Try to remember the best party you have ever attended. What made it so great? Was it the expertly arranged hor d’oeuvres? The desserts baked to perfection? The stunning decorations set up throughout the house? Did you have such a great time because the invitations were ordered and professionally made? Or the party favor was far beyond the standard price range? Oh, I know, it must have been that uptight host who cringed the minute you moved her obsessive compulsively placed pillow and sat on her couch, right?
No. And if it was, it’s time to get your priorities straight. It was the party at which being late wouldn’t be fashionable, but half an hour of fun you are not willing to miss. It’s your favorite because you hugged everyone there and they hugged you back with a mile-wide smile. It was the time you said “I have the BEST story for you…” then trailed off into a shaggy dog story cut off frequently by others’ input and laughter. Did you eat crackers? Pretzels? Chips? Fresh squid? Of course you don’t know, (well, the squid may have been memorable) the food was not important. What is important is that you were rolling on the floor at a friend’s story of tripping over her own feet while walking in public. You never wanted to leave and everyone wanted you to stay as well. Hours of laughter allowed the night to fly by. When you finally did leave, you were sad to go, but smiled and laughed to yourself the entire way home as you relived your blissful evening.
Why was it so great? Because, for those 5 hours, you were able to be yourself! You allowed your emotions to spill out as they naturally would. Instead of worrying about what to wear, how to stand and who was looking at you, you were engulfed completely in the moment, allowing yourself to be present to yourself and the other guests. A good party isn’t 2 hours of stress, it’s 5 hours of free therapy.