“I can’t handle all of it.” I whispered that first week to myself as I laid in bed thinking of everything I had to do. That should have been enough of an indicator to me that I needed to delegate and ask for help. But no. Once again I had to let all of my responsibilities pile up until they became an overwhelming clump of hot mess.
Wedding planning is hard enough. House hunting is too. Doing both simultaneously is absolutely impossible. Yet, somehow, I thought I could make it happen. All of it. But lately the pressure is weighing more heavily. The process is becoming too much. Just the other night I told my fiancé that he could plan the wedding, and that I was in no place emotionally to handle the responsibility. Through tears I expressed how much I absolutely hated wedding planning. Despised it. I listed off the better uses of our money. Gift cards and wedding gifts weren’t going to pay our taxes or my health insurance.
I sat in my livingroom this afternoon looking at the piled up boxes and wondering about how overwhelming it all felt. Other women could handle this. Surely I could too? But looking at those boxes and knowing I had no home yet to move to stricken me to nothing but a shell filled with anxiety and desperation.
It wasn’t like I wasn’t trying to do it all though. I mean, I recently put an offer on a house. A quiet little three bedroom Colonial on a nearly forgotten street. My offer was a bit late, because just the day before another individual had put in an offer as well. The seller is out of town, and I’m told because my offer is cash and close to asking price, that I stand a very good chance. A previous potential buyer has scarred the seller by not being able to get a loan, only two days before closing. So my offer is even stronger, but I don’t find out by the end of this week if I have a home to move to or not. The pressure of the wait is crushing. So all I do is pray, and hope for the best while staring down the boxes piled up in my livingroom.
Not having a place to settle myself puts a bit of a damper on my wedding plans. Not having a location to gather myself and put all my decorations, my dress, and collect my thoughts has made planning feel like chaos. I haven’t even found a reception venue yet.
I have no idea what I’m doing.
I’ve found some solace in reading. In preparing for marriage I’ve taken time to find books that will help me prepare “for better or worse.” I recently finished one of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages books and now I’m halfway through Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge, which is an excellent Christian book about sexual and emotional intimacy, and how to protect it for and within the confines of marriage. That’s things take my mind away from my immediate housing and wedding planning struggles and have helped remind me that God is in control, and that it will all work out no matter how things feel as long as I’m actively seeking to do the right thing. Still, with so much worry in my heart it’s hard to be calm long enough to really know what’s right. I listen but struggle to hear. There’s so much noise. So much fear. After I set down those books and the distraction is gone, I am alone with my present reality: that I have so little control.
Self-help books are such easy distractions. My personal views and attitudes I can control to a degree. Self-help books make you feel like you’re being productive even while you’re sitting idle. With the anxiety issues I have I often take reading up to help occupy my mind and give my tired and anxious brain a rest. It’s when those black and white words are put away and you’re staring at the pile of boxes in your living room, the dishes that remain in the sink unwashed, and realizing that you still have a wedding to plan that you realize how unproductive you are. All the self-help in the world can’t make that happen unless you choose to make it happen. The monochromatic pages of text become the awkwardly shaped Aldi bag full of closet odds and ends, colorful boxes full of towels and bedding, grey book spines. No more black and white. So much color. So much grey.