The Super Bowl (er, sorry NFL, the “Big Game”) arrives in Indy in a couple of weeks and I can barely contain my excitement. No, I don’t have tickets to the event itself, but you’d better believe I’m spending that weekend immersed in the fray surrounding it. Even better, my very good friend and her husband are flying to Indiana to join me for the celebration. We’re going to have so much fun!
Yet even as my eyes burn bright with anticipation, a curling tendril of fear has started to rise from my gut, threatening to quench the flame. They’ve never visited me before; what if I screw this up? What if they don’t like the things I have planned? Where should we eat? Will they be bored? Underprogrammed? Overprogrammed? How can I get this right?
I haven’t said a word to anyone about this niggling fear of mine, but somehow my friend must have sensed it. In a recent phone conversation, I was relaying some of my ideas when she stopped me dead in my tracks. “Tammy,” she said, “We are going to have a blast that weekend, but I don’t care what we do. You don’t have to entertain us. Remember, we’re coming to see YOU.”
My friend has never given me a better gift than lifting the burden from my shoulders as she did in that moment. In my planning frenzy, I had become so wrapped up in the idea that I had to impress her with a constant stream of fabulous events that I had lost sight of the most fabulous event itself: our visit. “Yeah,” I thought, internally nodding my head. “Yeah. That’s right. We get to talk and laugh and hang out. The rest is gravy.”
I do that a lot–get so wrapped up in the accoutrements that I forget to focus on the centerpiece. Whether it’s planning a party or a trip or a school project for one of my kids, I often work so hard on the trappings that the event itself roars past me while I’m looking the other way.
No matter what I plan, we’re going to have a great time. We’re still going to go to Indy and soak up the atmosphere, but the exact details of where and when and how no longer loom as large over my head. Wherever we watch the game, we’ll be side-by-side, cheering (or screaming) loudly, clinking our glasses and munching on goodies. Every now and then, we’ll turn and grin at each other, just because we can–because she’s there. That’s what this is all about, and after that phone conversation, I’m even more excited.
Don’t ever forget why you’re doing what you’re doing. “Getting it right” may not have as much to do with the things you think it does.
I had a similar experience last November when a friend from Chongqing, China was to stay at our home for a couple of days. I finally figured out that he wanted nothing but to enjoy his Indiana “family” and was most interested in just experiencing our day-to-day living. He also had tons of enjoyment watching us open several gifts he brought to us from China. Who would have guessed… We just make it too complicated.
Sometimes we just make things too hard. Thanks for the feedback!