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Noe Todorovich is a Washington, DC based lifestyle photographer, and this is her blog. She shares musings, travels, photographs, tips, suggestions and more.

Filtering by Tag: life

Reducing the Clutter

Noe Todorovich

The more things change, the more they stay the same. There’s nothing new under the sun.

And other cliches.

All that to say...I’m circling back to a topic I’ve written about before.

I’m stretched too thin.

In many realms and in many ways, I simply can’t keep up. There is so much I want to do, so much I want to learn, so much I want to say. Yet I find myself at a loss for words and at a loss for time. One day runs into the next and at best, if lucky, I maintain status quo. But I don’t feel like I’m making progress. Without feeling like I’m making progress, I lose motivation. Losing motivation, I make less progress. The vicious cycle continues.

STOP.

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It’s time to simplify. As I wrote before, it’s time to do less, so I can do more. So, I ask myself...

What am I doing?

Time is a commodity. You never “find time” to do things or see people. You make time. Where is it that all my time (and maybe more importantly, energy) is going?

What do I really want to do?

If I’m really honest with myself, I don't have enough time for all the things that I'm interested in. There simply isn't enough time in the day for it all, so I must prioritize interests and ideas. If I eliminate things that are of a lesser priority, I can increase the time I have for my top priorities. So, if I can’t do everything—I can’t—then what makes the cut?

What needs to be scaled back or even cut entirely?

Something’s gotta give. I may joke that I want to have my damn cake and eat it too, complete with ice cream. But at the end of the day, I know there are limitations on what can be done and done well. Where can I trim some fat off my day? What do I need to just let go of so I can remove some clutter from my life and better focus on what really matters to me?

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I think this post is a cathartic activity with a bonus of accountability. Writing helps me better formulate my thoughts and think something through. I figured I’m probably not alone, so I decided to share these thoughts in case it might help you. I’ve also put it out there. Now what will I do? Stay tuned to see what photography ideas and projects make the cut and become my focus...

The Importance of Setting Goals

Gina Todorovich

Some say it takes around 21 days to form a habit. We're just over that far into 2013. And we all know what happens every new year...

Resolutions.

The start of a new year is a time of reflection on the year that just passed and on ideas, hopes, aspirations for the new one. Many resolutions are goals that we hope will become good habits. 

Now I've strayed away from doing this myself mostly, in large part due to my belief that ANY time is good to aim for improvement. Then again, I've struggled to really define my goals any time of any year. In fact, at the close of 2011, I wrote about my goal...to set goals.

Someone came across that post and got in touch with me recently about the topic of goal-setting and the impact it can have on our lives. They shared an infographic on the topic, posted below. It really puts things in perspective and makes me want to set some concrete goals for myself and my photographyand write them down.

I want to create ambitious, attainable goals and then hold myself accountable in pursuing them. This will go beyond anything that can be accomplished in 21 days, and I hope it will motivate me to go even further than I previously imagined. 

Setting the goals is just the start, of course. Then comes the action...

Graphic provided by OnlineEducation.netSetting Goals Infographic

I definitely plan to brainstorm and really focus on just what my goals are exactly. Maybe I'll share them once I do. Maybe. :) In the meantime...

What are your goals and how are you working to attain them?

Rejection is Freedom

Gina Todorovich

Many of us work in fields that require us to sell ourselves.

Work doesn't always present itself. Mere opportunities for work usually have no guarantees, and require you to pitch your services. Prove yourself.

You try to put your best foot forward and hope that you land the gig. Or do you?

After college, I had several job interviews before I was offered a job. It got to the point that I was desperate for a job, despite people's great advice of not taking the first job offer just because. I would have taken anything. Even a job I knew wouldn't be the best for me. I had student loans to start paying off and a professional life to start.

Without giving you my full work history, I'll just fast forward to my last job interview.

"What are three things you want/need from a manager?"

A great question, I thought but tried not to say… No fillers! After providing my answer, I panicked. "Oh no! I said I don't like micro-managing. What if that's her management style?! I'm not going to get the job!"

Pause.

Perspective.

If that IS her management style, I don't WANT the job. I don't want to create some fake version of myself that is the perfect candidate for a job. If I do (and let's be honest, many of us have…), I get caught in my lie. It has to be perpetuated. It's like the time my friend accidentally said she loved portobello mushrooms because she was mistaken about the kind of mushroom it was. Her parents-in-law made several dishes over the years with her "favorite." A precedence was set, and she felt trapped. It became difficult and awkward to let them know over time. That's a bit of a silly, light-hearted example, but I just love that story.

