In the last few months, everything wedding-related has started feeling like a chore. I'm sure my posts have hinted at it, but I'm mostly just overwhelmed with all the responsibilities on my plate. The wedding tasks feel like an joyless slog and April is alternately way too close for comfort and an interminable ways off. Work is demanding more and more of my time and focus, and I arrive home exhausted. And then there's this blog... which I've been neglecting. As we get closer to the wedding, the challenges have become more personal and private, and finding energy at 10 pm to sort through them, let along write about them in a protective way, has been difficult.
Because of all this, I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving more than usual. I love holidays and rituals, because they give me the chance to step outside my everyday routine and really see it for a moment. They allow me to pause and assess whether I'm still moving in the right direction for my goals. And on Thanksgiving, in particular, I have a ritualized opportunity to reflect on all the things I'm truly grateful for.
This week, I wanted to take some time apart from my routine to focus on giving thanks for the muddled complicated glories of my life. And to start off that conversation, I wanted to say thank you to all of you. Thank you for reading, emailing, sticking by when the blog hit a lull or two, and for generally being such amazing wedding cheerleaders. I feel like I've found a strength here, talking with you, that's infused both my wedding and my everyday endeavors. I'm braver in my wedding choices. I'm more confident in imagining post-wedding writing schemes. I'm a bit more fierce about defending my needs and opinions and a bit more accepting of everyone else's. I'm also humbled by the outpouring of support, feedback, and genuine friendship that's grown out of these words thrown out to the internet ether.
Because I feel so grateful for all the support you've shown me, I really want to give something back to you. I've been holding onto my Amazon gift certificate prizes from the Wedding Channel competition, wondering how to best use them. Yes, "them." Plural. Because when you voted for me for best real blog, I won a $100 gift certificate. And then, when you voted again and again and again for best overall blog, I won the $1,000 gift certificate too. And I can't thank you enough for that. Beyond the shock and joy of it all, on a practical level, you've all contributed hugely to my financial sanity. For the last nine months, my computer has been dying a sad, slow death. I've been trying to coax it along, begging it to survive until after the wedding, when we'll have disposable income again. Unfortunately, my computer doesn't care about wedding budget timelines and decided to stop working. But, because of your voting, I'm able to afford a new computer now without panicking. I'll be able to stop borrowing Jason's computer to write blog posts or do work. I am so lucky and so darn grateful for all of you, for so many reasons.
I don't need both gift certificates - I feel blown-away lucky to have stumbled across one, let alone two. After all, I owe them both to you for reading and voting, and so it only feels right to offer the $100 gift certificate back as a Thanksgiving Thank You. So to enter the giveaway, please leave a comment telling me a moment when your wedding or wedding planning made you feel lucky or grateful. I know that some of you are still on the fence about whether your weddings were worth it, some are still glowing from the full positivity of the experience, and the rest of you feel pretty mixed overall. But I know there's something, someone, or some moment that hit you as important. So please share in the comments, any time from now through Friday, November 26 at 5pm, and you'll be entered in a giveaway for a $100 Amazon gift certificate. The winner will be drawn at random, and announced next week.