Cheers to Three Years

Three years ago today I married an amazing man, in a hurricane, outside, in Maine. I flubbed my lines, my dress was weighed down with mud, my family and friends built bridges out of pallets and items found around the yard, people lost their shoes and ruined clothing – and it was amazing.

Because of the rain, we had to scrap the guestbook, the table favors, the slideshow and many other details but none of it mattered. Your wedding day isn’t about bows, ribbon, crafts or photos – it is about love, family, friends and moments.

I have too many favorite moments from that day and I hope I always remember them. I loved the moments Adam and I snuck away and I loved the moments we were surrounded by hundreds of people but felt like we were alone. I loved the laughter of our friends and family as we sloshed through mud and sang like we were trying out for Star Search. I love the stories people came away with that day and I love how much we still talk about the wettest wedding of our lives.

Three years in and none the wiser

I don’t have any marriage advice, we are still figuring it out ourselves. I do know I am my husband’s biggest fan (and that is saying a lot – he is kind of a big deal). I know I wouldn’t have achieved half of what I have in the past few years, without knowing he has my back. I also know a lot of my drive comes from wanting to make him proud of me.

I am happy to celebrate three fun years of marriage and I look forward to celebrating 4 years, 5 years, 30 years and 50 years too. I am lucky I found a man that makes me laugh, challenges me, catches me when I stumble, pushes me to be a better person, listens to me, inspires me and loves me as much as I love him.

Everyone says that it is good luck to have rain on your wedding day.. I prefer a different saying we heard from our wedding day:

A wet knot… is a tight knot

So Cheers to Three Years and Cheers to many, many more!

What is Too Personal to Blog About?

plate spinnerRight now I have five blog posts saved as drafts in here and I can’t bring myself to hit Publish. You see things over in this camp are good but they have gotten harder. Since Brody has gotten sick, Adam started school, some health hiccups, new responsibilities and more have got in my way with normal life.

Managing my time is harder, getting my job done well is harder, nurturing friendships is harder, keeping up with my running is harder and I don’t see it getting easier in the near future.

So some of the blogs I have in here are about struggles, about things I am discovering and about how I am trying to spin the plates without any of them dropping. I don’t have solutions, I don’t have the answers and I don’t have morals to the stories. These stories are personal, raw, not as polished and don’t tie up with a pretty bow… so I have kept them as they are, drafts.

Why? Because I, like many other people writing about life, can’t see that line in the sand of what is worth putting out there and what should be kept as just a draft.

Photo credit: Marc Emond

We All Have Our Stories

I got to sit and chat the other night with someone I am close to who is going through a very hard time. A real hard time too, not just a rough patch. She has spent more time in hospitals than she has at home and knows enough to be a doctor at this point.

As she recanted her awful past few months, she wrapped it up quite quickly and said “…but we all have our stories right?”

Not only did it catch me off guard then but it has stuck with me since our conversation – we all have our stories. Instead of dwelling on every agonizing day, she wanted to move past it. She wanted to get through, not only for our conversation but I believe in general. She wanted to move on and to hear other stories about my crazy little life and chat with the other people we were joined with at dinner.

I know I have my stories and I have some bad ones too. My whole life I carry them around but I try not to let them way me down. In my household, holidays and birthdays are a day we reflect on our stories and we are thankful for the way things seem to be turning out. Most days I set my sad stories on a shelf, way up high and I dust them off for said holidays and birthdays.

Dwelling on those sad stories can hold you back. You might miss an opportunity while you are dwelling on events gone by.

I recently came across this post from Indie Business that posted the 10 Things That Oprah Knows for sure. While I like most of them, number three was my favorite: Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present. Only you give it power.

So what are you going to do with your stories? Let them hold you back or make you more driven? I think it is up to you.

There is no Substitute for a Friend

Someone I don’t personally know committed suicide yesterday. We had never met but I respected him. I followed his words, his tweets and heard him in interviews and speeches.

I envied him. I envied his connections, his ability to express his thoughts in words and presentations better than I ever could. I envied that he got to travel around the world talking to people about what he knew. In this crazy ‘new marketing’ world, Trey Pennington was a legend and now he is gone.

I am sad

How can I feel so sad for a man I never met? As we connect with people on Twitter or Facebook or read their blogs we start to feel like we know them. In the light of these tragic events, I realize that I did not know this man at all. This man had a whole off-line life, family and demons that few people knew about.

I am also sad because so many other people/friends/colleagues that knew Trey better than I did are sad. When anything like this happens, everyone has those thoughts that they wished they could have done something or they wish that they had known. Those are hard feelings to deal with sometimes and I am sad people I know are trying to deal with that right now.

Remember what it means to be a friend

In his book the Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk asks if online you are building contacts or connections. He is speaking specifically about social media for businesses but what about in your life? With new tools it is easier than ever to stay in touch with people we know, meet people who share our interests and maintain conversations regularly.

Are these tools giving us more opportunity to connect with people, or in fact, are they giving us less?

Are they fragmenting our relationships between what we want people to see and what we don’t?

Are they making us feel more surrounded by people but at the same time more alone?

Trey Pennington had over 100,000 Twitter followers. He suffered from depression, which is an ugly thing but it makes me wonder – of those 100,000, how many could he pick up the phone and call just to say he was having a really shitty day?

Remember what it was like when we were younger to have friends… you spent time with them, did activities with them, ate with them, shared clothes, books, stories, secrets and more. As we grow up our relationships change but hopefully you maintain that type of a relationship with a few close friends (real friends, not Facebook friends). I make an effort to get together with my close friends regularly, even when we are busy.

In those conversations with close friends you tell stories, secrets, laugh and sometimes cry. Many times the problems I showed up with have seemed to go away by the time the evening is over. In our real friendships we can take off our armor and be ourselves and we can have problems. The more you talk about them with people you trust, the more you realize you aren’t alone.

As ‘adults’, we have bigger problems so why do we internalize them more? I think now more then ever we need a support system that we can reach out to. So maybe we should all take just a few moments to think about our current relationships and what they mean to us. Which ones are important and which ones are not as important?

You may have hundreds of numbers in your phone and even more Facebook friends. You may have thousands of Twitter followers and a bushel of blog subscribers but how many people do you have that you can call and say ‘I am having a really shitty day’ because those relationships are the ones that matter most.