After an exhausting but extremely fulfilling weekend, we wound it all up at The Cove at a clambake with friends. Ed and I had been slowly unearthing our yard from the flotsam and jetsam of my 25th annual Woodstock Party. We figured, why not?
Our party consisted of a record number of friends and strangers, a full range of live music, food and tie dying. Oh, and a clothing exchange that generated 3 feet of clothes over every surface of our bedroom. I literally bulldozed them off our bed to get to sleep.
One old friend who attended for the first time called to say how impressed she was at how open, easy and friendly everyone was.
“I’m sure some of those people have never had to opportunity to just make stuff, let alone tie dye,” she said. “And I liked your posted philosophy of ‘Compliment someone; ask at least three things; tell at least three things; share; create; help; dance; play!”
I believe, as cliché as it sounds, a good time was had by all, including the kids, big and small, some who grew up at these functions, others dragged along for the first time. And even though every year I wonder sometimes why I do it, I know when I’m in the midst of it and see all my circles of friends spinning together and enjoying themselves no matter what, I remember why.
Meanwhile, back at the clambake, my friend’s family was visiting from out of state, hence the beach party. Her folks and I had a few moments to get to know each other. Absolutely delightful people. They told of the many moves they’d made around the country for better jobs, different situations, etc.
Me? “Well, I was born in California, and here I still am!” to which her dad responded, “Yeah, but you put all your energy into who you are, while we were trying to figure out where we were supposed to be!”
Aw, that me feel better.
I turn on the computer, check e-letters and there’s a quote in an article: “Don’t make the right decision; make the decision right” (Ellen Langer, http://www.dailygood.org/story/501/don-t-make-the-right-decision-make-the-decision-right-adam-grant/). Hmm, timely.
The author of “The Paradox of Choice,” Barry Schwartz, argues that “satisficers” tend to be happier than “maximizers.” Maximizers must spend a lot more time and energy to reach a decision, and they’re often anxious about whether they are, in fact, making the best choice.
The Happiness Project: “Satisficers (yes, satisfice is a word, I checked) are those who make a decision or take action once their criteria are met. That doesn’t mean they’ll settle for mediocrity; their criteria can be very high; but as soon as they find the car, the hotel, or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they’re satisfied.
“Maximizers want to make the optimal decision. So even if they see a bicycle or a photographer that would seem to meet their requirements, they can’t make a decision until after they’ve examined every option, so they know they’re making the best possible choice.”
Back at the Woodstock Party: If I’d worried too much about if the yard was perfect, the tie-dye colors were just right, the right people had been invited, I’d have lost sight of what I really wanted — to see that organic body of people come together and spread a little peace and love and color! Thanks to all!
Dianne Brookes column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at www.ladytiedi.com.