In all my time planning events it was always a challenge for me to just sit back and relax. Most of my professional career was so wrought with deadlines, managing multiple expectations and ensuring that nothing, I mean nothing, went wrong, that I was programed to always be wound up. I thought that this was just a side effect from my career but as I foray deeper into personal experiences with my own events and entertaining and those of my friends and family, I realize that stress and high expectations are actually just wired into us. And really, it’s expectations that we put onto ourselves. We want everything to be perfect and for our guests to have a fabulous time. The last thing we want is for someone to leave and think “well, that’s time I’ll never get back!”
It has taken years for me to settle my personal perfectionism when it comes to events and entertaining, and well, to be honest, I still worry about some minute details that others probably wouldn’t even give a second thought to. I have to constantly remind myself that it is only one event, that everyone will have a blast no matter what and that I really, really need to just RELAX. But, as we all know that is definitely easier said than done!
I’ve been to friends homes where not everything is perfect. All the elements are there, they’ve created a cool atmosphere but maybe one child Just.Won’t.Go.To.Bed, or maybe the appetizers are taking longer to cook than expected. And you know what, I don’t care. In fact, I relish in the ability to talk while things are being prepared, taking things casually and without pretense. More times than not, that old saying really is true….it’s not about what you do, but who you’re with. You see, the thing with events is that something, invariably DOES go wrong and the more I think about it, I don’t want to waste any more effort worrying or stressing about whether the wine was poured at the right moment or if every knife is placed perfectly on the table.
So, as you plan your get-togethers and parties this weekend remember to just let it go a bit. If things don’t go exactly according to plan, it’s okay. Having the best of intentions is what really counts. So, plan all the things that you need to (don’t forget the music, good food and drinks), but if time gets away from you, then it gets away from you. Adjust. Events are fluid things and being able to go with the flow will make it less stressful for you. Be confident that all your preparations will keep everything under control and trust that all your effort will make for a amazing time. Even if you forget to thaw out the dessert! Have fun.