You don't want the job, gig, significant other, whatever it might be that requires you to be a person you're not. Rejection is freedom. If you are entirely honest and you are rejected, you are freed from what likely would have been a forced, fake and frustrating situation. Instead of trying to figure out what people want and catering to that, why don't we be ourselves? It might mean less job offers, less dates, less photography gigs. But it also means that the ones you do have truly suit you. And I think that everything about them will be better as a result.

So who's with me?

Let the great…experiment…BEGIN!

Positively Positive

Gina Todorovich

How many people do you think really know you?

I mean, REALLY know you?

Through and through. The good, the bad, the ugly, the everything…

When I first stopped to think about this, I realized how few, if any, I would consider to be in this category. I'd say everything about me is known, but not by one person per se. I have no true secrets that I've never told ANYONE. But there are few people that know EVERYTHING. I divvy it up some, talking to certain people about certain aspects of life. 

I think one of the biggest surprises for many people who do get to know me on a deeper level is that I'm actually quite melancholy. I'm wired to be. I love to have fun, and most get the best of that, of me. But those closest to me see how hard I'm hit by certain things. How much I truly feel, care and am impacted.

I have to check myself (ahem, or be checked by loved ones) pretty regularly when circumstances get less than ideal and I start to get affected. I once blogged about choosing happiness. This is more on that, I guess.

I make a concerted effort to stay positive. It's all about perspective.

Yes, sometimes life hits you. Hard. But even when it does, I venture to say there are blessings in your life and things to be grateful for. And people there for you. Never take your people for granted. Don't ever let negative circumstances change the way you treat the ones you love. They are on your side. As I've had to remind myself on occasion, "Same team!" (And if they aren't, well, I recommend some…culling.)

Growing up, my mom used to make my brothers and I say 10 compliments for every put down. It made us think twice about saying the negative things, even if it was to avoid the punishment of positivity. Whenever something starts getting me down, I try to stop and think about how many more things are amazing in my life. Because, 1) this is just one thing and 2) there's so much to be grateful for. I never want to lose sight of the good in my life.

DISCLAIMER: this does not apply to constructive criticism, particularly regarding photography. I say welcome the feedback that will make us even better. And view it the positive way. Like being grateful to have honest friends who want you to only get better. ;-) 

Living & Legacy

Gina Todorovich

Extremes are dangerous, but then lately I've found that when life is FULL of varying emotional experiences it can be equally dangerous.

The last month or so have been quite a roller coaster of emotions. One minute I was incredibly excited and happy about getting the keys to my new apartment. The next (quite literally), my cousin called me with the news that my grandpa had passed away.

Amidst all the good, I haven't been able to shake the sadness. Amidst the sadness, I haven't lost sight of all the good in my life. It really is just a mixed bag. Life in a nutshell, right?

I wrote this on a flight to Hawaii to attend my grandfather's funeral this week. Having not seen my family in over a year, I'm incredibly grateful and excited to see them all. And in disbelief. About seeing them. About my grandpa really being gone.

My grandfather was born in China, and he came over to Hawaii on a boat when he was two years old.

My grandpa is the baby in the left corner of this picture, taken in China before the family moved to Hawaii.He lived nearly 94 years, and even had great great grandkids. It's crazy to me to think that my family had six generations alive at once.

Six generations.

 

Thinking about my grandfathers' life made me realize how much of a legacy he leaves. How none of these five generations (and more to come, I'm sure) would be here without him. He was a different man to each of us, I think. But no matter the variation in his role, he influenced us all.

In one of my job interviews, I was asked,

"What will your legacy here be?"

I don't know how long I'll live and exactly what I'll do in my time, but I know this: I'm determined to make my life count for something. To be a positive presence in the lives of those around me. To push myself to never settle and always try harder and be better.

Life is the formation of our legacy. The thoughts we have, the decision we make, the actions we take, the art we create…they all determine what will be remembered of us long after we're gone.

What will your legacy be?

Why Do I Love Photography?

Gina Todorovich

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I love photography because it allows me to create art rooted in reality. It enables us to capture moments that would otherwise just blend into all the other moments that have passed. Instead, we can freeze time in a way and be able to look back at it over time, seeing something new or different in it because while the image hasn’t changed, we have.

That was my off-the-cuff response to the question "Why do I love photography?" on PhotoShelter's blog post where you can win two passes to Luminance 2012

I wanted to share this because I found the answer to come so effortlessly, which is something quite uncommon for me. I have spent countless HOURS working on writing about my take on photography or my artist statement. The writing that results is often lackluster and sometimes just plain cheesy or preachy or some other undesireable adjective. It turns out I really do know the answer to this question though, and I hope I never lose sight of that. 

Why do you love photography?