Yesterday was a special day for our family. After facing serious adversity over the past four years, including a stroke last September, our son Preston graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Boy, were we looking forward to that ceremony. But here's a glimpse of our view during the grand processional. The arrow points to our son.
Just barely visible beyond that grey and white umbrella.
At least the umbrellas around us didn't completely obscure our view. And thank God we had our own umbrellas, so at least we didn't get completely drenched during the speeches. We got awfully damp, though.
I had worked hard to style my hair just perfectly for the big day. . . and look at it, just laying there in an auburn mess.
And so much for the beautiful photos we'd planned to take by the Old Well or the Bell Tower. We were lucky to get this indoor shot of our whole family.
Nothing like the glare of fluorescent lights to produce the best family portrait. Oy.
For some reason, I've recently noticed a lot of posts and articles about ways to insure that special days go just the way you want them to. There are Pinterest boards and Facebook groups and myriad other forums for exchanging tips on how to have the perfect wedding, the perfect party, the perfect birthing experience. You name it; there's a plan for making it perfect. In perhaps the worst example I've seen, one British travel company even offers a cloud-busting service to "guarantee perfect wedding day weather."
Can you imagine? I think we might have gotten out of control in our desire to be in control.
As much as I understand the desire to control circumstances, particularly on special occasions, it occurs to me that this pursuit is not very good training for life. In real life, there will be lots of rainy days. Lots of letdowns. Lots of disappointments. Lots of less-than-perfect photos.
Rather than spending all our time trying to control circumstances, I think we'd be better served learning to control our responses to circumstances. Rather than investing our resources in trying to prevent letdowns and disappointments, we should learn that disappointments are a part of life--but they don't have to ruin our life.
Yesterday's cloudy skies reminded of this old poem, dearly loved by my mother and grandmother:
*Click here for a printable copy.*
The road to our son's graduation was not a smooth road, that's for sure. His graduation day didn't boast blue skies. But things don't have to be perfect to be beautiful, right?
Beautiful sounds good to me.