23. Managing The Unexpected

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Ok, we are in the final countdown to the wedding.  We are T minus 3 days.  Whhaaaat!!!  Whew!  So many things right now!  Lots of emotions running high and lots of last-minute things to do.  We aren’t quite done with our basement.  However, we know we technically have the time while Grace and Taylor are on their honeymoon to finish up.  We are close.  I’ll tell you that, but things always take longer than you expect them to and I’ve done enough projects and events to know that nothing goes off without something going unexpected, maybe little, maybe big, but something and the only thing we can control is how we are going to react to it.

That’s what I’d like to talk to you about today.  Even when you expect for things to take longer or plan for little things to go awry here and there, there are times when you can still be caught off guard and all you’re left with are your thoughts about it and how you want to show up.

I know that I’ve talked about watching your thoughts a lot.  Hopefully, not to the point where you’re rolling your eyes at me, like “here we go again!” But I am always learning so much through my life experiences and learning how the model that I teach really can change how you show up if you let it.  The model, that Brooke Castillo teaches, basically states that you have a circumstance.  (And this is something that you don’t have any control over, like the weather or what other people do and say.) And then you have your thoughts about the circumstance.  And from there is where your emotions come, followed by your behavior based on your emotions and then your result of what your getting out of life and how you’re showing up and it’s all tied back to your thought.

For example, my daughter, Grace and I went to our final walkthrough for her wedding with the venue a week and a half ago.  Our appointment was at 10 am and we got there and no one was there.  The door to the event planner’s office was locked and we were like, umm, did she forget?  So we decided we’d just go and look at the reception room again to refamiliarize ourselves and talk over our plans. 

Jumping back 6 months to when I called the venue and discuss the number of tables they had, they said they had 3 long farm tables, which are so pretty with the dark wood, and then 8 round tables that would need table cloths.  So we planned our centerpieces around those numbers with the farm tables having more ornate and costly decorations than the rounds, which we were going to keep simple. 

Ok, jump back to us walking into where the reception will happen.  The first thing I see are lots of farm tables.  My mind was like, what? I was almost thoughtless, stopped in my tracks for a moment because we were only planning on 3 farm table and now there were 7!  More than twice as many!  What is going on here?  Grace and I look at each other, kind of dumbfounded and then we decided to go back to the office to see if the event coordinator had come in yet.  She was there turning on her computer and getting ready for us. 

So I mentioned that we noticed there are now 7 farm tables instead of 3 and she said they’ve always had 7.  I told her that when I called and talked on the phone, I was told there were 3 plus one gift table. To which she replies, “I’d never tell you that.”  And I’m thinking I know I sat there, at my kitchen table, with my planner, and I wrote down exactly what she told me.    It seems like each time we’ve talked to them, they’ve changed information on us claiming they’d never say what we heard previously. 

So if you can imagine, I’m now thinking, I really thought we had everything cleared up.  What other surprises are we going to encounter?  Keep in mind, we are 2 weeks until the wedding.  I admit I was a little annoyed that they didn’t show up for our 10 o’clock appointment until 10:15 and then to find we now have 7 farm tables instead of 3 AND her acting like I’m crazy because she would never tell me 3 farm tables.  So at this point, I’m trying to keep it together and show up calm and professional as we continue to talk about all the final details and her saying, yeah, I’m sure that’ll work.  My stomach was in knots, bracing for other surprises thinking, “will that work?  Really, will it?  Will she change her mind again?”  We had questions and she acted like she knew the answers, but we knew she wasn’t sure. 

For example, our set up timeline is tight and they told us they’d be able to let us know a couple weeks before the event if we could add extra hours.  They wouldn’t be able to tell us until then in case a golf tournament was scheduled and if they’d need the reception room.  So we ask about extra time and she says there is a golf tournament, but it’s not very big so I doubt they’ll be using the room.  I’m sure you’ll be able to get a couple extra hours, but I’ll double check just in case.  She checks and the coordinator over the tournament comes out and says there is no way you can have extra time.  This tournament is huge and has 140 people and it’s been scheduled for six months now and they’ll use it the full time. There is just no way we can have extra time.  I’m thinking, if they’ve known about this tournament for six months now, why couldn’t they have told us this when we met five months ago and asked for additional time?  Now, I know things change and there are definitely parts of their job that I don’t understand so I’m just trying to see it from their side.  I just found it laughable at how our coordinator is trying to be pleasing and tell us we should be able to get more time and the other was like, oh no, that’s definitely not going to work. So my brain is just starting to collect more and more evidence that this could be a potential disaster day of.

