Sunday, June 5, 2016

Let Life Pull You

A few weekends ago my family and I attended a wedding.  It was a lovely event: a joyous mass followed by a fun party.  But it did involve a lot of thought and planning. We drove six hours to get there the day of the ceremony and then six hours home the next day.  27 hours in Kentucky + 12 hours of driving +2 kids + 1 hotel room = tiring.

I'm pretty sure my parents thought our travel plans were nuts.  Even the lady at the dog kennel commented that we were brave.  (This from a woman who tends to 30 or more dogs a day and owns her own dogs, horses, cats and chickens.)

I arranged for the dog-sitting.  I packed the girls suitcase and mine.  I even made sure they had new (clean) white socks.  I sewed buttons on their dresses and mended a hole in a cardigan.  I even managed makeup for myself.  The bride and groom knew we were there.  We got to see them and hug them.  They looked radiant.  We even exchanged a few words.  But that was it.  Was it really worth all our time and trouble? Did it really matter that we were there?  The wedding would have gone on without us. Completely.  There were many closer friends and family among the 400 guests.

We may have been missed by a few, but not terribly.  We see the groom maybe once a year.  We met the bride once (well, it was a week at the beach so...five times?) And while they are certainly family and we love them very much it would have been understandable if we had declined.

But we didn't.  As soon as we got the save the date (our very first piece of mail in our new home) we knew we should be there.  We wanted to be there.  We were two days in a new state.  There were so many unanswered questions: Were the girls invited?  Would they miss school?  Who would watch the dogs? Should we stay two nights or one?  How long was the drive? Would we have our new licenses, plates and insurance by then? Miraculously, I didn't worry.  We just showed up.  We made it happen.  And yes, it was worth it.  Completely.

Really, it was serendipitous.  A few months ago Louisville, Kentucky was at least 10 hours away.  Now that we live in Northeast Ohio, it is a mere 5-6.  I am not sure if we would have made the trip from Baltimore. Those few extra hours in the car over a weekend add up.  But, we may have still made the effort to show up. To be there.  To show support to the new couple and celebrate with family.  To teach our children that marriage (and family) is a big deal and should be honored.  No matter how seemingly inconvenient or impractical.

In the end, after all of that, even though I thought I was doing something completely for someone else, it was me who got a lesson in a few truths: (isn't it cool that so often everyone benefits when we stretch ourselves?)

You can't experience things if you don't show up.  You can't show love if you don't do something.  So if you can you should.  Especially when the "appointments" line up with your priorities, your care for yourself, and build relationships.  Even if they require out-of-the-box thinking or out-of-your-comfort-zone venturing.

You also don't have to be all things to all people and all places at all times.  That certainly wouldn't line up with your priorities or self care which would only strain relationships. But, if you feel the pull you should respond.  Not the pull of guilt or duty, but the pull of the Spirit, the pull of the something bigger, the pull of the dance life is really all about.

Still, I tend to second guess, over think, over analyze and even "negativize" the mostly mundane.  That certainly rips the grace and beauty right out of my life.  But I didn't do that this time.  I rode the wave.  It was refreshing.  

So watch out Kentucky...I might just surf (or dance) my way back soon. :)

This is obviously what I look like when I go with the flow.  Don't you? Toodles!

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