Today is the day of my big event, and the question at this point is always “am I ready?”
In some ways the answer is always no. There is always something more I could have done. There is always a carnival game I could have tweaked to make better, something more visually appealing I could have added to the decorations, or something that I meant to say in a rehearsal that I forgot about until it was too late. The wheels never really stop turning in my mind, so in that sense, I never really feel ready.
On the other hand, I always get to a point where I recognize that the event could start now, and everything would be okay. Everything is more or less in place, and I can rest assured that each aspect of the evening has been adequately prepared for.
Nonetheless, it always comes too quickly. I always imagine myself being so on top of things and so ahead of the game, having so much more ready in advance this time than I ever have before. And while I do feel like I am getting better at this each time my team and I pull off one of these events, somehow I still feel like I am always scrambling at the last minute, racing the clock to get everything done in time!
I am a perfectionist, and I have a high standard of excellence. I also tend to internalize and blame myself for things that go wrong, even if they have nothing to do with me. And even if a hundred people come up to me after the event to comment on how much they loved the evening, I will still be more likely to remember and fixate on the one thing that went wrong, rather than on the many things that went off without a hitch.
But my goal for today—and tonight—is simply to appreciate what my team and I have accomplished together. This certainly isn’t a one-woman show, it has been a team effort. And I NEVER hold it against the team if something goes wrong! I am always so impressed by what all of them have accomplished! So then why would I get so down on myself when we hit a snag?! Today, regardless of what happens, I want to remain grateful and focused on the positive.
I have so much to be thankful for going into today. I am so thankful for the many people who have given up so many hours of their lives to put this event together. I am so thankful for all the volunteers who have committed to show up tonight and to contribute to this event. I am so thankful for the many families—parents and kids—who are going to come out tonight to enjoy a fun evening out together. I am so thankful that each time we run one of these events, it seems to be more and more well-received by the community. And, at the end of the day, I am so thankful that none of this is about me.
The point of these events is to bless families—to give them something fun and exciting to do together (for free), and to give them a takeaway that will hopefully impact them beyond the event. At our Christmas family experience, called Jingle Jam, a parent told one of our staff after the show that the evening reminded him of Disneyworld, because there was stuff for the kids, stuff for the parents, and something for everyone to enjoy! I couldn’t have asked for better feedback. Disneyworld is fun for everyone, and it leaves you with a sense of enchantment and delight.
So today, what would mean even more to me than every detail of this event being executed perfectly, would be a family leaving tonight with a little spark of hope and wonder that they didn’t have before. My hope is that kids and parents alike will not only have a great time, but experience a tiny—even minuscule—sense of that Disneyworld enchantment and delight, and that it will inspire them to do family better and point them to a deeper meaning in life. If we could do that, the event would have been an overwhelming successful in my eyes.
Well, it’s time to start this day, so I guess I’ll be off. But don’t wish me luck! I’d prefer a traditional, “break a leg!”