Wedding Updates and Dreaming in America

People have been asking me this left and right: “How’s the wedding planning?” In a nutshell, it’s going good. I’ve hit some roadblocks (“The catering is going to cost how much???) and I’ve reevaluated what I can and can’t cut back on. (My mom offered her lace drapes to hang up instead of buying tulle. Perfection.) When it’s all said and done, this wedding will have cost me much more than I anticipated. Such is life. It’s my first rodeo, what can I say?

But things have gotten a bit wedding centered around here and I don’t like it. Well I like it, because generally, I’m having a good time with it. But I soberly consider the issue that the wedding will come and go and my life will still be here. After all the bills are paid, after the decorations are taken down, thrown away, sent to their homes, I’ll be a wife, and more importantly, still Cassie.

I’ve watched my fiance transition from film school to the working world. I don’t think it’s easy for the majority of people and I know it’s coming for me in the next 4 1/2 months. I feel tangled between just starting to awaken the dreamer in me after a long sleep and the overpowering reality crusher that my mother would call “my inner critic”.

Something the Catholic faith is so, so avid on is avoiding materialism and greed. I sense the freedom that gives when someone is able to place their value outside their monetary belongings. But this provides a strong paradox. We’re supposed to evade something we need to live. That is, money.

My generation gets criticized often for its laziness, unwillingness to work, and lack of pragmatism. (“Why can’t we just sit in coffee shops 5 days a week and work a couple shifts here and there?”) For me, I’m not against working. I am, however, against soul sucking work that has no balance attributed to it. (50+ hour work weeks, no breaks, very little vacation days.) “Move to Europe” right? If you don’t like the way the American work horse gets things done, get out of Dodge.

There is this way of thought that comes from a Ted talk, I believe, called the “Golden Circle”. For those that aren’t familiar, it goes like this:

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The average person starts from the outside and works in. And supposedly, according to the author, we should really be starting with the why and working outwards.

But can we get that luxury, in current society? Do we really have time to sit around brainstorming our desire map? We all have bills to pay, things to do, families to raise. So where is the balance?

I think balance is possible, for sure, but I think we have to make sacrifices. In the same sense that a mother makes a sacrifice in her pay grade to work less to spend more time with her children, we must look critically at what we’re willing to give up to get the balance we need. And sometimes, there are hard times where balance isn’t really achievable. In those cases, we must ride it out and keep pushing. The conversations about mothers “having it all” actually isn’t really just about mothers. It’s about people in modern society having balance. And in order to have balance, we must make sacrifices. People don’t talk about that.

But it’s kinda like math. There’s 24 hours in a day. There’s X amount of space, time, energy, and resources. So we can really only have X amount – it’s just up to us how we want to allocate each piece of the puzzle.

Some lucky, few bastards have figured out how to maintain sanity, passion, and balance. (If you’re one of them please, do, enlighten me.) And until I figure out their secret…..‘til next time, readers.

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One response to “Wedding Updates and Dreaming in America

  1. I saw an article somewhere online that argued that the real question of work-life balance is not how much you can do, but how much and what you are willing to sacrifice. Your post is along the same lines. We only have one day at a time and just one life on Earth. We have to spend it accordingly.

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