This I Believe

Emily - Dauphin, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in living everyday as if you are an eternal host at this party called life. Growing up it was ingrained in me to enjoy life among friends and family. We had gatherings at least once a week, whether for a holiday, birthday, or simply celebrating the end of the week.

I have learned to give without expecting in the same way that you throw a party not for the hostess gifts but rather for your guests. If I threw parties for the hostess gifts, it would be more cost-effective to stop by the local culinary store and get some holiday spreaders on my way to the liquor store to get a few bottles of wine. I live my life for the people in it not for the gifts they are going to bring.

Anyways, what good are these gifts if I’m not planning on another event to use them? And if I were in it for the spreaders, in the comfort of my own home, I could use a knife instead of the silver utensil with a snowman on top to put the cheese spread on my cracker. And come to think of it, I wouldn’t even have cheese spread in my house if the expectation of visitors was not constant.

I also have learned to take a break and appreciate the moment. Just as a host or hostess must take a moment for themselves and have a glass of wine, it is important to check in with myself in those hectic moments in life and get a chance to enjoy the surroundings. While my family is grilling on the deck enjoying a few good beers I take a moment to sit down and join in; not worrying that everyone is enjoying themselves or that someone needs a refill. I may even ask someone else to get the next round.

Being able to accept that you cannot control everything is one of my biggest lessons taken from hosting a party. Often you have to step back and rely on the chemistry of others and their ability to survive in this life. After struggling with trying to control what I cannot, hosting parties has allowed me to come to grips with what could and will go wrong. The second part of this is knowing that sometimes there is nothing I can do to stop it and simply roll with the punches.

Through these weekly get-togethers I have learned to appreciate the finer things in life and realize that this party is what we make of it. I live my life in appreciation of the lessons I’ve been taught through family and friends gathering in my family’s kitchen.