I had a new experience today, one I've never had before. I threw a party without making myself crazy.
I've hosted parties before (before the long isolation) but they were incredibly, INCREDIBLY stressful affairs. From the planning ahead of time to the setting up to the music, food, decorations and then into the event itself and all the duties of playing hostess. I can vividly recall running around all evening checking- does everyone have drinks? Should I bring out this food item? Does everyone have a seat? Is everyone participating in the party game and having fun? I was like a hummingbird running on anxious energy and constantly zooming around all evening. (And I'm sure I made any empaths that happened to be there incredibly anxious by proxy.)
I thought, I hoped, I planned for this to mark a new era for me. One in which I would host a whole lot of get togethers (both formal and informal) without being a hummingbird. An era in which I could be that laid-back person who actually enjoyed the company of their guests. An era in which I could, oh, I don't know- party at my own party.
Well, I think I did it tonight. Yes, I was a bit anxious running around before- picking up food and drinks, setting up the space, whatnot. And yes, I felt a bit stressed as people started to arrive in earnest- feeling the need to give tours, show everyone where the food was, where the drinks were. Offer things. And yes, technically I did start a fire (because checking that the oven is empty before turning it on for the first time is just not something that occurred to me- but thank god we addressed the situation long before anything catastrophic occurred).
But, BUT- I didn't freak out. I wasn't the hummingbird. I actually- gasp!- had fun! I ate. I drank. I had genuine conversations with the majority of my guests. I played games and laughed hysterically.
And no, I'm not going to claim that I never worried. I wondered if I missed someone. I checked on a few people a few times. I realized that sometimes I got distracted and was not authentically interacting with presence. But these were the exceptions- NOT the rules. For the most part, I had a ball.
So I think there may be a chance that I was right. That this really is a new era. That I can actually, truly be that laid-back fun person who throws awesome parties without worrying about it.
And given that I have the world's most amazing circle of friends, that's pretty fucking exciting.