Friday, January 8, 2016

Managing the Stress

Every year around this time, CareerCast.com releases their list of the "Most Stressful Jobs," and year after year, event planning makes the top five.  Right up there with serving in the military and fighting fires is planning parties... yes, you read that right! And you know what? CareerCast.com is not wrong.  Let me be clear - serving in a job where your life is on the line and you are protecting the lives of others is WAY more stressful.  No question at all.  But when it comes to high-pressure, fast-paced, career-on-the-line type of work, event planners have that pretty well locked up.

Imagine, if you will, that you are an actor in a play.  You know your part well because you have been practicing for months - maybe even a year.  You are well rehearsed and as well prepared as you feel you can be.  And it is show time.  You go to the theater and prepare in your dressing room.  The audience is seated.  Everyone is quiet. And then you go on stage and you feel great.  Everything looks and feels the way it should and you are very pleased. And then...150 other actors who you have never met walk on stage. Each of them is doing his own part in the way that it pleases him.  The other performers don't know your part.  They are just acting and being themselves and enjoying the ride. Oh - one more thing - they've all been drinking! Now it's anyone's game!

This, my friends, is what it is to be an event planner. You are on stage, live, with an audience.  You have planned all of the details and confirmed everything and you set yourself and your client up for success.  And then the event begins and absolutely anything can happen. In real time. With no do-overs. And no matter what, if it doesn't go just right, all eyes are on you.  Let's just say that after nearly 15 years on the party stage that is my work {my love, my life}, the woman who colors my hair is just about ready to take all of her earnings to the bank and retire to the Bahamas!

So why, oh why, would I voluntarily subject myself to this level of stress? Because before the other actors arrive and I've set the stage just right, my beautiful bride walks into her "theater" and sees how I've turned her emails and calls and magazine clippings and Pinterest boards into everything she ever hoped for... and she looks just like this...

photo by Julie Jordan
On with the show!

:-) Lindsay

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