Over the weekend, I went to a get-together of my university friends. It’s been ten years since our group was chucked together in halls, & some of us hadn’t met up for far too long. A random date was picked several months ago, & this Saturday it rolled around. We all met at one person’s flat, went to the shop for food & drink, had a barbeque & sat on the terrace talking & reminiscing & laughing at the old photographs (how dated the clothes look! how young we all look!). Simple & brilliant.
Sunday evening, I text a family friend to see if she’s free this week. She is & suggests a get-together for our little group. She contacts the others; Monday night is good; a restaurant is picked; a table is booked; lift’s arranged. 7.30 this evening, we all arrive & have a fab evening of talking & eating & drinking. Again, simple & brilliant.
As I sit here now, feeling warm & fuzzy from the glow of connectedness, I wonder to what extent have I felt these events have been simple & brilliant because I am looking at them in that way? In the past, I was so concerned with making events – especially ‘big’ occasions like a reunion – ‘perfect’. I’d try to control & ‘fix’ everything, obsessing about the smallest detail that wasn’t quite ‘right’, letting that ‘ruin’ my experience & perception of the whole thing. Even if I didn’t organise the event in question, I’d take it upon myself to ‘sort’ things, either before, during or afterwards – who needs a lift, what we’re doing exactly, clearing up, those sorts of things.
It has taken an awfully long time to let go of such habits. And I’m probably still guilty of them a little bit. In fact, it’s only over this last few days that I’ve noticed my behaviour has actually changed. I take responsibility for myself; strangely, in my more controlling days, there’d be a switch in my head & at certain level of stress (self-induced, of course), it’d flip & I’d just abandoned all responsibility including for myself, leaving someone else to pick up the pieces. I now help out others where needed or useful or desirable. I don’t try to control everything; I can organise when necessary, but I’m more relaxed about just letting things be & letting others do things too. I never thought I could ever be relaxed.
Crucially, I see the big picture rather than the tiny composite pieces. The expectation of perfection has been abandoned in favour ‘good enough’. And good enough often turns out to be like the light from the chandelier in the restaurant tonight: simple brilliance.