Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wedding Thoughts

My best friend's son got married this past weekend and we were among the lucky invitees. Why lucky? Well, not just because I remember when this young man (now 22) was born or that his mother and I share a special connection so I wanted to be part of this special day, but more importantly, the event included all of the moments I cherish about a wedding while avoiding the phony excesses that seem to permeate the wedding industry in recent years.

The couple exchanged vows in a picturesque chapel, the service included music that spoke to the 100 or so guests in an intimate way because it reflected the personalities of the bride and groom, the wedding party was formally dressed but their apparel spoke to the overall theme of the wedding rather than trying to impress, and the flowers were daisies, evoking special memories for the bride and her family. The entire ceremony took only a few minutes but created a lifelong image for those in attendance.

The reception was a relaxed, happy affair with simple, delicious food, served buffet style, just enough champagne and drink to toast the occasion, recorded music for dancing; all evoking several hours of celebration, laughter and memory creation for all. The tables were personally decorated by the families of the bridal couple and the favors for the guests were packets of daisy seeds to plant and remember the day by. Most importantly, everything we experienced and enjoyed was memorable because it spoke to me, especially, of these two caring families who gathered to mark the occasion by giving of themselves to its end.

I saw no ostentatious extravagance, and I loved that. I was reminded of my own children's weddings, which were also gay, personal and unforgettable - as was mine way back when - and I found myself wondering why there are so many who feel they have to mortgage their lives to put on a phony show on a day when all that matters is sincerely pledging your lives to one another at the altar, and celebrating that exchange with family and friends in a fun, relaxed way. Why do couples feel the need for dresses that cost as much as my first house, floral masterpieces that cover every open space, lavish parties that create indebtedness for years to come, and which include overly expensive favors for the guests and food and beverages fancy enough for royalty? I've attended such gatherings, but, to be honest, I don't remember the details. They just spoke to me of overkill and indulgence for no reason.

So I toast to Kyle and Bev, the honored and most loved couple of last Saturday's happy tidings. They did it beautifully, they did it right, and they gave us all lasting reminders of their unique and most special of days.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Best Laid Plans

As I ponder the pile of notes, scribbled ideas and query possibilities that litter my desk this morning, the quote in my title today, from poet Robert Burns, is at the forefront of my thoughts. Beginning a new week, I'm already stressed because what I wanted to accomplish last week got waylaid by sickness that left me in no shape to write anything worthwhile.

So, today, I apologize to the readers of this blog. For the week prior to my becoming ill, I was hard at work on my novel, sacrificing all other writing because I had limited hours to work on anything. Day to day obligations leave precious few awake hours these days to sit at the keyboard and create. It is a constant stress for me because my mind is always active with ideas - which I write down and add to the ever growing pile I'm staring at now.

It doesn't seem fair somehow because the "obligations" I refer to revolve around caring for my family, babysitting, singing at church, helping my husband with his business, juggling time and energy to keep up with household tasks, etc. I pointed out all my duties in a recent blog about time management, so I won't detail them again here. But they are all important to me, and I can't shirk them. The one point I think I failed to touch on in that previous blog about finding time to write is this: my physical well-being is constantly in peril because of all my required tasks and suffers on a regular basis as a result.

I can chalk this problem up to age, to the crazy ever-changing schedules of our family, to the weather, or a myriad of other factors. In a nutshell, however, I have to face the fact that I'm no longer young - even though I think and act young - and I think my body is finally rebelling at all the stress I subject it to. No matter how much I push myself to believe that I can still "do it all", the fact of the matter is: I can't.

So, if you check in here on occasion and find no new entries for a week or more, forgive me. I've just decided that my "best laid plans" have to include some downtime if I am to live the 100 plus years that I dream of, and I've decided not to feel guilty about that. And, in the end, I'll probably be a better writer - I'll certainly be a healthier one.