A few weekends ago, Dave wanted to have a campfire in the backyard. I was feeling a little off, but I thought it sounded nice, and if Dave really wanted to do it, why not?
The only problem was, that “off” feeling never really went away. I couldn’t quite get into the spirit of it. I wasn’t very jolly, and when things went wrong, like the fire dying out too quickly or my marshmallow not toasting well, it felt more sad than funny.
The worst part was that I KNEW I wasn’t in the right mood. I knew the little botched things were NOT a big deal at all, that this was just a fun fire time, and it drove me nuts that I couldn’t just buck up and get with the program. I said this to Dave, and I apologized for it, repeatedly. He kept reassuring me that it was totally fine, but I kept feeling guilty for “ruining” our campfire experience.
Finally, he said something along the lines of, “Mary, the campfire is for US. It isn’t about having a perfect campfire. It’s about being together, and even if it’s not the “right” experience, it’s okay.”
This, quite frankly, blew my mind.
One of the key tenets my lifelong program of self-deprecation/being a “good team player” is Don’t ruin the moment for anyone else. If you’re part of an event, no matter what it is, by golly, you better do your part to make things runs smoothly. The event > you.
There’s some sense in which this is true. If it’s your sister’s wedding, for example, you probably want to keep it together for her, and make sure things go as smoothly as possible. (So don’t worry, Lisa! I got this!)
But for most everyday life things, it’s not. Events are made to bring people together. You are one of the people involved, so you are more important, believe it or not, than the event. Yes, it would be great if every event and experience was the ideal, Instagrammable #eventgoals and #experiencegoals, but you haven’t failed if it’s not, or even if (heaven forbid!) other people have to deal with you struggling.
I don’t know why this was so surprising to me, given the whole “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” concept. But I definitely needed the reminder.
This is also partially why I didn’t write last week (and didn’t even post that I was skipping that week!). Last week I was not feeling great, at all, and I just couldn’t do it. I felt terrible, because I’d already had a few off weeks recently, and I hate feeling like a flake. Plus, I really do love this blog, and our readers, and I don’t want to let anyone down. But I remembered that the blog was made for me; I wasn’t made for the blog. Now, I do like to serve others through writing, and I really don’t want to neglect my lovely readers, so my next goal is to actually write a few blog posts ahead so if I have an off week, I still have something (I’ve only been meaning to do that since before we started the blog, after all). But when I mess up, it’s not a FAILURE. It’s just life.
What’s something that was actually made for YOU, not the other way around, that you’ve been mixing up lately?