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What Can You Learn from My Wedding?

I’ve learned something pretty valuable both from living life and being a life coach to a lot of other folks.

I just got married in the Cayman Islands a couple of weeks ago!  Here are the photos in case you missed them.

Most of you know I’m a planner.  That’s what I used to do for a living.  And that’s my winning formula. Be prepared.  Plan carefully … and then wrangle the details.

Well, I did all the planning many months ahead.   I had our beach picked out and I’d worked with my wedding planner in the Caymans to put all the arrangements in place.

But part of the wrangling of the details involves following up as we get closer to the date to make sure everything’s still on track and there are no surprises.

Surprise number one.  When I called a week before, my wedding planner informed me she wouldn’t be there for our wedding!  No solid reason … but supposedly unavoidable.

I’m taken aback and feeling a little less confident, because I’ve had to remind her of several details we’d worked out previously.

Was everything truly handled?

But hey, I can work around her not being there.

Then, on the day of the event, the assistant she left in charge greeted me in a panic when I arrived at the office to get dressed, declaring over and over that, “It’s not our fault … It’s not our fault.”

What wasn’t their fault?

The fact that the Governor’s office had mistakenly granted two reservations for the beach park that day and the other, much bigger, wedding party was already occupying the premises.

This was certainly not how I had envisioned things going!

I was thrown for a loop and, frankly, quite put off by her panicked behavior and repeated disclaimers.

So, what do you do if you’re in my shoes?  Allow yourself to get completely frazzled, disappointed, and even angry or remember why you’re there and just roll with it?

I excused myself.  Hid in the restroom for a moment.  Took a LONG deep breath … SEVERAL deep breaths.

All I cared about was a solution to the problem, so I rolled with it and moved down to another park half a mile down the way, and you know what?  It turned out to be a better place! 

There’s a life lesson for ya.

The ceremony was lovely, and the pictures turned out beautifully in that more picturesque, albeit less private, setting.

The key to things turning out so nicely was not allowing myself to get too attached to everything going just so … exactly according to expectations.

So, what lesson does this hold for you and me during the holiday season … a time when expectations run high and often go either unmet or not completely satisfied?

Stay as unattached as you can. 

When we have something big coming up, we tend to have some pretty clear expectations and strong attachments to how we want things to go.

And, more often than not, things don’t follow the script, at least not exactly.  And, let’s face it. Our families don’t always conform to the Norman Rockwell ideal we have in our head.

What kind of emotional response does that create in us when the reality doesn’t match the vision?

Disappointment, sadness, maybe even anger.

And who does that benefit?  Nobody.

The message here is if you find yourself getting attached to anything besides enjoying yourself and having a great time this holiday season, do your best to give up attachment to particular outcomes.  

Instead of becoming too disappointed when things take a left turn, let life gracefully redirect you.  Who knows, it might be in ways that turn out to be even be more enjoyable than your original vision … if you let it.

That’s my holiday wish for you … that you roll with whatever surprises come your way and concentrate on enjoying yourself, no matter what twists and turns you encounter.

Happy Holidays!



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Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!