My life seems to be running by too quickly and it’s taking a turn toward seriousness way too fast. How did I get to be 28, and just five months away from my wedding day? To slow myself down, I decided to divulge few things I’m looking forward to in the coming year. Let me preface this post by thanking my father right away for his truly awesome and inspirational quote book, from which I drew these words of wisdom.
“The road to success is always under construction,” said Arnold Palmer, the great golfer who was heralded for his disciplined approach and incredible performance, or so I’m told by Future Husband. As we charge toward the new year, I’m looking forward to working hard at growing stronger. So P90X, runs, lots of other workouts I haven’t thought of yet…bring it.
Ideally, I’ll be able to maintain control over this old brain of mine to focus on enjoying the tasks at hand, as I move into resolutions-fulfilling mode. I can enjoy work-outs for work-outs’ sake, right? Sure I can. The mind is a powerful thing. Taking our big furry gentleman Vinnie for runs has come to represent unbridled joy for me. I used to HATE running and now, it gives me a chance to clear my mind and just plain breathe. At times, it’s almost impossible not to consider how lucky we are to be alive, when I look down at our husky running alongside me, doing what he was born to do with an insanely large smile. “You never achieve real success unless you like what you’re doing,” said Dale Carnegie. Anyone who thinks about it long enough would have to agree with that. The more we enjoy what we’re doing, when we’re doing it, the more likely we are to keep doing it. Common sense, but so hard to follow. Oh well, that’s what resolutions are for, right?
Ready for another knowledge bomb? A wise transcendentalist once said, “Scatter joy,“ which I just love. I’ll take lots of little joys over one big gift any day of the week. Next month, we’ll make appointments to try different cakes (blog post on that here) and get what’s sure to be a phenomenal menu tasting session at Oak Hill for the reception dinner. I’m fairly certain that Ralph Waldo Emerson wouldn’t be keen on my comparing his wise sentiment for the ages with my affinity for any and all food tastings, but hey, that’s where we’ve seem to have arrived at. And hey, if choosing amazing food for family and friends doesn’t scream joy being scattered, I don’t know what does.
I’m looking forward to sharing all kinds of experiences with Future Husband, from tasty eats to honeymoon suites but also from tough decisions to stress-inducing exhibitions. “There is no education like adversity,” said Benjamin Disraeli.” I’m ready for the stressful times we’ll have to get through together, because we’ll have each other. The idea of taking Jimmy’s hand at the end of the day makes everything else seem trivial. I hope that as we encounter new challenges, we’ll continue to grow together.
This wedding has become a passion of mine. I’m not ashamed to say it. Because I’ve come to see passion as a virtue. Planning this wedding has taught me much about myself and how far my ambition can take me. As a wise Renaissance artist once said, “Nothing that is not the product of obsession can be worthwhile” (Michelangelo) and I like to keep that phrase in mind when I start worrying I’ve spent too many hours looking at wedding shoes (post here) and hair styles (more on that here.)
“Forget injuries, never forget kindness,” said the great philosopher, Confucius. I can tell you right now that I can never, ever repay my family, Jimmy’s family, my wonderful friends and the new additions I’ve met along the way for all that they’ve already done to make our special day as perfect as possible. Everyone knows that it won’t be perfect — no true wedding is — but they’ve lent us their support time and time again, and by the time this whole thing is over, I know that I’ll be just about to burst with gratitude. Which leads me to my next quote…
“The essence of beautiful art, of great art, is gratitude.” That’s Friederich Nietzsche for you. Actually, I feel a bit like a student who hasn’t done her homework. I searched for the context of this lovely sentiment to gather a better perspective on its intent, but alas, I no longer roam the halls of Carnegie Mellon, where LexisNexis and EBSCO were at our fingertips. Thus, I must take the quote at face value. And at face value, I love the idea of giving back to my friends and family with by setting the festivities in a place that has character and style and a touch of je ne sais quoi (trust me, I’m shunning myself right now for using that phrase, but hey, if the shoe fits…)
The point of my rambling? One of our first accomplishments of 2012 will be refining our design concepts for the wedding. I’ve collected and saved and copied and pasted dozens upon dozens of ideas for the “look.” Now, finally, I’ll get to see the plans start to take shape and come to life. I’m very excited to work with our planner Kelli Berg, of Simply Beautiful Events, on a look that’s Anthropologie-inspired and romantically classy, with a heavy overcoat of fun.
I still look for inspiration, and manage to find it all around me. Rochester’s rising artists remind me that art is alive and real, and that we have the local talent to prove it. I’m inspired by artists like those at Anderson Alley (here’s a recent post about some of the talented artists we saw there, the Clothesline Festival (click here for a post from this summer, showcasing some local talent) and local (South Wedge) neighborhood stores like Zak’s Avenue. Knowing that they live and breathe the same mid-sized industrial city as me, and that they’ve been able to infuse such beautiful contributions into the cultural platitude of our city is truly admirable. So why can’t I? Purely free artistic expression fascinates and intimidates me. That’s why I dropped out of Color class at Skidmore, and it’s why taking the reigns of this artistic creation we call Wedding Day is such a big deal. But hey, as Ludwig van Beethoven said, “Art demands of us that we never stand still.” So stay still I shan’t. I shall learn and grow and probably stop using shan’t and shall. It makes me sound too much like an English lit nerd.
I’m excited to continue collecting pearls of wisdom from the great thinkers of our past, but also to the couples before me, who have been through all the stress and chaos and excitement and inexplicable joy that these next five months will bring. As good old Lord David Cecil once said (I don’t know him, but he sounds smart), “The first step toward knowledge is to know that we are ignorant.” Well, if anything ever were to be a humbling experience, it’d have to be realizing how big a deal and how huge a task wedding planning actually is. Let’s just say that I’m well aware that I was in the ignorance category when I started this whole wedding planning business, and I hope my interest in investigating the tricks of the trade will serve me well in the long run.
I’ll leave you with the latter nine quotes for now, with the promise that more are on their way. I’m not pretending to be dispenser of knowledge by any means, but if you happen to find hope or peace or happiness or solace in these words, well then that’s just fine.