When Is A Crisis Not A Crisis?

When is a crisis not a crisis? When the crisis involves envelopes. I have to say, I think I have remained relatively sane throughout the process of wedding planning. Despite my night sweats and terrors over whether or not we're going to be able to fit everyone into the venue. But that's been private (well, except for when I talk about it on the blog).

But yesterday, I had a sort of public meltdown over our wedding invitation envelopes. You see, the invitations to this wedding have definitely caused me the most agita.* In America there is certain etiquette, in England there is certain etiquette and I just couldn't make heads or tails of whether or not I should combine the two or have separate invitations. In the end I just did what I wanted, which was to take whichever bits of the whole thing I felt applied best.

The envelope crisis occurred when I neglected to order enough envelopes for both UK and US mailings and the supplier ran out unexpectedly. Why was I ordering separate envelopes? Well, this may be a lesson for another day, but I was trying to save money, which is not my normal operation mode. I should have applied my general rule to saving money which is not to try to cut corners but to instead only go out and buy what I need, no matter the price (within reason, of course). My hope is this should save me money in the end because I don't usually buy things I don't need.

But I didn't apply this method. For some reason, unlike the cost of food, drink and the dress, spending loads of money on paper invitations incensed me. So I found a design I really liked from a supplier that was amazingly cheap. Not surprisingly, the envelopes that came with them were crappy and I had to order some separately. And so, in this case, the panic ordering of about 150 extra envelopes yesterday has probably not saved me any money.**

Luckily, my friend came over to my desk and suggested something sensible and creative and calmed me down. This is where a crisis is not a crisis. I don't know what it is about me, but I'm sure this is true of many other people as well. It's the small things you think you can control that give you the most stress.

We've all had very bad things happen to us. We've lost loved ones, failed at jobs and had our hearts broken. And I'm not trying to say that these things aren't incredibly difficult and life changing. But I believe that it's the things we stress over day-to-day that are what makes us unnecessarily unhappy -- and yet these are things we can actually stop reacting to so badly. As Richard Carlson would say, we tend to sweat the small stuff.

Running out of wedding envelopes was indeed annoying, but if I hadn't become so crazy, ranting to all my colleagues over it, I could have thought with a clearer head, asked for some advice in a calmer manner and figured out a quicker solution without the drama.

A crisis becomes a crisis when we make it that way. We can't control everything, but we can keep things in perspective. All of which I really failed to do yesterday. I get one get-out-of-jail-free Bridezilla card, right?

*Agita is one of my favourite words ever. My mother uses it all the time – particularly when I was a child, as in, "you're giving me agita!". It is Italian in origin and literally means to have heartburn, but can be used as slang to describe a feeling of agitation or anxiety. Where my mom picked this up I have no idea, as she's from Wisconsin originally. I don't think I've ever really heard anyone else say it.

**The white envelopes I bought are of an amazingly good quality. I couldn't find replacement ones anywhere, but still ordered 150 extra ones in a variety of colors and styles to replace them (I only needed about 50). That is, until my friend suggested buying black envelopes (the invitations themselves are actually black) to go with the invitations, and use a silver pen to address them. Brilliant!

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