A Lesson from the Royal Wedding

Jermaine & Shawnta Barnes dancing at their wedding on August 5, 2006.

I, like many people around the world, tuned in to watch the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  I know many people would be surprised to learn I watched this wedding especially knowing that I didn’t make much effort to plan my wedding and I delegated most of the responsibilities to other people because I was never that girl that dreamed of a fancy wedding. I didn’t even think marriage was in the cards for me.  I mainly watched this wedding for comparison purposes.  April 29, 2011 was when Prince William married Kate.  The only reason I know this date without consulting Google is because this was my due date for my twin sons.  Instead of being born in spring near their due date, my sons were born during winter in February.  They came home from an eight week stay in the NICU during the beginning of April.  On the day of Prince William and Kate’s wedding, I propped my fussy boys on my bed and watched the wedding.

Unlike some people who were caught up in the fact the Duchess is biracial and an American, I most noticed her family dynamic and discussions people were having about it.  She only had one family member in attendance at her wedding, her black mother.  Her white father was scheduled to walk her down the aisle, but backed out due to health issues.  Being a blood relative does mean you get automatic entry into someone’s life, even during big occasions and I can relate; I did not invite all of my family members to my wedding.  My husband and I have been married for eleven years and some people still bring up the fact that they weren’t invited to our wedding.

As I think about May being National Mental Health Month, I think about the importance of self care.  Self care includes not surrounding yourself with people who bring you stress and negativity even if they are your relatives.  It might be tough to distance yourself from relatives or even former friends, but maintaining a relationship with someone when it is full of drama, causes stress, and interferes with your mental health is much worse.

I think we should all take a page out of the Duchess’ book and take care of ourselves and enjoy our big and little moments in life free from people who aren’t good for our well-being.

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