Letting Go…

Some of you may have noticed my absence on these pages for the last 5 days. It doesn’t sound long and in fact it’s only three blogging days I have missed but that’s pretty unusual for me. Other than public holidays, I’ve not taken a day off from FF even when I’ve been on holiday in the almost 2 years since I started.

Image via RocketRicTic

This weekend was a big one for me – it was my best friends Hen Do. Charged with much of the organising I wanted to make it fabulous – not least because my hen do remains one of the best weekends I have ever had. When else do you get to have a weekend that is all about you, doing your favourite things, with your favourite people? I’ve said before here that I’m not particularly orgainsed and I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, it’s more that I try to squeeze too much into too little time. As a consequence there was no way I was being under prepared and had been ordering the necessary things, making bits for the goody bags and planning the schedule for weeks – especially as I didn’t want to be frazzled either, but free to enjoy it. The piece de resistance was the Mr and Mrs game. Instead of arranging for Jess’s fiance Dan to answer the questions on paper, I filmed him answering the questions and edited it into a 20 minute video – about 8 hours work in all and on Tuesday night it was all ready to go. Pete and I have made a few other DVD’s of family occasions and I usually leave the burning to him, so on Tuesday night I left it in his hands and started burning hen mix CD’s, designing stickers for them and other things that needed completing.

And there begins a catalogue of disasters. First we found the software (iDVD) required to burn the DVD wasn’t on my MacBook (usually we do these on the iMac) as Apple are apparently phasing it out. We found some downloadable software online called Burn and tried that instead but by Wednesday night it was clear that wasn’t going to work out either. We tried transferring the project over to the iMac and in full disaster fashion, the footage corrupted and iMovie completely bit the dust, the Mr and Mrs video with it. In floods of tears at 12am on Wednesday night and with pre-made wedding related appointments made for Thursday I bit the bullet and decided to start again, editing the whole thing again from scratch. I got to bed at 3.30am, with about an hours work left to do. Although I was shattered, I managed to get to all the appointments, and finish the video and pack before I went out at 5pm to a make up trial with Jess for the wedding. I left the DVD again with Pete to burn to disc and still a little tense but happy I was almost there, Jess and I went to dinner, where we met Pete and Dan for a pre-hen night. As soon as Dan and Pete walked in I knew something was wrong. Cryptically asking if he had ‘done it’, their faces looked like they had something awful to break to me. Eventually as Jess was powdering her nose, they told me that the creaking, 4 year old iMac had run out of memory, which it had done earlier that day and I had moved some files around to resolve it. What I hadn’t realised is that in moving the video clips that iMovie needed to reference to write the DVD, I had once again corrupted the whole project. Cue complete melt down from me when I got home and Jess was safely out of the way. In all the chaos so far I still had outstanding (albeit small) tasks to do. There was no way I could do the whole thing again, get everything else done, then drive all the way to Bath the next day and function properly for the first night of the hen. In the end Pete saved the day and I finished all the hen stuff while he stayed up and long after I was in bed he woke me up brandishing the DVD. What can I say, he’s a keeper 🙂

I suppose this might all sound a bit dramatic and perhaps over the top in terms of what I did for the hen. I know that it shows just how important it was to me though and when you’re juggling a lot of balls, sometimes something has to give. This time it was the blog and in some ways that is an achievement for me. I’ve spent a lot of years blogging now and that has included a lot of late nights, tired days and times when my family of friends have come second. I know that in the last 2 years my perspective has hugely shifted and now they are top of the list rather than bottom. Just because the people you love will wait for you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them a bit more respect. And I respect myself enough to know that I deserve not to be tired after putting in so much effort and being so excited; That I sometimes need to let one of the balls drop and then not beat myself up about it.

One other good thing that has come out of it was the overwhelming amount of supportive tweets, facebook messages and emails I received and I want to say thank you to all of you who sent them. Although the blog isn’t a professional one, I do feel a massive sense of obligation. By having set the benchmark at 5 posts a week I feel I have to keep that up. I know how disappointed I am when my favourite bloggers take a day off for some reason. It’s easy if a post doesn’t receive many comments after I have stayed up late writing it the night before to feel that there’s no one out there who really cares, and that the effort I put in goes unnoticed, but it’s nice to know you do!

I guess I shared this not only to explain my absence but to remind all of us that sometimes letting go is the best thing you can do, not the failure we anticipate it to be.

Over the next week or two I’ll be sharing the hen DIY’s I made and some of the things we did. The weekend was epic, totally worth the tears and lack of sleep, and all the better for me stepping back and having one less thing to stress about. Thank you guys!


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