With my event calendar swapped out to my COVID-19 calendar, focusing on what week we were in and estimating how many more we had to endure, I’d finally hit rock bottom. Now in month #3, it feels as though my fuel tank is below “E”. With the reworking of postponements still in play, a few events remaining on the 2020 calendar (but not confidently),
I’ve noticed that my spirit has finally plummeted. I recently looked back to see at what point I had derailed. In March, I faced this pandemic challenge with such stamina and drive to get ahead of it, outrun it, and outsmart it while remaining strong and positive. Daily yoga and meditation practices were my fuel. Being married to a pilot and flight safety manager for so many years certainly influenced my preparedness and ease in managing worst-case scenarios. Yet in an instant,
I suddenly came to a screeching halt and was consumed with exhaustion.
In the brief stillness of a couple of stagnant and emotionally draining days, not being able to focus or to dig down any deeper for a late Zoom meeting, I turned my attention to my clients and all that they had endured these last three months as they watched their wedding day vision transform into compromised versions of the dream they had held close for so long. Together, we had worked so intently through last year and started this year with such promise, energy, and solidity. I felt guilty about the thought of complaining about my feelings even before the words left my mouth. Under our roof, we remained healthy, employed and plunked down in a sprawling rural countryside where social distancing is not hard to abide by. This reality check spawned an idea that took me away from my own pity party into a project that involved personal notes and packages for my brides and clients. Being practical-minded on one hand and also loving
a little glam, I decided to purchase vintage velvet facemasks. They were being handmade by a designer and manufacturer
of home furnishing linens and bedding and one of my all-time favorite local vendors, TL at Home. With an array of gorgeous colors to choose from, I was able to coordinate each velvet mask with their wedding and event color story. In embracing the dreaded PPE with some lux and thinking about lifting my client’s spirit, my spirit began to lift as well.
No sooner had I packaged up these velvet gems and began to get address labels organized for my big outing to the post office, did I receive one package from one couple, another package from another, an email note from another, a call from another, AND even an email from my 12 year old Bat Mitzvah client. “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Paula” was the overriding theme. Each in their own unique way, they touched my heart deeply by letting me know that my heavy lifting these the past three months did not go unnoticed, and standing alongside them, clearing a path for calm and decisive navigation, mattered and made a difference in their lives. These messages of gratitude were the chicken soup that my soul so desperately needed this week.
Our mutual outreach of gratitude in this particular week was so timely and poignant. In my life, witnessing how gratitude can shift a mindset and how active mindfulness practices can even change the course of one’s actions and life, it should not have surprised me. Yet in this moment, it was still so humbling and heartening to feel the spiritual impact of this gratitude exchange. Most importantly, the awareness that I was surrounded by a collective group of kind, intuitive and appreciative clients allowed me to focus beyond the losses of the year and toward the many personal gains — relationships that have deepened while working through these gloomy days together.
Cheers to grace, silver linings and most of all, my 2020-2021 clients!
T H A N K F U L L Y Y O U R S
W O R T H N O T I N G . . .
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough,
and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into
perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into
a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ― Melody Beattie