Thinking Small Leaves Room to Have Fun

We invited several friends for dinner last weekend. My usual mode when we’re having company is panic. There’s so much to do, I think. And what if it the food doesn’t turn out well?

I move on from there, to worrying about my dirty living room windows. And the unraveling corner of the dining room rug. And what about the back pillows on the sofa? They need to be restuffed! From the sofa pillows, I jump to the conclusion that our friends will think our house is a mess. That everything looks shabby. That I’m a negligent housekeeper.

All this before I even begin to cook. And once the cooking begins, it’s nonstop panic and anxiety. I won’t be finished on time. The food will be lousy. Nobody will enjoy themselves.

But last week, I did something different. I started small. On Thursday night, I completed preparations for the vegetable dish we were serving. And on Friday night, Stephen and I cooked the entrée. That left the guacamole, salad and desert for Saturday.

By mid-afternoon on Saturday, everything was ready. All that was left was setting the table and heating up and serving the food. I had time to relax before our guests arrived. And most important, because I hadn’t struggled with panic and anxiety all day long, I had plenty of energy to have fun.

Thinking small about our dinner party made it a complete success.

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