To add to the evidence, we continue on with the appointment and previously we were told that at this final appointment we’d tell them what we wanted to rent from them so when I ask about it and start to go down our list of items she tells us, no, you just do that online, we don’t do that here. My daughter and I just kind of look at each other again, somewhat dumbfounded.  I am really trying to keep it together.  I don’t want to show up annoyed.  I know that I’ll regret it later if I allow myself to overreact.  I know that it won’t change the fact that the farm table number changed and that the rentals are done online and it won’t magically create a new time pocket for set-up.

Anyway, we wanted to take a look at the things they rent out in person because we know pictures online can be a little different, especially when you’re trying to get an idea of size.  So, we walk down to the room where they keep all their rentals and turns out some of the items that looked like black iron online are actually brown. And the candles that looked pretty online were a couple different colors and old-looking and faded and I’m like, nooooo!  The eucalyptus garland was not the pretty blue green eucalyptus and also looking pretty warn too.  I’m feeling my shoulders start to tense up as I’m adding to my list of things to do and buy and change. 

Have you watched the Disney cartoon Inside Out?  With all the emotion characters?  You’ve got the anger character who’s red with fire that shoots out of his head when he’s riled up.  And  then there’s fear who runs back and forth worrying all the time playing the what-if game, and disgust who’s green and finds everything wrong with everything.  Well imagine these three characters running amuck in my brain all at once.  Disgust is like, “I can’t believe she’s changing the story again and she doesn’t even care.” And fear is like, “What are we gonna do, what are we gonna do?  What if we can’t get what we need in time? Do we even have the time?” and anger is like, “ This is unacceptable.  Totally unprofessional! How much are we paying this place?”

And I think on the outside I look like I’m keeping it together not too bad, but when my daughter and I have a moment together alone I asked her if I seemed like I was annoyed and she shook her head and said yeah.  Dangit!  The model wins again.  I was annoyed and even though I wasn’t reacting how I was feeling inside, I was definitely acting annoyed and a bit short with the coordinator.

Now there are times that you’re not going to want to change your thinking and times when just changing your thought won’t resonate much because your brain is smarter than that.  We can allow our brains to run wild or we can temper them.  If you want to temper them, I try a few things. One, I try to see their side. It doesn’t work all the time, but it’s a habit that I’ve worked on to try and humanize the other person.  Two, I remember that I’m 50% a mess and 50% amazing and that means so are they.  Three, I try and find how all this is working in my favor.

Now, because I’m 50% a mess and 50% amazing, when I find out I’m acting annoyed, it’s good to know because now I can do a self-check and decide if this is something I feel I should be annoyed about?  And am I showing up in a way I won’t regret later? 

Also, as much as I was wanting to show up as calm and easy going, and I wasn’t, I’m still going to give myself a little compassion and decide that I’m human and I’m happy that I wasn’t allowing the angry monster that was yelling in my head to come out and rage and act uncivilized.  I can decide do I wish I’d acted differently?  And if I’d rather have acted different, what would I change?  How could I have looked at things differently to temper my thoughts more? This is a great rehearsal to prepare me for the next time something unexpected happens.

This, my friends is how we learn and grow and live the full human experience.  Sometimes we’re going to be amazing and sometimes, we’re just going to be messy.  With all the planning that’s gone into this wedding and all the ideas I have in my head, I’m still planning on hiccups here and there, but ultimately, I know that what matters most is Grace and Taylor love each other and no amount of crazy hiccups can happen to ruin the day unless I let it.  It will be a whirlwind a of fun and stress and joy and laughter and if I survive it, and of course I will, I will see you next week!

Until then have a fabulous day!


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