30 days of minimalism

The after effects of six months of thirty days before thirty were rather enlightening, if I had to sum it up in one word.  Enlightening; because I learnt even more about myself as I planned one of the milestones of my adult life.  My wedding.  Thirty days of deprivation and addition was the build-up to my thirtieth birthday, the aftermath was the build-up to my character.  You see, I don’t think that anything can quite prepare you for a day that has had much weight added to it by everyone other than the bride and groom.  I mean, when one decides to commit to one person ‘til death does one part, it is a big deal.  But the act of getting married should be as natural and relaxed as a butterfly on a gentle breeze.  Yet, it isn’t.  The mother of the bride wants three pairs of shoes (for the bride, on the day), the gran of the groom has great ideas but is just a little out dated on pricing and purchasing, the groom wants an elephant cake, and the bride just wants world peace.  It gets hairy, like at a beauty spa hairy.  From an angle that you don’t want to see hair from.

Being the bride, only the most important person at the wedding (other than the groom, of course) there were a few times when I wanted to scream: “Are you sure you want to be complaining and tantrum-ing when it’s not even your big day?”  And yet, there I quietly sat gnawing on my tongue whilst soothing and pulling the divas in for hugs.

So I did learn that the strength within Perrin is far mightier than her imagination.  I thought not eating meat for 30 days made me a little cooked in the head. Nay, it was the mother of the bride who nearly did my head in.  I suspected that 30days of meditation would put me on the same plain as the meditative greats – one times day of matrimony and I could easily be called a saint for smiling the entire time and not punching a bridesmaid, whiny guest, bossy aunt in the face, with my bouquet tambourine.

Yes, the six months leading up to my thirtieth was preparative for me, because I was so immature when it came to getting married (you see, I’d never actually gotten married before so how does one really know) that I really did need all the mental and physical stamina I could muster.

The fact that I abruptly stopped doing all forms of meditation, art and meat free-ness once I’d hit the dirty decade, didn’t bother me too much, I had a December wedding to plan.  Luckily I did keep up the exercise and I did mentally chide myself every time I ate meat – but that doesn’t really count.  But something did infiltrate my very being and I’m convinced (with hindsight) that something in me was practicing 30 days of minimalism during the month leading up to our wedding.  I suspect this because I detested the idea of anyone going bankrupt in order to pay for one day in my life.  I digress, but I understood my mom’s point of view and everyone else in the “It’s the most important day of your life and it has to be perfect for you” camp.  I understood it, and detested it too because sometimes it felt more like “It’s the most important day of your life and it has to be perfect for me.”  This sucked a bit.  And the more I experienced, the more I understood how it all worked.  You see, people don’t get married to show each other that they are committed to, and love each other.  People get married for everyone else’s sake.  For granny who can’t bear the idea of a couple living together out of wedlock, for aunty who really still likes the ex-girlfriend and is convinced that he still will get back together with her, for brothers who still think their little sister is a kid, for father who hopes that he did right by his son and really taught him how to be a man, for friends who feel like their group needs to progress to the next level as a whole, and so the list goes on.  And as we got closer to our ‘big day’ I grew calmer in all this new-found knowledge.  But Baby, unfortunately, Baby got more irritated with the interferences, which made it even harder for me to stay calm (the movies always portray an edgy bride; you can only imagine what a testosterone laden edgy bridegroom is like).  But back to my actual point at hand – the minimalism.

You see, with all the heated, loaded conversations, the more I tried to explain that I desired simple, minimal table décor, dress and accessories, the more my mom suggested three pairs of shoes, two wedding cakes (so that we could all have our own way), and tons of cut flowers (because you can’t only have live lollipop trees on the tables) the more I realised that the idea of minimalism needs to be trained at a mass institute.

With all that in mind, I feel that thirty days of anything must be darn easy in comparison and so, I have decided to continue in that line of thinking and continue with an endless supply of thirty days.   I think that my first achievement will be thirty days of true minimalism.  Here, I will endeavour to not let food go to waste, not even the crusts from the bread.  Water must be considered too, along with rethinking how to reuse my bath water for our washing.  No more bag lady for me (truly I walk into the office and people call me bag lady due to the fact that I have a laptop rucksack, portfolio bag, handbag, and lunch bag on my person).

And even though I was spoilt by rocking up to my wedding in a limo, courtesy of my brother who wanted to surprise me in a big way, and even though we had plenty cut flowers, cake and food that ashamedly went to waste after the fact, I know that some part of my being will one day be capable of achieving minimalism even though I loved every single minute of my sort of over the top wedding day.  I loved it because I too got sucked into the excess and hand wrapped tissues and tied them with bows for the ladies in the front rows, I also bought in to the craze by purchasing fifty rolls of ribbon which means I will have to wrap every single birthday present I give with my wedding colours, and we have enough sequins fabric (that I don’t really know how we will re-use) but I’ll be damned if I let it go to waste.  Perhaps I will have a “thirty days of using all the stuff I horded”, right after I celebrate “thirty days of minimalism” again.  But I will only start that when I get back from my honeymoon because packing lightly for an unknown beach destination is a hard thing to do when one has so many scarves and sun hats in one’s possession.

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