By Jill Pertler
Life can be exciting. And stressful. And sometimes exciting things – even though they are good things – create stress. Even though you promise yourself you won’t let them this time.
You know you shouldn’t complain. Excitement is excitement after all. You are aware you should take it all in. Don’t sweat the small stuff (it’s all small stuff) and simply enjoy the milestones that are headed your way. Your logical mind knows this. But knowing and doing are two different things and when you wake up at 2:00 a.m. worrying about invitation lists, plus-ones, napkin colors or whether a popcorn bar beats out a candy buffet you understand that you are not doing well at the celebratory portion of your impending celebration.
My son will graduate from high school in a month. Yay. He made it! Whew!
My daughter will get married two months after his graduation. Yay. She and her fiancé made it! Whew!
Graduations and weddings are delightful, festive, wonderful occasions. They signify the end of a successful journey and the promise of a new beginning. They are days to enjoy and celebrate.
But, before I can break out the champagne for a well-deserved toast, we still have things to do. So many things to do.
We have to get the announcements (graduation) and invitations (wedding) ordered and we have to pick a theme for the party (graduation) not to mention the food and my boys will need suits and shoes (for the wedding) and we’ll want to find some lawn games and extra chairs (for the graduation). Speaking of that we need to rake the lawn and weed the garden before the (graduation) party and we have to come up with centerpiece ideas for both events and we’ve yet to decide between cake or cupcakes (wedding) while cookies might be an option (graduation) and I’ve still got to choose a dress (for the wedding) not to mention a dress for the bride and bridesmaids and flower girls and so many other things that need to get decided and get done.
Deep breath. Normally one big celebration is enough to keep me up at night. But two? That’s enough to put a gal way over the edge.
Or not. Come on girl, get a grip.
I have two major life celebrations in the coming months. How lucky can a person get? I realized yesterday I was perseverating on the tasks involved and ignoring the joy that I should be feeling about these upcoming events and that’s simply no way to celebrate. At least not if you want to celebrate successfully – which I most assuredly do. What would be the point otherwise?
The days will come – and go. Someone might notice if all the napkins don’t match or if the cake leans slightly or if we run out of pulled pork, but I doubt it. And even if something does go wrong (and it probably will) and someone actually notices (and they probably won’t), I doubt they’d care enough to even notice that they noticed.
Because when we celebrate, we don’t come to the party for the decorations or the games or the music or even the pulled pork. We come together to congratulate and wish the graduate or the bride and groom all best. Because we care. It’s as simple as that.
Anything beyond is just icing on the cake – or cupcake, depending on which way we decide to go.