When I turned forty, I was still single and I decided to throw a big party for myself. I invited all my friends and family, friends from childhood and college. A bash with great food and good wine.
I planned ahead – or so I thought. I created a wonderful menu of delicious dishes, most of which I wanted to prepare myself. I love to cook.
That evening, people started arriving and I put out the first courses. I went back into the kitchen and continued cooking. I could hear the happy buzz of a good party taking place. And I kept cooking. More guests came, a few left. We gathered together for a few toasts. I went back to the kitchen to work on the grand finale – a fantastic dessert.
A few more people came and soon, even more left. The party sounds started to die down. A couple of people were hanging around in the kitchen with me. And, then, just as I put the final dish out on the table, I said good-bye to the last few guests. I was alone with massive amounts of food and drink.
It had been a terrific party, I heard. People met new people. Some old friends who hadn’t seen each other for years reconnected. And, I cooked a lot and got lots of hugs. But I had missed it.
For me, the party revealed how my sense of time was shot. How I couldn’t plan ahead. How I rushed to meet deadlines, and frequently missed them. My house was scattered full of random items. I loved to entertain and I created wonderful Shabbat meals, but I labored too hard, made too much food and felt devastated by the clean up. The faith I had that I could always pull it off – whatever the challenge was – diminished. This event was part of my turning point for getting a little more organized.
It took years to sort myself out. What is deeply important to me has not changed. I love entertaining. I enjoy hosting friends for Shabbat meals. Yet, I do a little less. I am less frantic, I am more present and I accept my limits with a little more grace.
Slowly I became a little less pressured, a little more organized, and by the time I met my husband, early the following year, I managed not to scare him off with my chaos and frenzy. He is a neat and organized person by nature and background, and we have forged a very positive modus vivendi.
Getting organized was a path to personal growth. I learned to accept that my overwhelming ambitions were too much for me, I learned to respect my limits. I learned to love living with less stuff and fewer things on my calendar, and more energy and more a more genuine sense of connection.