someone is waiting for me to wrap their pictures.

That. That punch to the gut. That was a low blow.

Most mornings, my children do their school work alone, while I sit for hours straight and edit until I am cross-eyed. My coffee pot turns off and the coffee cools in the carafe, I don’t always even get up to refill my cup after my first pour.

But, the to-do list is somehow still there and thriving.  (And look, I’ve just booked three more shoots!)

Evie probably won’t remember picking apples as a family, though she’s done it the last two years, she was too small. I should take my kids. If only there was time.

I probably won’t see the other side of this queue until Christmas,

Still. I sifted. I dusted. I separated paper cups into muffin tins and I scooped measured spoonfuls of batter into each. As the kitchen began to warm and the scent of chocolate rose, I wiped down the counters and I breathed. Deeply.

My life, your life, everyone’s life has pressure.

We all have people who are expecting things of us. We all fail on occasion, fall flat on our faces or cry uncle and then sit around drinking with friends and shaking off the dust of another attempt at greatness that didn’t quite pan out.

Parenthood alone is pressure. The attempt to get a perfectly square meal on the table seven nights (or even three nights) a week is pressure. Attempting to keep your beds made and your floors swept, is pressure. Attempting to not be too exhausted at the end of a long day, or long week, so that you can enjoy time with your partner, without work interrupting, that’s pressure.

It’s everywhere, particularly so, in this stage of my life, with growing children and a growing business.

But still.

It’s okay, to bake.

It’s okay, to take time to do small, ordinary things and remember that work will always be there, pressure will always be there. But there can also be cake.

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About the Author

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Writer, Photographer, Wife, Mother to four rambunctious and amazing children.

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