I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I make things more difficult than they need to be. In fact, it is one of the major struggles I have with keeping happiness in my life. I have a hard time just "letting things go" and being happy if something turns out differently than I originally envisioned. My strive for perfection can lead to some of my proudest moments and happiest outcomes, but it can also cause me a lot of anxiety, stress and worry on the journey to that outcome and that...needs to be worked on.
Whether it is a birthday party for Ethan, Christmas festivities, or just simply having company over for dinner I can create grand plans. I start out with a picturesque end in mind. I know exactly how I want everything to look, exactly how things should go and that if the end result is anything less than perfect...I'll be devastated. I'll start out planning way ahead of time in order to make sure that I can get it all done. I can become completely and utterly absorbed in planning and I have that spark that just makes me believe I can do it all.
To be honest, I'm usually pleased with the end result. I think that is part of having a Type A personality. You are usually pleased with the result because come hell or high water you are doing it the right way no matter how long it takes. The end result must be exactly as I envisioned it in my head from the get-go. That part....yeah...it's what leads to the headaches and whining, but without it...I wouldn't be happy. It all sounds like perfection right? Until you get to the ugly preparation part for it all. The middle part of the project where everything is happening all at once and you realize there is more to life than that one small event. Things get in the way of my original plans and timeline and I totally freak out. That moment of happiness in the beginning of the project and with the end result is marred by all the stress and anxiety in the middle.
Double edge sword you might say I guess right?
Part of my challenge to happiness is balancing this double edge sword. I could focus on being a better planner or being more realistic in my expectations but I think the problem really boils down to this...
Who am I really do it for?
Am I doing it for me or am I doing it for others?
The simple project usually begins for someone else. The elaborate plans...well, it's because it makes me happy and if I'm being honest...I get some joy out of impressing people. Is that wrong? Maybe. Maybe not.
Am I really making myself happy though if I'm stressed all the way through the middle? I think not. I think that is the point where I need to remember that I should be doing these things for my guests. They are who I really want to impress in the end. If they are happy, I am happy and I think that is what I need to keep in mind through the middle of the project.
Finding happiness in life is all about finding happiness in the journey. The beginning and the end of these projects are such a small portion of life. The middle part is where the meat of the project is...where I spend most of my time...and where happiness for me is usually lost. I need to find the happy balance of doing things for myself and doing things for others. It's something I strive to be better at in life. It's something my happiness depends on.