I had a few friends come over for dinner the other night and from the very beginning, it was a total disaster.
To start with, I finished my work day late and got stuck in traffic on the way home. Then there was this woman in line at the grocery store with 20 items in the 15-item-or-less-lane. Then I got home and realized I had forgotten the one crucial ingredient I needed to cook our dinner.
Over the next few hours, things just continued to go wrong.
The smoke alarm went off at one point. The chicken was undercooked. I realized I had forgotten to run the dishwasher, so we had to wash all the plates and silverware by hand before we could eat.
The whole time, I was so stressed I could hardly focus. I don’t think I sat down once.
The thing is, usually, I love hosting. It’s one of my favorite things. I love creating a beautiful environment for people that can soothe them after a hard day or week.
But when things didn’t go as I planned that night—
when it was the fire alarm going off instead of the soothing music I had carefully chosen, when I practically sent my friends home puking instead of thinking about our refreshing conversation—I felt awful.
I was not having fun. I think I apologized a dozen times.
But here was the best part.
My friends just kept saying, “Are you kidding? You’re the only one who is stressed about this. At least we’re together.”
I kept thinking about that statement after they left that night—and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. “At least we’re together.” It’s so simple. But what if we reminded ourselves of that fact every time things didn’t go the way we wanted them to?
When things aren’t perfect, well, at least we’re together.
I know the story I’m talking about was just a dinner party.
But what about when bigger stuff goes wrong in life? What about when I lose a job or someone gets sick or life takes a left turn and doesn’t end up looking like the perfect, beautiful picture I planned?
I see how this could translate.
Next time I’m in a position where everything goes totally wrong, I want to remember the phrase my friends taught me that night. “At least we’re together.”
The fire alarm might go off. We might be puking from underdone chicken. We might have to wash dishes by hand. We might fight or argue. The house might be a total mess.
But at least we’ll be together. That’s what’s important.