Paying attention…

Posted on May 19, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I haven’t posted in a few days — Chez Cheese being a rather nutty place lately — but I was composing blog posts in my head while I painted and shopped and made endless lists.  I was going to come here and tell you all about how my life had become a never-ending attempt to cope with my quirks, all exacerbated by the stress of wedding + house guests + family visiting.

And then I realized: I was paying my attention in the wrong places.

Because there is a cost to attention.  Doesn’t focusing your energy on one thing cost you the ability to focus on another?  You decide the value of your experience by the attention costs you allocate.  And doesn’t “paying attention” really mean “spend time”?  When a child asks you to pay attention to them, they really mean they want your time and your energy.

I hate spending money and this last week is a flurry of writing checks and recalculating budgets.  My extreme budget goals are pretty much out the window; while our wedding spending remains pretty small, our total spending keeps going up as we prepare for 50 or 60 of our closest people to tromp through our house and property.  While choosing linens for our bed (because I’ll be getting ready in our master bedroom and it’s a total disaster), I found myself standing frozen with indecision.  I literally could not leave OR choose from three options.  I had to call my guy to pick (“Um, C”)!  Uncomfortable decisions can’t be put off any longer, so my main coping mechanism is off the table (procrastination).

I don’t want to be the Stressed Bride or the Meltdown Bride or the Too Worried About Details To Have Fun With Her People Bride.  I don’t want to, but I have been.  We had a big fight this weekend because we both forgot that people are more important than projects (even really big projects).

I want to get to a world where I pay less attention to the negative and more to the positive.  Where most of my attention goes into fun and people and happy things rather than to risk, rain and stress.  Will we always have problems or last-minute changes?  Of course!  Funny thing is, the better my experience is (or, said another way, the more my attention goes to good things over bad), the less of those problems I have… because it’s only a problem if you think it is.

It’s a shift in thought.  It’s not about the basement floor paint or the structural soundness of the hot tub cover.  It’s about attention: do the things that matter have our attention?  Our people all want us to be happy – so I need to be happy.  ‘Cause when mama ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy.  🙂

I’ll try to post again between now and Sunday, but until then, join me in this: when you’re stressed and upset and want to meltdown, REFUSE.  Choose to pay your attention to the joy of finding someone with whom you’re willing to hitch your future, to the people who have traveled from near and far to celebrate with you, to the shininess of your pink shoes, to the totally cheesy first dance song.

That’s right, we’re dancing to “Islands in the Stream,” people.  Beat that!


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2 Responses to “Paying attention…”

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I love, love, love “Islands in the Stream”. Great pick!

[…] So we chose “Islands in the Stream.”  Oh, yea! Dolly (who is pretty loved around these parts) and Kenny singing the cheesiest song ever… and one that we both apparently sang as five year olds.  With heart. […]

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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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