A Forced Sabbatical is What I Needed - Chelsy Weisz

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Hello! I' wedding photographer and educator in western North Dakota.  I am so thrilled to see you here on the blog!  Grab some coffee and dig into some wedding planning tips, business hacks, our farmhouse renovations, as well as  some behind the scenes at #chelsywieszphotography

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A Forced Sabbatical is What I Needed

Welcome back, my friend! How are you! I’ve missed you guys.  I know things kind of abruptly stopped for the wise photographer podcast, and I’m sorry for that.  But I had to take a step back for my mental health.  This spring, when COVID 19 hit, I suddenly had a lot on my plate. Between becoming a homeschool teacher overnight, moving our greenhouse online, calving, and helping our church navigate streaming online, I started to feel overwhelmed.  

before COVID was a pandemic

Then the first few cases of COVID hit our tiny community and sent me over the edge.  You see, back in February, I was diagnosed with PTSD. 

 In November of 2019 was the first time I had a good look at my PTSD.  My husband, Justin, had a routine cardiology appointment. During the appointment, they found a couple of glitches with his pacemaker. His regular cardiologist was out of town, so we saw his PA. She made some adjustments with the pacemaker, and we went home.  The following Monday, we got a call that his cardiologist wanted to see him next week.  

it always began with a phone call like this

You see, all of his surgeries started with a phone call like this; a phone call with not much news, just a message that we needed to go somewhere to get a better look at something.  We went into his appointment, holding our breath.  We were so thankful that it just ended up being an error with scheduling in all honesty.  We should have seen him in 6 months, but he thought we needed to see him sooner for some reason.  He double-checked the pacemaker and went over blood work; everything was a-okay! 

It was time to get help

But my mind and emotions couldn’t shake that panicked, worried feeling. I felt like I was spiraling downward on the inside, even though everyone was okay.  It took me weeks to pull myself back up.  So in February, when a trip to ear nose and throat for Justin’s nose bleeds did the same thing, I knew it was time to talk to my doctor.  That’s when I was officially diagnosed with PTSD.  We made some medication adjustments, and I started therapy. 

I still wasn’t prepared for spring 2020- no one was

But even with all of the preparation in February, I was not ready for what the rest of spring 2020 would look like, and when COVID19 case numbers started to grow close to home, I began to panic.  At first, I tried to grind through and push out content and be everything for everyone.  While I did do a lot of good for many people, it started to take a toll on me.  So I decided to take a step back.  Luckily church services were beginning to start up again so I could take that off my plate. 

My forced sabbatical – God knew I needed it

The greenhouse actually closed two weeks earlier than usual because we sold out, and school came to a close.  But I still needed to take a minute to refocus myself.  And ya know what I’m so glad I did.  We got a camper this spring and have been out enjoying it.  We’ve camped all over the state this summer and gotten to spend a lot of time with our friends and family out on the lake. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time in my gardens. My veggie garden has taken off like wildfire! 

This year I built raised flower beds and installed drip irrigation. It’s crazy how much this has upped my gardening game.  I also planted a small pollinator flowerbed next to the garden.  I wanted it for the garden, but a bonus I hadn’t planned on was all the flower arrangements I’ve gotten to have inside my house!  

My garden has been my refuge this summer. Its the place you can find me after a long day of cleaning up the same mess ten times a day.  My garden is where I find myself humming hymns to myself as I weed or pick peas. It’s my daily getaway to help me refresh and refocus.  While photography will continue to be what we focus on here on the podcast, I’ve decided to start sharing a bit more about my garden, plant care, and tips for finding your own little space to refresh and refocus while you tend to your plants over on the blog. I’ll be sending out my email subscribers’ links to those posts too! 

finding myself so I could begin to create again

This little forced sabbatical has been so soothing for my mind and body, and soul. As July rolled around, I could feel that creative restlessness start to bubble up. I finally had the want and drive to begin creating again. So I’m easing back into my business.  I’m starting to plan out the rest of my 2020 podcast episodes and product launches.  And I’m excited for you to see it all unfold.  Starting next week, we will be back to our regularly scheduled episodes.  

Though I haven’t been releasing episodes much this summer, I have kept up with my weekly emails.  It has been so beautiful to connect with listeners from around the world.  And it blows my mind when I see just how far this little podcast is reaching! 

weekly chats have been one of my favorite parts of the week!

I would love to invite you to join me for weekly chats inside your inbox.  I share a lot more personal updates, and exclusive tips and tricks I only share with my email subscribers, oh, and all the garden updates too! 

We have a great line up of guests, but we are also looking for more guests to come on the show and share some tactical tips and tricks.  If you would like to be a guest or want to nominate someone, you can head to wise photographer podcast .com and fill out the nomination form at the bottom of the page! 

be a guest on the wise photographer podcast

I'm chelsy

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I'm Chelsy a small town farmwife from western North Dakota. I built an elegant wedding photography business in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a camera and a google search bar. When my husband's one heart surgery turned in to a three-year-long battle, it turned everything on its head. I vowed to help other small business owners put systems into place to ensure the business can still run even if you have to step away.

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