It’s often a good idea to slow down and take time to enjoy each moment you have in life.
Even if you’re a bride and maid of honor running late to the wedding ceremony.
My sister got married on Friday, and there were so many moments during that day that I will never forget. And, of course, one of them happened right before my sister was about to walk down the aisle.
It was pretty much go time, and my friend Michelle (who is a kick-a$* wedding coordinator, by the way) told my sister and me to wait upstairs where we were until we saw her walk past a certain point with the rest of the bridesmaids. We did that, but as soon as we got outside, we realized we didn’t know where our dad was. We couldn’t remember if he was supposed to be there with us and walk my sister all the way from where we were or if he was waiting right at the entrance at the end of the gravel path. A woman who works at the venue saw the look of sheer panic on my sister’s face, and she hustled up the path to see if my dad was there. I could hear music playing and asked my sister what song would be playing when the bridesmaids walked down the aisle.
Then, like clockwork, we heard that song start up—we needed to be up there ASAP.
My sister told me to run, and I’ve been in enough weddings to know you do pretty much whatever a bride tells you to do on her wedding day. We took off sprinting (I was wearing heels and holding the end of my dress in one hand, so the definition of “sprinting” might be skewed slightly) across the bridge, and I could see my dad walking quickly toward us and the bridesmaid right before me already walking down the aisle. Then I saw Michelle, who was motioning to us that we could slow down. When I got to the entrance, she calmly said, “You’re fine. You’re fine. Slow down. Walk slowly.”
When my sister walked down the aisle with my dad, you never would have known she was just running in a frenzy toward her wedding. She looked so calm and beautiful, ready to dive into the new adventure before her.
It’s easy to get going so fast in life that you feel like you have to go at a zippity-zip pace toward everything. There are so many things that need to be done, and it often becomes far too common to feel like you’re falling behind in so many ways. Sure, there are certain things that have to be done by certain times, and there are moments we truly need to seize when they’re right in front of us. But there are so many things that will happen just as they should, no matter how quickly you run toward them.
I made a small list of things for which I want to be more patient—those things that I often feel like I need to run toward but that really will still be there if I slow down a bit.
Work — Sure, I work in a job that requires me to meet pretty quick deadlines, but I sometimes have a tendency to be too rigid on deadlines that have some flexibility. That leads to stress, and stress doesn’t allow you to enjoy many aspects of life as much as you should.
People — The bottom line is that people need love. It’s easy to get frustrated with people who upset us in a variety of ways, but we don’t always know what’s going on in their lives. It never hurts to show people you care about them, but it does hurt to show them you don’t. I try to make concerted efforts to smile at people and talk to them about their lives, but it is more difficult when I’m having a bad day, not in the best mood or not a fan of the person. You make time for the things you want to make time for in life, and I hope I always make time to care about all people.
Dating — Well, I don’t actually date, but I am not going to rush into anything with anyone. I’ve gotten my heart broken badly enough before to be reminded that you don’t have to sprint toward love, especially love that really isn’t even there. If I’m supposed to end up with someone, it will happen when it should, and I don’t need to worry about it.
To-do lists — I can’t always do everything on my list of things to do, and I need to be OK with that. Sometimes a task simply has to be pushed back to another day or another time. Most of those items on my list will still be there tomorrow, and the world likely won’t crumble if they aren’t crossed off on the days on which they were originally written.
Toward the end of the night at my sister’s wedding, the DJ played “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips, and it became a special moment for my sister and me. At one point, we grabbed hands and started spinning super fast until everything around us became blurry. Every time we do this on a dance floor, we always know the exact moment we need to stop before it becomes too out of control and makes us fall or get hurt. I think that’s an important moment to be able to identify in life, too—that moment when you realize you simply need to slow down and enjoy where you are and what you’re doing before your spinning around madly becomes too much for you to handle.
I think Ferris Bueller said it best: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
To which Aerosmith would reply, “And I don’t want to miss a thing.”