At long last, I have started a blog, where I can write as much as I damn well please! (I've a history of writing long emails which has oft annoyed my bosses in the past. My distrust of authority led me to rebel...I am stubborn.) So although I haven't always taken the advice given to me, here I am about to dole out my own--quite unsolicited, too! Bear with me, lovers & friends.
I have chosen the title "Sage Advice" and yes, the pun is intentional; how could I have a blog, with my name, and not call it "Sage advice"?!) My blog will be where I discuss topics related to events (designing them, planning them, coordinating them, and reviewing them) as well as perhaps some topics not quite clearly connected. My mind often strays into tangents, but I hope to bring the train back on track for you so that we take a trip together. This blog will show my perspective, which is all I can give, but I hope to add good information, a dose of humor, a dash of snark, and certainly my advice -- whether it's wise (sage) or simply mine (Sage), will be your opinion!
A note: if you don't want to read swearing, or about my liberal politics or my ardent support of LGBTQ+ rights, then just go now, please. You're quite welcome if you disagree with me, but understand who I am. This blog is for my friends. :)
Here's my first piece of Sage Advice: It's okay to be happy, even when everything around you falls to pieces. It's okay to become a puddle of tears when you think of the devastation in the world. Also, you're okay if you just sit on the couch feeling blah because blah blah blah. As the book title reads, "I'm okay, you're okay," (or something like that).
Learning how to be in the middle of a #pandemic doesn't come with instructions (yes, various government orders and CDC guidelines, but they don't tell you how to stay productive when #WFH or what happens when you forgot to mute your latest #ZoomCall and got yourself in quite a pickle with the office!). When you're in a relationship, navigating this new world is just a bit harder or different or, at times, easier. If you're lucky enough to be sheltering together (which not everyone has had the chance to do), you have a partner to talk to and cuddle with. A significant other can listen when you vent, run to the corner market when you are out of coffee beans, and stand next to you when you applaud our frontline workers. Spending all this time together can be a window into a different future together, one in which you spend every waking moment within just feet of one another, presenting you with new opportunities to practice communication, boundary-setting, and sharing chores. Needless to say, sheltering together also brings its share of cabin fever, disagreements, and a desire for alone time. Not all is rosey, but if you are with a partner that you want to be with long-term, we'll hope that most of the time together is positive.
Since I'm guessing a big portion of my audience is made of engaged couples, what does sheltering-in-place mean for your #weddingplans? Even though some locations have begun to "reopen," limits on guest counts and concerns about new outbreaks have changed event plans even for those who are no longer staying at home. Planning a wedding is stressful and comes with around 18,000 decisions to make...I've not counted, but I like that number and it's probably pretty close! If you're feeling less productive, less energetic, and possibly a little less fit after hanging on the couch for the last three months, I hear you; I understand. New circumstances in your home life, combined with the trauma felt by so many Americans and global citizens, plus anxieties regarding work and for your loved ones can mean that trying to plan a wedding gets pushed to the back burner. We don't even know if your wedding will still take place in 2020, right? Will we go back into shutdown mode this Fall? Likely, but nothing is truly certain. Couples are changing their minds about what is most important to them: a large gathering or getting married soon, or simply thinking through each detail more carefully because each decision seems so weighty, so important. You want to get married, but you want to keep your family and friends safe. You were really hoping for photos without masks. I get it, this is not what anyone wanted, and it's hard to plan a festive occasion when shit just isn't right.
Here's the good news, though. If you are #engaged, you have found your person. The one who has been sitting next to you on the couch, creating TikTok videos or baking bread, someone who has heard your frustrations and has held your hand. If you two aren't certain of when you'll get married, or who can safely attend, or if it still makes sense to spend a lot on a lavish affair, that's okay! Be indecisive! Sit with your feelings, acknowledge them and let them be...just maybe pushed over into a quiet corner while you think about something else. When you (and your partner) are ready to talk about when to #marry and what your wedding will look like, I want you to feel a sense of calmness in your choices. A sense of certainty that you are making the wisest decisions possible, considering the health and safety of your guests as well as your own.
For example, if you know in your heart of hearts that you won't be happy unless your mom is there physically at your wedding, then by all means do what you can to wait until she can make it to you or until you can go to her. Wait for that hug from mom face-to-face, rather than via FaceTime, if that's what you need most; wait until it's safe. Not everything can be done virtually. When you make a decision based off of what is healthiest and safest for all, while acknowledging what is truly important for your wedding plans, the other pieces will fall into place.
If, on the other hand, you and your partner decide that being a legally wed couple is most important to you, focus on that! Get married, and do what you can to ensure the ceremony is tailored to suit the two of you. You can still have photos (photographers usually stand more than six feet away, anyhow) and you can throw a virtual party for friends & family if you wish. (That's not required, either -- it's all up to you!). There are a lot of awesome #VirtualEvent ideas out there, and I'd be happy to help you plan something that your friends & family from Boston to Bangkok will feel like they were really included in, where you all feel connected but still keep everyone safe.
I can't decide for you whether to do a small event now & a big party in a year, or if you should hold off until you have a better sense of the future. What I can say, though, is that nothing is going to be perfect (it never was, darling), but it should feel right somehow. Thankfully, when you have a great partner, the support you need is by your side. Hold on tight. It'll be okay.
Lovers & friends,
Thank you for reading my very first blog post! There will be more to come from this gal who loves to write (more than editing). Be well, love well, and do good.