I have a tendency to overthink the world. This week, I overthought the planning of a murder mystery party with a Mardi Gras theme and a jambalaya recipe in hand. I carefully selected guests from my favourite people based on who was available on the day I had planned, sent out the character invitations, decorated until I only saw gold, purple, and green, and stressed. The instructions in the murder mystery board game were unclear, and the outcome felt dependent on my planning. But, then it wasn’t.
Sure, the game needed my guidance, but the fun was brought with the friends who walked through that door. The French maid, eccentric author, and southern socialite brought their partners, the chef, lawyer, and musician. I scored the hillbilly law student to keep home with me when the game was done.
Every week this year I have learned something. Some lessons have been profound, some have been straightforward. What I learned this week was really about trust. Trust in your heart and your support system. It seems like a stretch, but I’ll get there.
Lately, I have been having trust issues with the process of working through my life list. I haven’t trusted my own intuition, I’ve second-guessed my ideas, I’ve felt like it was going to appear like a mid-life crisis, I felt judged by the world. Then another group of friends, not dressed as French maids (actually, they might have been knowing these girls), knocked me straight. They reminded me that this is my story, I have to trust who I am, I have to believe what I am accomplishing fills a void and has a purpose for me. Trust. Stop over thinking and start over enjoying. Is that a thing?
We all enjoyed performing parts that night. We played the game for hours and laughed until the whiskey sour stained tears ran down our faces. We changed our minds on who was the guilty party, we had ah-ha moments that turned out to be red-herrings, we made unfounded accusations, we laughed, and I forgot the pressure of my overthinking. Somewhere between the ‘Avocado Assault’ and the, ‘Someone’s a Liar Jambalaya’, I remembered to trust that when you put friends together, the result will be an evening to remember.
I look back and wonder why I even stressed at all. Did it matter if we discovered the murderer? Did it matter if the game was done according to the directions that were not provided? Of course not. The instructions didn’t exist because it was a game. Games, as in life, are imperfect and meant to be enjoyed.
I could have eliminated so much anxiety if I had just stopped thinking about the minutia of making the evening perfect and thought about the end result instead. I didn’t need to ruminate about solving the murder, I should have been excited about spending an entire evening enjoying each other’s company. Something we hadn’t done in a very long time. Also, the brilliantly crafted southern accent of mine that sounded very cockney made the night perfect anyway.
I also don’t need to focus on the everyday challenges of working through my life list. Plenty of planning and thinking has to happen, but I need to spend more time enjoying my life. I have the great fortune at the ripe age of forty-nine to take a year to play. The enjoyment is what matters, and there are no rules for that.
The characters we played told stories about ourselves, we learned more about our motives and I learned more about why these people just happened to be available that night. It had to be divine inspiration. Sure, I have many other friends who could have played along and made the evening amazing, but would they have owned a chef’s hat, a saxophone, had a real southern accent or owned a French maid apron (that one I have to ask a bit more about)?
I just need to trust in the universe. I am surrounded by beautiful people who were placed in my life at this moment to make a difference. They teach me to relax and not ‘Kristine’ a situation by overthinking it. My support system is divine and inspiring. Speaking of enjoying more and thinking less, I need to enjoy their company more because the more I do, the less I overthink. It’s math.
My friends and I will have fun, regardless of the planning. If there are no costumes or murders to solve, we have a blast. If we order pizza and sit in the living room, it would be entertaining. What matters is the people in the room. Sure, one of them was a murderer, but I did trust that my friends and I would find the culprit before we ran out of wine.
My Turning 50 Like a Boss Tip: Trust. It is the moment that matters, not what precedes it or what follows.
Check out the video: