I’m sure it’s not incidental, that I can write this post because of serendipitous line of events that freed my schedule tonight. One of my couples works at the Foreigh Office, and the syrian situation kept them at work until late, so we had ro reschedule our call.
Ok, I know, it’s not everyday that world events will impact directly on our daily routine. And yet. It happened.
Let me tell you what I would like to talk to you about and why. And please, do bear with me if it’ll sound a bit too abstract at first.
Over the past few years it’s become quite fashionable to promote the idea that anything can be done. Lack of time is regarded as an excuse, used by those lacking the right energy and enthusiasm to actually pursue their goals. Everywhere we turn we see motivational posters pushing us to stop whining, “get out and DO something, because you can do anything!”
Well, I hate to rain on your parade, but it’s not exactly true. Let’s say it’s *theoretically* possible. Time does carry the potential for anything to happen, that is true (ever heard ofr the Schrödinger’s cat?!). But the instant you make a choice, any choice, that potential is narrowed and changed. Not to mention when those around you make a choice, and it impacts on you.
Truth is, even if you’ve planned your daily schedule very carefully, chances are you will find yourself stuck in traffic, distracted by a distressed girlfriend’s call, bed-ridden with the flu. It little matters that you ended up in traffic because you insisted on going by car (you lazy), or forgot to turn off your phone (you mindless), or couldn’t wait to go to the movies with your recently ill boyfriend (you impatient). What does matter is the result: your daily potential has been wiped off. And you have to deal with it, and make the most of it.
These past few months have been a painful memento of this truth, for me. Some of you know it already, I have two children. The elder is a 9-year-old precious teenager, the younger is a particularly active 2-year-old. When they’re not in school, they’re with me, because the only available granmother in the area (my mom) is still very busy and can help me out only on emergencies. Paying for a nanny on top of the kindergarden fees would require a mortgage, so I make do. My husband is a lot of help, but he works miles from home so he’s away most of the day, and half of the week also most of the evening, as he needs to exercise often (I know, it sounds like if he had a mistress and I were in denial, but I promise, it’s all good!). To cut it short, I’m often working with the kids around. Both my jobs have pretty unpredictable schedules, so my life is a constant battling with time. Which time mostly wins. Those who know me well often ask “how can you do it all?” to which I retort “I don’t do it all”. But you know what I mean, and how frustrating this situation can be to somebody like me, with hundreds of ideas and a yearning for doing things right. Especially in the wedding industry, where most of my colleagues either do not have children, or have means to take care of them without affecting the work day. It gets jealous-y quite easily.
I always thought it was just my problem. Then I realized that the “do-it-all-do-it-now” trend was beginning to take its toll on brides as well. So many of you write to me feeling insecure and frustrated becasue you don’t seem to be able to achieve all the wedding goals you’d set for yourself. You’re tired and nerve-wrecked, and still you keep repeating to me (and yourself) that it’s “just about getting organized better”, echoeing what you’ve been reading on blogs and motivational Pinterest boards.
et me share a small secret with you, the vast majority of those writing that anything is possible, and “you make time to do what you really care about”, is made of people who actually do quite little. Or that studiously avoide mentioning the second part of the statement: “you make time to do what you really care about, by choosing what NOT to do, and living with the consequences”. If you’re in a full time job working til late at night, it’s difficult you will be able to enrol in an evening writing class. Granted, you might end up deciding it’s time to quit your job to pursue that writing career, but you will be without an income for a while. Likewise, if you’re in a fulltime job and whant to have a crafty, diy wedding all done by yours truly, you will need to give up your freetime at night and over the week-end.
This is life. Every choice bears consequences.
But you know what? That’s the fun of it! It means you can choose to say no when you feel drained, and choose to say yes when you want to change something. It means you might as well forget about those less than ideal potentials to devote your time to things that really make you tick. It means that even if you never pursued that writing career but are still content with your life… that’s entirely ok!
This is my message to you, brides or not:
You cannot do everything. But you can consciously choose what to do, and play the cards you were laid the best that you can.
Whether it’s your creative potential or your wedding budget, the moment you will learn to live with the fact that some things are beyond your reach, you will be able to grab those at hand and enjoy them to the full. Trust me, and give yourself a break!