Confessions of a Bride: The Joy Hunt


I woke up super early this morning, early for me anyway. It was one of those mornings where the clock read 5:30am the first time I glanced at it and then seemed to chuckle at me as I rolled over to try and fall back asleep. It’s Sunday after all, and I didn’t have anywhere to be for several hours. Determined to sleep a little longer, I closed my eyes and tried to think of nothing while convincing myself I was dozing off again. Nope. Not happening…

5:30am won and I slowly scooted out of bed, surprised by my not too terrible attitude.

Now, if you know me, you probably know I have a wedding coming up, exactly seven days from now (by the time you read this, it will be more like four.) If we’ve ever worked together on a professional level either in therapy or otherwise, you probably know I am a big believer in a relational approach to work, and well, everything! I don’t quite see how trusting relationships of any kind are built without some higher-level awareness of what our personal journeys look like. That being said, I always like to bring honest, if not sometimes unflattering, experiences to the table so they might be helpful learning opportunities for someone else out there. I suppose Brené ruined me with all that talk and research on shame and vulnerability. Permission slip to tastefully self-disclose: granted.

Here is what I’ve learned about the whole wedding planning journey in a laser phrase: don’t do it!! (Ha! Just kidding…I had to.)

Seriously, here we go: protect your joy. What an incredibly joyous occasion and reason for celebration! Yet I have managed to let myself overwhelmingly stress over details I will definitely not remember ten years from now, completely derailing my joy. (Well, besides the fact that my wedding dress alterations were totally botched and I had to start from scratch five days before getting on a plane to tie the knot. Different story. Different day.) Anyways, I pretty much lost it on my sweet, well-meaning wedding planner yesterday and picked a fight with my fiancé over furniture placement post wedding. Really? Despite sleep deprivation and procrastination payback, I needed a healthy dose of perspective or a time-out, whichever came first.

This morning it struck me that I might miss out on the joy of this glorious anticipation if I don’t stay present and grateful for each passing moment. This was both sobering and a relief! Between grinding coffee beans and fumbling through Instagram in the haze of waking up, I caught a glimpse of the most stunning, pillowy fog resting in a valley off in the distance through the back window. I dropped everything to go sit outside and behold this moment. The soft colors of morning began to rise as the symphony of Sunday started it’s warm up. The crisp, chilly air felt clean and waves of leafy green trees stood tall and proud, as if to say, “Finally, she notices what is true and beautiful.”

This present moment is the truest gift we have. You will never be in the exact space reading these words on this same passing day EVER.

I have no way of knowing if the flowers will arrive on time, if our family members all get along and enjoy themselves, if the photographs turn out as beautifully as I hope they do, and if the mascara I bought is as waterproof as it boasts. As far as I know, the groom is still in despite my new appointed position as Mayor of Crazy Town; I found a killer replacement wedding dress on the fly; and there will be tiny, sacred ceremony on a beach in Southern California that will usher in a new appointment of life called marriage.

Life is made up of zillions of moments. As T. S. Eliot so coolly writes, “We must be still, and still moving.” We also must not be afraid to experience our joy fully, without hesitation and cynicism. Let’s find those pockets of joy this week and revel in them, as if to brand them in our beings. If there is a favorite saying I have come to live by and cling to throughout the years, especially these last few months, it is surely this one:

“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

St. Julian of Norwich