My Wedding day was not the best day of my life.
Yeah, I said it.
Don’t get me wrong- my wedding day was so much fun. I mean, I married my favorite person in the world, and I was surrounded by so many people who took time out of their lives to drive hours to watch it all happen. I ate some bomb food, danced with my favorite people, and left the night as the proud owner of a new (and significantly longer) last name.
But it was not the best day of my life, and that’s okay.
People start on us as little girls. They tell us about our wedding day and how special it will be- how it will be “the best day of your life.” When we get that engagement ring on our finger and we start talking to all of the overpriced vendors they continue promoting this idea. The photographers will capture “the best day of your life,” the planner will organize “the best day of your life,” and we all buy into it because that’s how weddings have been marketed for years.
But does anyone ever step back and think, “man, that’s a lot of pressure to put on a day.”
In the scheme of my own life, I would have to rank every single day of my honeymoon over the wedding, itself. This has nothing to do with the day, or who was there, or how everything flowed. It’s just the fact that my husband and I are both introverts, and there’s not a party out there that we would prefer over laying tanned/burnt by a pool while people deliver fresh al pastor tacos to our lounge chair.
I guess, the point is, if I had stayed bought into the whole “best day of your life” crap by the time August 4, 2018 came around, I would have been terribly disappointed.
If you’re really impressed by my wisdom and clarity through this, don’t be. I’m the absolute worst about putting pressure on days.
I live for holidays and for the traditions that come out of them. I put American flags in my yard and demand my husband grill while I make banana pudding every fourth of July. I have my Christmas tree up halfway through November every year. As a very proud Indianapolis resident, I even go all out for May in Indy flying checkered flags in my yard and spending most of the month at the racetrack.
I love holidays. I love traditions. But life really gave me a reality check on that these past few months.
This year, like every year, I had our entire Christmas holiday figured out. This year was going to be our first married Christmas with my family, and the familiarity of it all brought me butterflies. I knew exactly how the days spent in Alabama would go. I wrapped presents, and thought about homemade eggnog, a pancake breakfast, a prime rib dinner, and every other aspect of Christmas that I had grown to adore over the years.
About a week before Christmas, my husband landed in the hospital with a bad reaction to chemotherapy. What we thought would be a two-day stay ended up being a three-week ordeal.
On Christmas day I avoided social media like the plague. It hurt to see every single person’s traditions play out with all the people they cared about while we camped out in the sanitary confinement of the oncology floor.
When we were finally released, we returned to the only house left on the street with a Christmas wreath still hanging on the front door.
But you know what I learned from that whole ordeal? Christmas isn’t December 25. That’s just the day that the world chooses to celebrate it.
Christmas is the day that we all gather and celebrate the birth of our savior, and exchange gifts, and eat pancakes- and it doesn’t have to be confined to one day of the year. If you don’t get around to celebrating Christmas until March- it’s still Christmas.
We’ve had quite a few of these moments over the years. I’m embarrassed to think of all the pity parties I’ve thrown when my birthday shared a date with a Pet Scan or a radiation treatment.
But that is just how life is sometimes. Sometimes people are sick, or a pandemic strikes, or there is simply no way that the day that you marked on your calendar can host all of the awesome ideas that you have for it.
The fact is- a day is a day, and a holiday is whatever day you want it to be. The day that you CAN gather with the people you love, eat lamb, and hide Easter Eggs can be your EASTER.
The day that all of your friends can go out on the town to celebrate your birthday- CAN be your birthday.
Just because the day that culture tells you to celebrate something doesn’t work out the way you want- it doesn’t mean that the whole day is ruined forever.
The truth is- sometimes these “best days ever” crash under the pressure we put on them.
So during this season when parties are cancelled, holidays are missed, and events are rescheduled, try to remember that it’s just a day- and just because it is rescheduled or it looks a little different than you intended, doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be just as special.
This season when Easter looks a little different than the years before, remember that April 12, that’s just a day. Christ still died for our sins whether we wear our Easter outfits this Sunday or sometime in August.