I was chatting with some friends the other day about our weddings, and we all tried to think of our favorite moment of our respective wedding days. There were many wonderful moments that I cherish about my wedding day, but having to pick only one, I decided that it would have to be after our wedding ceremony when my husband and I were having photographs taken outside the reception hall before we made our official grand entrance as husband and wife. The caterers had brought us a tray of hors d’oeuvres and two flutes of champagne, and as the photographer was setting up, we began practicing our first dance. It was a warm, sunny spring afternoon, the sun reflecting off the nearby lake, the caterers had made themselves scarce and the photographer was off to the side, and my new husband and I were in each other’s arms, humming and laughing together as we waltzed under the gazebo.
It was a wonderful private moment of peace between the chaos of the ceremony and the chaos of the reception (happy, well-organized chaos, but chaos nonetheless). It was an island of calm amid the racing streams of hustle and bustle that comprised the rest of the day. It refreshed us both enough that we could relax and enjoy our reception and our time with friends and family.
The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to take – or make – those moments of calm in the middle of our busy lives. And I realize how little time it takes to stop and refresh myself. Something as simple as getting up when I wake up at 6:00am instead of tossing and turning for half an hour until I’m “supposed” to get up and sitting in my quiet kitchen enjoying a cup of coffee before the rest of the house wakes up. Or leaving 15 minutes early for a meeting so I can sit in the parking lot listening to classical music. Or putting off the grocery shopping when my son wants to sit with me and read me a book. Or going to bed half an hour before I really need to go to sleep so I can snuggle and chat with my husband without the distractions of email or the phone or the television or the dirty dishes or the buzzer of the dryer reminding me that there’s laundry to be folded.
Islands in the stream of life. Find them. Make them. And enjoy them.