I have never really been a person who loves a big, loud party.
A select group of cool humans playing a weird board game around a basement coffee table? Yes. A sweaty crowd of strangers in anyplace that involves a sticky floor, blacklights, or red plastic cups? No.
Funny then (but not haha funny, as my husband always says), that I swear my life feels like the worst kind of frat party right about now. Blech.
Everything feels intense. Like, ramped up to max volume. Strobing lights. People and things coming and going. Time passing in the blink of an eye. And that feeling that I never really wanted to stay up and get dressed and go out in the first place, yet here I am and I’m not really sure what I’m actually doing here or why…
And maybe that’s the thing that I’m really thinking about in this weird little metaphorical vignette – I always felt a bit like I was crashing those parties. Like I was (not so) subtly pushing for the invite, tagging along, inserting myself. It always felt like something I should be doing, when really, I already knew I wanted no part of it.
Right now, life and business feel eerily similar, and I’m acting in a similar way, except the adult version.
My schedule is packed – even if I’ve told myself for the last month that I need to chill and have fewer meetings.
I’m doing lots of new/trendy/different business and marketing things – even if I’ve previously determined what works for me, and how I actually want to do it.
I’m putting all kinds of pressure on myself personally to figure myself out – even if I know that all I actually need to do is be myself.
Slowly, I’m realizing I don’t want to be at this particular party. And what the hell am I doing crashing it anyway? I want to go home.
Essentially, those feelings of intensity, wild swings back and forth, frantically showing up everywhere, and also generally feeling like it’s time to go – are all signs of forcing. Trying to exert too much control on any given situation, or over ourselves.
Crashing a party instead of just waiting to receive (and deciding whether to accept) an invitation.
And that just never leads to anything very good. (Ask me about my real life experiences crashing real life frat parties.)
I think sometimes, we get scared if we just wait, we’ll never receive the invitation. I know I have felt, and do still often, feel this way. Like, if I don’t crash this party a la Vince Vaughan, I’ll be off the list for life. And isn’t there a reason why everyone else is at that intense party?!? I should be there too!
Sometimes, but sometimes decidedly not.
Most of the time, there are a hundred different parties going on, and 97 of them are ones we don’t want to go to at all. And in reality, if we can step outside of that intensity long enough – long enough to let the ringing in our ears subside – we always receive the right invitations, to the parties we never want to end.
So hey, if life is feeling a little intense right now, if you’re showing up on a bunch of doorsteps, crashing a bunch of parties, maybe just dial that down a little bit and wait. Wait for the invitations to show up on your door. Choose only the ones you really want to accept. Spend a little time with your board game buddies, or even on your own.
In other party-related words: chill.
In non-party terms: Take a break. Step away. Shore up your boundaries. Practice mindfulness. Meditate. Ask for help. Hire someone or delegate. Choose one thing, stop multitasking. Know yourself. Trust yourself. Get what you need, where and how you need it, and leave the rest.
We can absolutely sustain some intensity in our lives, work, and relationships. But we can’t do it forever.
We can continue to roll with this idea that we’re supposed to be living on that edge of intensity and control, or we can remember that we have agency in determining the pace – and the peace – of our lives.
For more reminders in the tough times, sign up for weekly emails. If you’re ready to get some support in dialing down the intensity, schedule a call below or email me to talk coaching. And if you just need a quick visual reminder, download this for your wallpaper or social media.