Life is Wobbly

I'm writing more these days.  Writing has been my "go to" since I was very young.  Diaries, journals, letters, contests, and in the past few years, my blog.

I first majored in journalism in college but quickly discovered that it wasn't so much about writing as it was about getting the story.  That involved talking to people.  So I didn't write much for a very long time and ended up with a career as a Speech Pathologist.  Helping other people to talk.  A better fit.  However, I missed writing so I'm back at it.

 I've tried my hand at fiction and non-fiction. I've not submitted anything for publication in years but I have some things in process.  This little piece is different than my usual but I'm putting it out there.  It's more for me than for anyone else.  Sometimes, just speaking up is important even if you have no idea if anyone is listening.

 " Life is wobbly," said my yoga instructor today as he encouraged us to be okay with wobbles.  He said it means we are learning how to let go and balance and grow.   Life has definitely been wobbly for us lately.  I'm trying to balance.   Practicing and learning as I go.  Finding my voice.  Standing up for myself.  Being brave. It's been scary and hard but I'm doing it.  Minute by minute.  Day by day. I've been here before.  I know how to do this.

This grey heron was balancing for the longest time down by the lake.  He stood there watching from a small limb for half an hour or so.  I was lucky enough to have my camera with me and caught this one.

There he is just lifting off.  I feel a bit like him only I'm still on that limb.  Balancing, watching, learning and almost ready for that lift.

 I've been writing more about issues that come up with grown-up  kids. This time of life is filled with college, travel, adventures, career choices, relationship issues, weddings and maybe even grandkids one day.  New roles for everyone as we grow into new stages of life.

An unexpected and difficult issue surfaced recently related to an upcoming wedding. In true unschooling style, I decided I'd turn it in to a learning opportunity.  First I went to therapy which eventually led me down the path of researching personality types,weddings, etiquette and on and on. Unschoolers reading here know how everything is connected.

 So. Much. Information.  I could probably write an entire series or book now.  I may call it  "Wedding Blunders and How to Avoid Them."

Let me just tell you, buddy, that there is a voluminous amount of information about weddings.  I was specifically looking at wedding invitation etiquette because I had this question.

Is it ever appropriate to ask for money as a condition for receiving a wedding invitation?

Google searches led me to information about when to send the invitations, how to choose the right invitation for the type of ceremony, how to word the invitation, and what font to use.  Nothing about my question.

Barnes and Noble has an entire section about wedding etiquette

Not one single sentence about tying money into wedding invitations for family or friends.  Why is that?  I am quite sure it is because it is not done.   It would be unkind.  Friends and family who know this story have used words like crass, tacky, rude, mean, and the occasional,"Are you f...king kidding me? "   I've tried to stick with unkind but yes..... all that

Etiquette and kindness generally go hand in hand. This is not only so out of the bounds of correct etiquette, it is also just incredibly unkind.

It says, "You're presence at this wedding is only wanted if you pay to be here."

Much simpler just to not invite those people.

In general, I try to avoid using the words " always" or "never" in my interactions with family and friends and in my writings about unschooling.  A better response is usually, "it depends."  However, for this question, I'm making an exception.

The answer to my question is simple.  It is NEVER appropriate to ask for money as a condition for receiving an wedding invitation..  Never okay.  Never. Never. Never.

If you accidentally or even on purpose made this mistake and you care about the people involved, the appropriate action is to make amends.  " I'm sorry."

If your family or friends contributed money to help you with some of the wedding costs, they did not do it in order to receive an invitation. They gave it with love.  Say, " thank you."

So two simple life skills here that apply not only to weddings but to most everything in life no matter what your age.

1)  I'm sorry (no excuses)    2)  Thank You

Wedding etiquette is really very simple.  Be kind.  Be welcoming.  People will not remember your colors or the decorations or the food or the dress you wore.  They will remember how being part of your wedding celebration made them feel.  It is simply a time of love and making happy memories with family and friends. No one should ever be treated as "less than".

Never is the answer about tying wedding invitations to money.

Kindness is the answer for most other questions.  About weddings.   About life.

If you need me, I'm out on the limb balancing for just a bit longer.  Won't be long now till I fly again.


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