Event Planning

Accepting Limitations

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Limitations. To me, that’s always been a dirty word. It didn’t matter whether it came from my family, my friends or my doctors I was always determined to prove them wrong. Even as my 18th birthday approached, my rheumatologist was dead against me skydiving*, he told me it would be too much on my joints. I hobbled out of his office, and a few days later my family watched as I took my leap of faith, recorded of course, for two reasons:

  1. So I always had that memory of what my amazing experience; and
  2. So I could hand deliver a copy of my video to my rheumatologist, with a note explaining that while I may be in agonising pain, I have completed something that I have always wanted to do and the few days of pain were (in my opinion) a lot better than the thought of sitting in a nursing home in my senior years regretting that I had listened to those that told me I couldn’t do it.

*While I certainly don’t advocate that this is particularly the right course for action for everyone, I suggest you do your own risk assessment, with the input from your medical team and make your own decisions.

Fast forward 13 years and as my limitations grew, so has my ability to stick my head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. I’ve always looked at it as accepting limitations was allowing the arthritis to win, and I’ve always been determined not to let that happen. I didn’t ask to have arthritis, and there was always that underlying anger as to why I had developed it. Not fair, I have too much to do!

I am now at the stage of having to create a network of people to help with even the most basic tasks. Vacuuming the floor uses up a day and a half’s worth of spoons. I am building a business but need to find someone that can be the face of the organisation because I am finding that the inconsistencies of this condition don’t allow me to plan an event and guarantee that I will be well enough to show up for it.

I think this in itself makes the condition flare up. Knowing I have to be somewhere at a certain time, on a certain date and I start to stress that I may not be well enough to attend. As silly as it sounds, I have even gone to the lengths of contacting long range forecasters to see if the day that I want to have the event will be a wet or dry week, in the hopes that in doing so at least the weather factor can be potentially eliminated.

It’s extremely frustrating because it never used to be this way and I am tired of letting people down.

My suggestions:

  1. Have at least one other person willing and able to step in and run your event – regardless the size – just knowing that there is someone else there will help eliminate stress.
  2. Plan ahead – if weather is an issue check the forecasts – it’s not an exact science, they are not always going to get it right but at least you know you’ve tried.
  3. Make sure you are prepared for your event, with the speaker (if you have one), content, venue, catering, whatever else, booked and paid for weeks in advance.
  4. Have fun. Make sure you have fun.
  5. Dry run. Conduct some dry runs of your event, to reduce the chances of unforeseen events occurring. Unforeseen events will increase stress. Stress is bad.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. Got more tips/tricks that I haven’t mentioned here? Do you know of good planning software that can assist with event planning/management? Would love to know about them 🙂