My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. For weeks leading up to the big day, we contemplated what we were going to do. A trip to Paris, or maybe to Sedona, or somewhere in Virginia? We knew that we wanted to do something different than we had done before, something worthy of such a momentous occasion. In the end, we decided to go to New England. We had wanted to take a trip there for several years but could not find the time—so now would be the perfect opportunity.
I was very excited as I planned the details of our excursion. We decided that we wanted to privately renew our vows to each other, setting our intention for what we would like our next 25 years to look like. A waterfall recommended by a friend would provide the perfect backdrop. I bought a simple white dress to wear for the occasion. I searched the Internet for the perfect sterling silver jewelry with Celtic symbols for eternal love and soul mate that we could exchange to commemorate our silver anniversary. Everything was perfect in my mind!
The first kink in the plan came when I was unable to find the jewelry pieces I wanted for us to exchange during the ceremony. Then, the day before our anniversary it poured down rain. The ground was saturated and muddy, making the prospect of wearing a white dress highly unlikely. Instead of my husband lovingly helping to plan our day and being as enamored with our marital milestone as I was, he was watching fishing videos. I lost my voice. Things continued to quickly unravel. Instead of the loving, romantic feelings towards my husband I had anticipated, I became upset with him for putting so little thought into our anniversary—and I told him so.
My romantic visions completely dissipated into a full-blown argument!
I shared with my husband everything that I had planned for our anniversary and how disappointed I was feeling both in him and the circumstances around us. He looked at me and said,
“Ann, I am simply happy that we are waking up next to each other after 25 years.”
His statement completely shifted my perspective as I realized how much attachment and meaning I had put on this anniversary. It should be so special and romantic, it should look like this, etc. I had placed so many expectations around the anniversary celebration that I had lost sight of what was truly important—the fact that we were together.
With the clarity of my realization a weight lifted—the weight of my expectations.
I freed us both from my expectations and the energy between us quickly improved. I saw that by generating so much attachment to my vision of our anniversary, I had taken away it’s true meaning. By planning and controlling how the day should and would look, I had not been open to the gifts that could come from allowing it to unfold naturally. Ironically, by letting go of control, a.k.a. my expectations, we had an anniversary that exceeded my expectations, a day filled with love, fun, new memories and, most importantly, each other.
I have found time and again that when I let go and trust in the perfection of the moment and allow room for spontaneity, things turn out far better than what I could have imagined!
Ann Darwicki RN is a Certified Professional Life Coach who completed her training at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She is the owner and founder of Whole Being Coaching, specializing in coaching others to live the life of their dreams. Prior to becoming a life coach, Ann obtained as Associates Degree in Nursing from Delaware Technical and Community College. She has 25 years of nursing experience caring for women and children, with a life long affinity for holistic medicine. She is a Reiki practitioner and Nurse Luminary. She is also a freelance writer. She can be reached at 302.750.0574 or by email at email@example.com.