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Monday, July 26, 2010

#54: Letting Go Is Not The Same As Giving Up

The title for today's post was stolen, ahem...borrowed from this article  by Courtney Carver over at a blog called Goodlife Zen. "Letting go is not the same as giving up" is a phrase that caught my eye because here, on the Monday before my wedding, I find that I am exhausted, stressed, coming down with a cold, and unlikely to complete the remaining 35 tasks on my wedding to-do list. (Oh yes, I said 35.)

Now is not the time to feel guilty about the reality of things. Instead, I want to feel comforted by a gentle voice that insists I am not a failure who is throwing a boring, ugly, selfish party simply due to the fact that the following projects will not be completed in time:
  • funny home video of me teaching my father and future father-in-law how to dance, which would be shown at the wedding reception just before the father-father dance off (Darn. This would have been hilarious.) 
  • program fans to be handed out at the ceremony (No fans? But the historical Quaker meeting house doesn't have air conditioning!) 
  • "Love You List" - a display board for the reception venue that lists all of our guests' names and a funny, heart-warming reason why we think each person is freaking awesome (But...but...this was my favorite and most important DIY project! Okay, MAYBE I'll stay up late for this one...) 
  • fun photo booth  (Now what will I do with my fabulous collection of Halloween wigs?) 
  • slideshow of our funny 1950's style "zombie boy falls in love with a normal girl" engagement photo shoot to be played as Brian and I do our first dance (You mean we're going to have to sway for 4 minutes without anything in the background to entertain our guests?? That's torture for ALL of us.)
One of the most difficult things to do is to let go of goals, relationships, and fantasies that you had lovingly held in your mind's imagination. And because there is so much thought and emotion attached to each creative project on a bride and groom's to-do list, wedding planning can sometimes feel like one long process of letting go.

But according to the aforementioned article's "top 10 things to let go of today" freeing yourself of certain toxic ideas and attitudes will help you let go of wedding DIY projects in a healthy way. Here is an excerpt from this non-wedding-related list that may nonetheless apply to all those currently planning their big day:

  • Fear of not being good enough Feeling like you don’t measure up, may have come from your childhood, or a bad relationship, but now, that feeling is just a voice in your head. It’s your voice and your life. Recognize all that you have accomplished, and all you have to give and quiet that voice, for good.
  • Doing it all – Instead of doing it all, do all you really care about. Do what you energizes you and speaks to your spirit. Don’t feel pressured because you think everyone you know is doing 100 different, amazing things at once. Do what is right for you. When you redirect your energy in this way, you immediately become more effective.
  • Goals that don’t fit anymore Letting go of goals and dreams can be the most challenging of all. As our lives change, we change, and things that seemed so important years ago may slowly fade away. Instead of beating yourself up for not achieving your goal, focus on your new dreams and develop goals that reflect who you are right now.

Which of these is most helpful and inspiring to YOU at this point in your wedding planning?


  1. Awww, sick? Boo! Feel better. That's a hope and a wish and a command. :)

    And I agree with doing all you really care about. And do it 110%. If you REALLY want to make that "Love You List", do it with all of your heart. If you REALLY want to take a nice, long, nap, YOU ROCK THAT NAP (if you're feeling tired or sick, it'll be worth it). If you REALLY want to just sit with your friends who are coming into town and sip margaritas, you ENJOY the SHIT out of that margarita.

    This is the week you get married-- it is what it is, and it's going to be wonderful, fans or not. Have a great week. <3

  2. Kim! I am here at your blog from having seen you post on APW. I didn't know you were getting married at a Quaker meetinghouse. Are you Quaker or just rocking a cool venue? (I go to the uptown NYC meeting)

    Also - don't worry. Your guests will have no clue there was ever something planned that you did not in the end decide to do. Nothing will be "missing" and they will have an awesome time. :)

  3. @ Sarah K. - Thank you, your awesomeness, for the kind words! You're clearly a good spokesperson for the "rock that nap" campaign because I'm totally on board now. Well...after the "love you list". :)

    @ Lethe - No, I'm not officially a Quaker. I guess I'm a Catholic supporter of Quakerism, haha. I've been to meetings in Brooklyn and we're getting married at one on Long Island.

    Yup, you're so right about people not knowing about the burlap table runners staying fabulous in a box in my garage. (Sigh.) But I'm finding that this is a great exercise in simplicity and conscious living. :)

    By the way, will you be at the NYC APW meetup???

  4. I'm finished with my wedding planning, but some of these I find myself getting stuck on in every day circumstances! For example, I have a hard time letting go of old goals that may not work for me anymore (currently in a battle with myself over going for my Master's or switching careers. SO DIFFICULT.)

    Good luck with working out what needs to get done before your wedding! Just remember-if you have to let it go, most people won't know you planned it in the first place! I had to tell myself that a couple of times when it came to wedding stuff!

  5. That last one is SOOOOOOOO hard to let go of. Majorly hard.

    The love you list sounds terrific. Abandon everything else and gun for that. And even then, being you, I bet everyone there knows pretty solidly that you love them.

    Wooh Kim!!

  6. Kim, this is so valuable. Definitely lessons to use your whole life.
    Btw, if you're getting sick, I really recommend taking astragalus & olive leaf. Works like a charm for me.
    & This is totally superficial, but I considered burlap at one point, and then saw a pic of butcher paper, which seems to have the same effect & be way less work (unroll. cut. done). Only if you have time, though. No one will care if you don't have table runners.
    Soldier on, and take a second to be excited!

  7. @ Tree - I actually got the excerpt from an inspirational daily living-type blog, so it's no wonder you find the advice helpful.

    And YES to letting go of old goals! So difficult. Like you, I to make a career change and get a second Master's to get my foot in the door of my next I feel you! What field are you trying to get into?

    @ Moz - Hey girly. Right now I'm gunning for the zombie engagement shoot, actually! The Love You List has taken a backseat to it - I could always make up for it in the thank you cards. (And my mom is slaving away upstairs over the burlap table runners. Umm...because moms RULE. Sometimes.)

    @Anonymous - Thanks for the support! I had a moment in the shower when I started screaming and pounding the tiled walls like I was auditioning for an Oscar or something. And then I was over it and felt MUCH better! Still battling the cold, however, and I think it continues to linger because of stress.

    (Note to self: Buy butcher paper, astragalus and olive leaf!)


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