When I played soccer oh so many years ago, I had a coach that would repeat the phrase “When in doubt, kick it out!”
As a defensive player, we were taught to move the ball from the center and clear it up field or, if we were in doubt, to just kick the ball out of the sidelines to give your team time to square up and get on defense.
Lately, I’ve had some doubts. Normal, healthy doubts about the big life change coming my way. I think a lot of people have them when they get mired in a pool of details and lace, flowers and invitation layouts.
As the to-do list gets shorter and the decisions get bigger, I become more prone to anxious overthinking and sleepless nights. Because my brain is all tied up in the costs and the size of this overpriced party, my heart has room to roam unchecked and without any logical supervision.
And in that freedom, doubt is uncovered and emotional anarchy takes over.
Internally I resemble a classroom where the teacher is out sick for the day and the students have taken over causing the substitute to cower in the corner, fearing for her life.
I need my logic back. And I need to address these doubts. They can’t just be tied up and swept away. The teacher needs to return and restore order while addressing the chaos unleashed while she was away. It’s can’t just be brushed over and put away. This needs to be talked out.
Or in my case, I need to write it out. To put my thoughts and feelings on the page and read them back to myself. A reminder of what’s flowing out of me as I sift through the concerns bubbling to the surface.
While I write it out, things come to light that I didn’t consider before. And sometimes just writing down what I’m feeling, giving it words and a description, can give me some validation.
My doubts come to focus when we are working in the area of the guest list. It fluctuates from conservative to outright the whole world. And finding a compromise has yet to be found. The bigger issue is not so much this one event but that in life, I see large parties and celebrations unnecessary and The Guy sees it as the only way to celebrate.
My family does not celebrate in a large way. We have small, intimate gatherings where the quality of the company exceeds the quantity. And there were the little special pieces of our birthdays that came every year: the story of the day we were born retold by our parents throughout the day, picking the place to dine for our special day, and a gift or two.
That was it. That was all we did but I never felt unimportant and lacking in that special day attention. I loved my birthday traditions! Picking the restaurant in which we’d eat that night was a big deal and hearing my mom tell my story was so special to me.
On the other side of the coin, more is better and so is bigger for The Guy. The guest list for a single birthday extends beyond the immediate family and includes cousins and friends and friends of the family. The food is unending and the drinks flow smoothly. People gather in groups and chat or laugh, all in the name of good times.
They’ve never had a bad turn out or a bad time but for an introvert like myself, it’s exhausting.
As we merge our two family traditions, we have yet to find a compromise. The Guy likes his birthday big and celebrated. I like mine small and cozy.
For me, less it more. For him, bigger is better.
Is there a middle road? Or can I find the energy to just go with it and prepare to plan party after party every year? Ugh…that makes my stomach turn.
And I wish I felt like my wishes were heard, like it wasn’t looked down upon that I honestly REALLY like my birthday celebrated in small ways. Hell, I was happy and excited about a small wedding in front of a justice of the peace! But in the end here we are, planning some huge to-do and I wish it was just something small and private.
At what point am I sacrificing too much to please others? And when am I pushing too much for what I want when what I want is not the norm?
There has to be a middle road. Until then I guess I’ll continue to write it out and work through all these complicated emotions.