There is a pile of clean laundry on the bed of our guest bedroom: three different loads of laundry that I completed 7 days ago, all dumped into a pile and never folded. Throughout the week, I removed pieces as needed, ironed them, and tugged them on while gathering my daily essentials and running downstairs and out the door. The cat has taken a few naps nestled between tank tops, leggings, and denim, leaving patches of shed fur in the pile, which will need to be removed later with a lint roller. Every time Kyle walks into the room, he glances at the clothing strewn about on the bed and he shakes his head. Each time I enter the room, I quickly grab what I need, and as I walk out I feel a pang of guilt for not having folded the laundry yet. Kyle’s biggest pet peeve is when I leave my clothes around the house. It has never been this bad before, and this time he hasn’t said a word.
To say I am busy would be an understatement. When people ask, I say it started last December, when Kyle and I got engaged six days before closing on our first home and fourteen days before Christmas. I have been busy for as long as I can remember, so the statement that it started last December is not entirely true, but this year has been one of the busiest of my life. For nine months I have been planning a wedding and settling into our new home. In that time I also committed to volunteering four hours a week at the South of the James farmers’ market, started a few freelance writing gigs, and contributed to a major project at work that demanded over sixty hours in one week at peak wedding planning time. I planned and hosted three large dinner parties, spent countless weekends in the Blue Ridge Mountains, tried to become a bicycle commuter, went on a relatively last-minute week-long business trip, had a lovely bridal shower and attended my own fabulous bachelorette party. I started trail running and completed three races this year, and I am looking forward to my fourth in November.
When you are juggling so many things at once, sometimes you run out of time and do not get everything done. Folding the laundry is a prime example. It doesn’t stop at the laundry though. I don’t write blog posts as often as I would like to. I’m relying on quick and easy ways to get fresh local ingredients onto our dinner table, which does not always result in the most novel or creative dishes. I don’t invent new recipes as much as I used to, and when I do, sometimes I forget to take pictures. We have been eating in our laps on the couch because my dining room table looks like a DIY wedding craft bomb went off right in the middle of it. I stay up a little later every night, I press the “snooze” button on my alarm a few more times each morning, I delay lunch while running errands or doing work until my blood sugar drops to the point that I can’t think straight until I get a sandwich, and I drive my car around for a few miles past the point that the “low fuel” light comes on.
Driving four hours round trip between Richmond and Afton to do wedding (and blog) related things really makes a dent in my weekend availability. Although it has drained a lot of my time and energy this year, after planning my Blue Ridge wedding for nine months, I am absolutely positive that I would not want to exchange vows with Kyle anywhere else. I drove alone to Staunton this Saturday to meet with the owners of Aioli restaurant, where we will have our rehearsal dinner. The leaves on the trees that line US-64 are just starting to change color. As I approached Charlottesville, the familiar deep blue mountainous skyline rose before me. Dance music blared through the car speakers as I zoomed past Charlottesville, loudly singing and driver’s seat dancing the whole way. Several to do lists raced through my head. I have compartmentalized my obligations as they pertain to different areas of my life to keep from going insane, but the lists are there nonetheless: wedding, home, work, writing, health, family, fun.
Slowly the lists began to fade away into the background and the gorgeous scenery wrapped around me, and I suddenly realized why I have endured being so terribly and wonderfully busy for so long. Why I continue to take on new projects and say yes to opportunities that I should probably let go. It hit me like three loads of laundry to the head: I am having the time of my life.
When you consider all the things that have happened to me and I have made happen for myself this year, it is apparent that I have been showered with blessings. I am so flooded with opportunities and achievements that I could easily drown, but I have managed to at least tread water. Call it karma, kismet or dumb luck, but I am somehow so fortunate that my more than busy life has been full of great things lately. So the laundry might not get finished, my coffee intake may continue to increase, and my blog posts might be a bit more sporadic, but I will be having a wonderful time. When you look at all the things that fill your time and consider them blessings, you can’t help but feel lucky.
My opportunities at work and in writing are not slowing down. Last week I challenged myself to do yoga every day and I am still going strong. I am marrying my best friend in twelve days. Kyle and I are flying to Colorado on October 22nd, where we plan to hike at our highest elevation yet. There is an 8k in Richmond on November 10th and I will cross the finish line. I will have Christmas morning at my own house for the first time this year. Tackling the GMAT just might be one of my goals for next spring. I am starting to plan a trip to New York as soon as possible because it has been way too long since I have spent a weekend in The Big Apple. . . The fun isn’t stopping any time soon.
Bring it on!