One of the best birthday presents I received last week was sitting in my inbox. The photos from the Anti-Networking Holiday Party from December! I was thrilled!
Well over a year and half ago, my friend Ryan, of Mixing Maryland and I had discussed put together an event…what kind? We had no idea. We threw around the idea of a giant New Years Party, a fundraiser… you get the point. Finally, I had an opportunity when I was talking with a venue about hosting an industry event to help them get the word out. I tossed the idea to Ryan if he wanted in on it and as we brainstormed, he came up with a genius concept- ‘Why not a anti-networking party? We are always talking shop so why not just have fun for once?’
This was when we agreed to host a ‘Anti-Networking Holiday Party’ for our fellow event industry friends. The entire point of this party was to for once just enjoy ourselves and not sweat about passing out business cards. The best part was the response from everyone & their excitement that made it all worth it! Plus, it didn’t hurt that the evening ended in a dance-off!
Ryan & I had a great time coming up with fun aspects to the evening such as a ‘Selfie Wall’, Holiday Cornhole, Ice Sculpture, Hot Chocolate Bar, and much more. Don’t you worry though! We are already working on the 2015 Anti-Networking Holiday Event to make it even better than the first!
Instead of writing my typical holiday posts, I choose to simply enjoy the holidays with my friends & family and put work on the back burner for once. I spent time going out to dinner with friends, shopping, and just taking in all that the holidays have to offer. I’m basically a 5 year old when it comes to Christmas and guess what? 5 year olds do not post blogs about what they are up to.
In 2015, I plan on being selfish personally & professionally. Ok how is this even acceptable as a goal? I look back on the past few years & realize that I allowed my calendar to rule my life as I made it my mission to sacrifice personal time for my company. Well, 2015 is the year that will all change! Well… sort of. Instead of focusing on ‘building’ up my company, I’m going to be focusing on my brand, it’s values and overall vision.
Personally, I plan on making more time for me. It’s my ‘Golden Year’ which means I’m turning 27 on the 27th! Woo! This may have sparked the ‘Year for Me’ mentality. I don’t plan to strive for a ‘balanced’ life but a more healthy one where I focus on taking better care of myself physically & mentally. I hit that wall where my mind & body hate me and I’ve lost that drive and motivation because I hadn’t given myself time to regroup throughout the year.
Less of this More of this
So how do I plan on making this big change? I have created a list! Imagine that, a planner making lists.
It’s my hope that a year from now, I can pull out those lists & see all that I’ve accomplished and set out to do, actually happened.
A few months ago, I could have sworn the summer meant I had a brief window to recover, recharge, and relax…. that window is getting smaller and smaller. Even though I wrapped up my last spring event in late June, my summer is filled with business related traveling and an endless to-do list leaving little room to relax. Last week I was in Raleigh with a client for various appointments preparing for her fall wedding. Even with uncomfortable temperatures reaching over 100 degrees, I was more frustrated that I couldn’t get “a quick cup of coffee.” I lived in North Carolina for four years, how could I forget that getting anything ‘quick’ is practically nonexistent? For someone always on the go, it was definitely a challenge to slow down.
From North Carolina, I headed straight to Delaware to celebrate the 4th of July with my family. The following day I woke up to dark clouds and the threat of rain- it was not your typical July 4th weather. Even with the rain, my family was able to make the best of the holiday by hitting up a local bar for some celebratory dinner & drinks at Harpoon Hanna’s. Since this establishment is only a few miles from our place, Jamie, Treven & I found ourselves there again the next evening.
Right before we were to call it a night, Jamie says to me, “Wait, I think I just saw Colleen and Natalie walk by.” Two minutes later, we found ourselves sitting with the 4 Kochesfahani sisters & friends. Colleen is laughing, “I told them we would run into the Englert’s here.” The Kochesfahani family is like an extension of ours but we are all so busy it’s hard to get all of us together. It was great to spontaneously run into each other and catch up while sipping on our summer drink of choice, crushes.
Summer concerts, drinks by the bay, tanning on the beach, local baseball games are all things I have to pass on more times than not because of the crazy lifestyle I’ve created. Even when I got a chance to go to the pool, I’ve had to leave because I couldn’t relax knowing I have a lot of work I should be doing. Maybe next beach trip I’ll work on this whole ‘relaxing’ concept.
While the snow was falling, I sat back and realized that even though I may no longer be a child, this is still a magical time of the year! Christmas shopping, cookie bake off, crazy lights, holiday parties, white elephant gift exchange, the list is endless! I love everything about the holiday season! I haven’t always been able to fully embrace the season because of working either retail, restaurants, or events but I enjoy this time of year!
Every year I like to ask everyone to be mindful of those working long hours during the holiday season. While you are consumed with the hustle & bustle, there is that salesperson that is working late when you forgot your mother’s gift, and the UPS driver that won’t get off until every package is delivered. How about those great company holiday parties? Cannot forget those caterers, servers, and all the other vendors that not only are working but you may not see them because they are showing up at 2 am to clean up or pick up their products. On Christmas Eve, you are slaving away in the kitchen and the knife slips, we should all be thankful for the nurses and doctors that are in the ER. Saying “Thank you” and being extra pleasant to those working goes a long way than you may realize.