The Key to Impressing People

I was hard at work prepping for a school fundraiser at my house.

I had just finished calibrating the stereo and microphones. I still needed to set up the auxiliary A/V system (just in case), make blackberry rosemary syrup for the cocktails, trim back the ivy on the stoop, vacuum the stairs, make some signage, and find sensible-looking donation baskets. Oh, and the decorations…

My phone rang. it was Molly. She was at Fairyland with Hazel. It was a beautiful day, apparently. You should come, she said.

I looked at the dirty stairs, the unmuddled blackberries, and pulled the phone away from my ear to look at the time. I could feel the first drop of sweat emerging from my hairline.

Leaving the house would be seriously unproductive.

But, I’ve never been all-the-way ready by the time the first guest arrives. Has anyone?

So I left my unfinished things and went to ride the Jolly Trolley with Hazel, yell in the tunnel, roll down the Jack-and-Jill Hill like enchiladas, slide down the Dragon slide, laugh out loud with the greatest of all laughers…

Against the golden rules of planning, I put playful first.

If you’re wondering… The fundraiser was awesome. I definitely wasn’t ready in time, and everything worked out perfectly.

I was relaxed, present, and completely on fire — all the things you need to be when you’re hosting a party.

I think we have a narrow view of what preparation is – for parties, for interviews, for anything important that involves people you’re trying to impress.

As the moment nears, forget about the ducks and the rows.

Leave the outside world imperfect and, instead, run a lap, laugh out loud, sing a song, roll down the hill.

Focus on getting the inside right.

That’s what people are coming to see.