I was terrified all of last week. I hadn’t hosted a get-together in years, and I had ambitiously planned a Saturday picnic for me and about a dozen or so friends.
Would the weather hold?
Would I have enough food?
Would people have a good time?
There’s something about holding a space for other people that is simultaneously rewarding, exhilarating, and stressful as all get out. So, I did what any reasonable person would do for the entire week: I procrastinated. I held out on shopping for food, supplies, or anything I might need to be able to host the best possible picnic.
I knew I needed a few staples, a blanket, some food, things that I could use to make and manipulate a BBQ fire.
All of that being said, I had zero plan.
Then the night before, I panicked. I went out and bought over $100 worth of stuff, picking through the aisles for anything that looked remotely picnic-y. Thankfully, my boyfriend was having none of my desire to go all out and break the bank. So, I managed to keep things within reason. He also insisted we bike to the park rather than take a shared ride there. That significantly reduced the amount of stuff I was on track to buy.
Eventually, the fateful day came, and we were biking through our Northern California neighborhood to the park. I was convinced one of two things would happen - no one would show up, or, if anyone did show up, they would have a terrible time.
Thankfully, there was an open BBQ range just inside the park entrance. Next to it was a lovely, sunny patch of grass. There are also two trees that were perfect for slack-lining, which two friends kindly set up and coached people through.
We ended up with a very nice group — not too big, and not too small. The fire was just hot enough, and the food was delicious (and there was still way too much of it). We sat in the sun, talked about life, balanced on the slack line, and generally crowded around the fire (as humans are wont to do).
Then, at a reasonable hour, everyone went home.
The human mind has an incredible capacity to imagine the worst, but I find that those who recognize but don’t succumb to that instinct (in other words, they prepare for the worst and hope for the best) are truly successful.
While I could have prepared earlier, I’m pleased to have learned, yet again, that the worst is only worth acknowledging — never worth focusing on.