When you have a mix of introvert and extrovert traits, social events cause jumbled feelings of fear, anticipation, and excitement, so much so that it spins you around and has you contemplating whether to accept the invitation, send your regrets, create an escape plan to leave early…anything to anticipate having a terrible time and avoiding the real fact that you may have a wonderful time that you can later write about!

This week I received at least three unsolicited calendars in the mail from magazine subscriptions, journal solicitations and a real estate agent. I appreciate having several calendars, however as I looked at them and their potential usability, I was struck by the starkness of not having any events to write in them. The orderly, calendared days stared up at me as I sat with my pencil, pondering how to plan in a year that is not inviting me in. Furthermore, it makes 2022 look like a party I did not get invited to, and if there is anything worse than being invited to a party that you fear, it is the fear of not being invited to a party.

So, let’s plan a party! Let’s use all the experiences that I have gathered from decades of party planning and attending to make 2022 our party year…hey, why not? We only have one shot at making every day its best!

The key to creating a memorable party is your guests…invite your old friends and carefully invite newer ones. Experience with cantankerous individuals is the red flag to careful selection. Food and beverages are a draw; however, parties are social and social requires at least one curiosity piece – music, games, a picture wall of the host and some guests from days gone by, a photography or social media opportunity to create memories, a link to create shared experience among your guests.

Many years ago, I attended several parties with co-workers. I was very young and very naïve and totally open to just observe others behavior, so I could find out where I fit. When I reflect on it now, I am grateful I was just an observer – the common theme in several of these gatherings included experiences that were so different from who I am that it helped to form my identity. My introvert/extrovert personality, which sometimes embarrassed me, saved me from possibly hurting myself and helped me accept the dichotomy of who I was. It also made me a better party planner!

This post has made me realize how much I miss social gatherings and how grateful I am (or should be) when presented with one. It has also made me realize that I can fill up the calendar in creative ways that we can celebrate 2022 safely by tapping into creative sources such as planning outdoor events, using technology and being aware of my health. Welcome 2022! Cheers to the next twelve months of parties!

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