Yesterday was a pretty landmark day. I had the pleasure of watching my best friend Valerie get married. Like most weddings, there ended up being a lot to do. The bride is an engineer who tends to enjoy DIY. To give you an idea, she ripped up the floor and retiled her upstairs by herself. She also ripped apart and remodeled her bathroom and built and stained a good bit of her furniture without any outside help. She gets things done, yo.
She’s one of those people who’s just naturally super self-sufficient. It wasn’t easy for her to ask for help doing things – and most unfortunately, I’m one of those people who can’t even put together an Ikea shelf without wanting to jump off a tall bridge, so my ability to help was sadly limited in terms of arts and crafts.
I did end up starting pretty early in the day with her, and in addition to the things we’d been doing leading up to the wedding, we ended up working on some other fronts to get her prepared for the day.
Keep in mind my own wedding is happening in about five months. So the fact that I was having a constant panic attack from the first second I woke up until the actual ceremony happened doesn’t seem to bode well for October. But I digress.
Out of all the things that happened yesterday before the ceremony, some felt like such blatant obstruction by the universe I couldn’t believe it was real. Keep in mind these are things that happened to me, not to the bride or other people around the bride.
- Almost running out of gas on the way home to pick up my date (some of you know Ru) and then stopping at a gas station which had no actual gas, and hadn’t bothered to put signs on the pump. At this gas station angry people were lined out the door trying to figure out why their cards weren’t working and the lone teenage gas station clerk was in a bit of a panic.
- Wardrobe malfunctions. Having my significant other running around our apartment looking for sensible shoes and pantyhose at the 11th hour.
- Jumping out of the car to run into a Starbucks with half my dress unceremoniously tucked into the back of my tights. Yikes.
- Leaving the house and getting all the way down three flights of stairs to my car before realizing I’d left my wedding clothes on our kitchen table. Coming back upstairs to find a very furry cat resting on them.
Trust me that these are just a few of the things. But here’s the point –
Nothing can possibly prepare us for the things we don’t expect. And when it gets crazy, when we’re in a hurry, when we don’t leave enough time for ourselves and when we don’t self-care, everything becomes a struggle. Every forgotten sweater becomes a nightmare. Every necessary item left locked behind a door becomes a crisis.
It’s pretty excusable when it’s someone’s wedding day – because how often does that happen?
But on the other hand, how often is there absolutely no special event going on – no wedding, no celebration, nowhere I have to be, and I’m still freaking out and struggling against the tide trying to get things done?
So for me, the issue is less about having one stressful day that’s a landmark day, and making all those non-landmark days as stress-free as possible. It’s all about mindfulness, I think – balancing the what against the how and making it all work together.
Congratulations to my friend, and here’s to stress-free days!