Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Day After

It's official, I'm married! And yes, we were able to pull off the canoe wedding after all! The weather leading up to the day, including the day itself was unpredictable. On our drive up, we drove through a downpour when the skies darkened all around us. My stomach was in knots. Would we be able to pull it off? We had contingency plans, but considering how much time, effort, and money was spent to execute this canoe wedding, we didn't even want to consider it. Maybe positive thinking had something to do with it? Or maybe the fact that so many people were praying for a nice day. Either way, it turned out to be the most beautiful day for a canoe wedding!

It's the day after and I'm sick in bed aching, coughing, and stuffed up. I think the stress of everything has finally taken its toll. Despite the relief and thrill that everything worked out amazing at the wedding, I guess my body finally said enough. So instead of heading off on a honeymoon canoe trip, I am recovering at home. Actually, we both are, as Anita's toe was confirmed broken. So any notion of a honeymoon canoe trip was over awhile ago, sigh. No problem, we are just thrilled and happy everything worked out as planned, so for now, we are just going to stay home to recoup and relax.

I will have more to share in regards to the wedding later on. I don't have any pictures to share, because for once in my life, people were taking pictures of me rather than the other way around! Anyhow, based on feedback and the amazing comments I received, I am looking forward to the pictures with much anticipation as all of you! For now, I'm going to grab another tea and head to bed - with my wife!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Reflections Before The Big Day

10 more days to go before we 'paddle down the aisle'. Beside
 rings, we are planning to exchange paddles too!
Hoping for good weather!

I've been going non-stop with packing, dealing with lawyers (yes, plural), moving multiple times, visiting banks, wedding invitations problems, lack of funds (universal problem?), wedding plans, fees, deposits, lack of sleep, conditional closing dates,....the list goes on. I think you get the idea. I don't want to sound like a whiner, because many of you have experienced similar trying times and situations before a wedding, but those that know about our headaches, agree that ours are certainly more 'unique' and stressful.

I decided to take a break from working on the wedding speech and blog. It's funny how writing can be therapeutic and relaxing when you don't feel pressure and just write what's on your mind - like now. I've been thinking about my upcoming marriage and the parallels to canoe tripping. It's ironic how many similarities there are and the wisdom that can be gleaned from it.

I think it is apparent I love the outdoors. I've participated in many outdoor activities and have narrowed it down through the years to canoeing, why? Some of the answers are obvious, like the fact our country is a network of waterways that is best suited to explore and travel by canoe. But delve a bit deeper and you'll find I also enjoy canoeing because it is an activity that requires 2 people. Something about paddling, portaging, and experiencing the outdoors together gives me an innate and deep sense of satisfaction and appreciation. 

The canoe was conceived with 2 seats in mind and therefore is a vessel that is ideally propelled by 2 individuals. As we all know, each paddlers action or inaction affects the way the canoe behaves and therefore is crucial for both paddlers to work together in sync. To some degree, both paddlers can compensate for the other when things are not going perfectly, but ultimately, there are inefficiencies which can lead to other problems and issues. Doesn't this sound much like marriage?

The more I think about it, canoe tripping is like a life lesson in marriage. Any 2 persons that commit to a canoe trip is putting a lot on the line, especially if it is a long one. You are basically going to be fairly close to the other person for an extended period, and if you don't jive well, the trip is going to be a challenge to enjoy. Ultimately, the whole trip is going to be an exercise in compromise and relationship building. I know I've heard many people say how important it is to be an individual, (and it is) but when you're committing yourself to be close to someone for the long term, you have to compromise. It is a necessary component of a relationship. I can guarantee, if you are bull-headed and individualistic, there is little chance you'll find willing canoe partners, let alone meaningful long term relationships. Sure there are exceptions, but either one person is doing all the compromising or both are tolerating - sounds like a great relationship to me!

Ornaments like these should lend well to
the canoe wedding theme!

Canoe trips, like life has many ups and downs. How often do you have a perfect canoe trip, let alone see couples living perfectly in harmony. The vagaries of a canoe trip parallel those we experience in life, except due to the shorter time frame, things are often amplified, especially if you head out on a whitewater trip! Therefore, there is many similarities and parallels that can be transferred either from a canoe trip to life, or vice versa. Personally, I think canoe tripping is the ideal model for a partnership. I find it immensely satisfying when you work together with your partner to accomplish a goal. Some people may find dependence a weakness, but I certainly don't. It is an true and honest assessment of ourselves. (How often are we brave enough to admit that?) This bit of humility often goes a long way in helping to acknowledge the value of a partner and allow people to bond.

I've paddled with many people in my short lifetime and hope to paddle with many more in the future. But what I'm really looking forward to is this 'ultimate canoe trip' with my friend and partner Anita. All my life's lesson both on and off the water have boiled down to this big day, when I will be paddling the rest of my life with this person. Whether or not we are the perfect paddling partners is irrelevant. More importantly, we are the perfect partners to live the rest of our lives giving, sharing, experiencing and creating a lifetime worth of memories - which include actual canoe trips!

Now, if I can just get away on one!


Just when you think things couldn't get worse, it does. It looks like Anita may have broken her baby toe while we were moving. (I reminded her that door posts are usually stationary.) Yup, it's swelling up nicely and turning a myriad of colours, and of course she is hobbling and in pain. Sigh. At least she isn't walking down the aisle! When we get to land, I guess I could always 'portage' her!
Hoping for the best, considering!