In the Fall of 2011, I had just married a very handsome stand-up guy in my favorite city in the world. That’s obviously a really big dream come true, but at that time in my life I had a really hard time focusing on the positive no matter how trivial the negatives were. My mother-in-law calls these consuming negative thoughts “little dinosaurs”, thoughts that you perseverate on that soon snowball into all you are able to focus on. Those little dinosaurs in my head kept going back to the little things I wanted to change about the day. The minister did non-traditional vows so we didn’t actually say “I do”. It rained so we didn’t get to have our guests play lawn games during cocktail hour. The person responsible for taking our gifts home decided to leave early, sans gifts. My dress wasn’t altered to perfection. Someone got the wires crossed so the champagne never got poured. One of the songs during the ceremony got played twice. Cabs weren’t there to pick up our guests like we had planned on. (By the way, most of these things were my own fault for not being a better communicator.) I have always been a stickler for rules and wanting things to be a certain way. Sure, maybe that helps me make better at noticing details of things like decorating, but what it also did is really get in my way for a long time.
Our inner dialogue and deepest thoughts dictate what kind of experiences we have. I had my DREAM wedding under gorgeous Charleston oak trees. My stellar friends shelled out plenty of money for dresses & travel expenses, and one of them even iced cupcakes all day in the kitchen while other guests got to be out exploring Charleston. My mom stayed the latest so that she could pack up all of the gifts, even though she had already done more than enough. The oak trees perfectly sheltered all of the seats from the rain so that no one got wet during the ceremony. My husband let me pick out all of the details and danced his heart out all night. I had a wonderful wedding planner, YOJ, who ate some of her profits so my balloons would be perfectly round instead of the cheaper version I paid for. On my big day, I had BIG, bountiful blessings. I want to share these details of my big day, because now they mean even more to me since I finally fully appreciate how blessed I am.
These are the lovely thoughts and images that creep in when I look back on that day now, because over time I have worked really hard not to feed those little dinosaurs. In the past, I have fed so many of those thoughts when it comes to friendships or jobs or life in general. The more you feed them, the bigger they are going to get. I have so many things to be thankful for and no matter what is going on it could always be worse. It has taken a lot of reading, yoga, prayer, and practice for me to find a happier thought to replace the dinosaurs with. Just taking a walk on a sunny day or finding a fun chotchky at Target for $1 can give me something to get excited about so now I try my best to focus on those kinds of minor happinesses. If you don’t already have this down pat, try replacing your dinosaurs the next time you get bothered by a Facebook comment or long line at the store. Mondays and rainy days can take a little more work to find the bright side, but every day has something in it to make it feel a little more like the weekend if you make a conscious effort to find it.