49…..I thought I would stay 29 forever and while I still feel 29 at heart, the guy that I see in the mirror isn’t the exactly the guy I used to see, but all things considered not bad.  I have been blessed in my life and known a great deal of love and many friendships, while enjoying success and travel as well so many things this world has to offer.  If 49 years has taught me anything, it is that,  what happens to you in life doesn’t matter, it how you react to what happens to you in life that makes all the difference in the world.  I see so many people who seem to have to be medicated to get through a day of life and talk about the smallest setbacks for years after the event.  Their cat died twenty years ago and it still brings a tear to their eye.

Give me a break!  My mother passed away at an early age (when I was 30), three months later my father passed away and one year later my brother passed away.  My life, like most people’s has been full of lost friends, relatives and pets, but that is the natural order of things and while these moments were trying, they didn’t define who I was.  Even though these times of incredible loss were not easy, there were so many amazing things that happened in my life at the same time.  I was busy raising two of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing (my two sons, if I wasn’t there dad, I would want to be their friends).  At this same time I wrote my first book and my second.  I saw my little photography studio turn into a company and with that, my family was able to live a life that I only dreamed of as a child.  I have seen parts of the world that many will only see in photos and it has little to do with talent or intelligence (that one is hard to admit), it has to do with way I have responded to the challenges in life.  You learn how to handle the shit that life throws your way and you will be rewarded for it.

What does this have to do with photography, nothing, unless it doesn’t matter if your successful or not!  You, me and everyone else in the world has adversity to overcome.  You overcome it, it gives you wisdom of how life is supposed be, you let it overcome you and you let adversity define your life.  You find yourself still tearing up over a dead cat from twenty years ago.  In your business, in your life, you will have problems, we are paid in life in direct proportion to how we find solutions to life’s problems.  Photography studios open and close, while a few survive, or even fewer thrive.  The few that thrive have learned to overcome all the shit that life and business has thrown at them.  They didn’t like the problems, but they expected them and knew they were capable of overcoming them.





~ by jeffsmithbooks on June 3, 2011.

5 Responses to “THE FIRST 49 HAVE BEEN GREAT!”

  1. LOVE THIS!!!!!!! Life does throw A LOT of shit at us and I completely agree that you can not control shitty things that happen, but you can control how you react to them!!! 🙂

  2. I sincerely hope you are not as callous and inhuman as this post makes you sound! There is nothing wrong with still feeling the loss of a beloved pet – or a beloved human – years after the fact. “Getting on with life” does not mean you simply dismiss everyone and everything that has gone before as the “natural order of things.” They are, but it’s our reactions to them that defines our character. These moments do not define WHAT we are, but they do define WHO we are, and I would rather be known as someone with feelings and sensitivity and a little bit of reverence for the people (and yes, pets) who who had an effect on who I am today.

    • I choose to embrace life and the love that was shared by those friends, family and pets that are no longer with me, not let the loss of their love overwhelm me. Mourning is a natural process for every person and pet we have the privilege to love in our lives, but when people let adversity of any kind overwhelm their lives they can’t enjoy all the many positive things that life has in-store. This is a basic truth. To think that I implied you don’t feel loss years after you lose a loved one is someone you read into what I was saying, however if someone still tears up twenty years after a cat or dogs death with the thought of them, they might be grieving just a little too long, at some point in time it is much healthier to focus on the pleasure of their friendship instead of the pain of their loss!

  3. I am 49 as well, and feel in so many ways I’m just now waking up to how fast life goes by. You’re work (which I have seen in books other than yours) and your passion for life in general are an inspiration. Thanks for all you do. Keep shooting!


  4. Well said…You are what you think you are. thanks

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