Sharing this disease has made me more accountable to work through my EPR issues and to find a permanent solution, or at least a periodic immunization. So, on our journey to recovery, the first step is to admit the problem - done.
Step 2 - Define the triggers - done.
Step 3 - Devise a plan for recovery - done.
No, seriously. I'm in EPR remission... and NOT because I don't have events because I still do. As a matter of fact, I had multiple events this past weekend. We'll talk about two and how my EPR was managed in both situations.
The Gender Reveal
A cute rustic event... I offered support early in the planning stages to no avail. I saw the host's pins on Pinterest using items I have in my craft room and offered my craft stash up but I was too late, they were already purchased. EPR tried to flare up and make me want to offer more or to push my goods and services on the host but I didn't. I told myself this was an event at which I would be a guest and that was a-okay with me. Just show up and partake in the festivities. So, in the spirit of good guesthood (it's a word I made up so don't bother looking it up), I had a cute crochet elephant made for the baby's safari-themed nursery:
Munch was so excited about the elephant! I was excited and knew it would make a fabulous piece of decor or cuddle buddy for baby. I arrived, I participated, I enjoyed, I ate, I laughed, I didn't feel obligated to clean or obsessively adjust decor. I was present. I was excited. I was an in-the-moment guest and I
The Birthday Party
I was the decorator. I was given full license to make it fabulous. I had some cool ideas and I was excited to see it all come together. Islanders, I was in my element!
I was making moves.
I was making what we had work... and work fabulously!
I also, however, planned so everything was done early enough to leave (go home, shower, walk the dog, drink some coffee) and return as a guest. That time to get myself together was priceless and allowed me to arrive at my leisure and AFTER everyone else. It was great!
For the other folks suffering with EPR, here's the treatment plan that worked for me this weekend:
- Offer your support and don't be offended if it's not accepted (the first or second time).
- Offer to help on your terms and don't feel bad for doing what guests do. If you are tired, leave. Don't feel obligated to be on the set-up and tear-down crew for every event. If you want to help, start in enough time. Pick a task, finish it and leave. Some suggestions include washing dishes, offering to consolidate the buffet and wipe it down, picking up trash, etc. It's okay to have things to do! Thank the host, graciously leave and don't feel bad about it!
- Do what you do best - if the opportunity to get in your groove presents itself, seize it! If someone is asking for your help and has many other things to do, just do what you do and get their input once it's done. Chances are, in the rush to get things done, your skills will be greatly appreciated! One thing that's a low key way to help prior to the event? ICE. People always seem to need ice. Offer to pick up some ice a few hours before the party and you may save the host a last-minute trip to the store.
- Leave and come back! If you are both an event planner AND a guest, take a step away. Go to the bathroom, step into a quiet room, run an errand, freshen up... whatever you do, allow yourself a chance to get away and clear your mind. The more time the better and don't worry about appearing to arrive late! You don't have to be the first face people see. Clearly, it's NOT your party. Oh and, during that time, do something for yourself!
Putting these tips in place allowed me to enjoy these two awesome events without an EPR flare-up. I hope they help you do the same.
Oh and I have updates from both events so stay tuned :)