So here’s something you may or may not care to know about me: I hate parties. Ever since I stopped drinking, I have stopped enjoying parties.

I love to emcee events and go to things that require me to have a specific role, but the idea of wandering around and chatting with people while totally sober is, well, sobering. If there are more than 5 people in attendance and it happens at night, I’m usually a no-show.

Last night I hosted a fundraising party for the Athens Race for the Cure. My girlfriend, who works for a company called “Thirty-One Gifts”, offered to donate a portion of her commission, so in a weak moment, I invited 31 or so people over to my home. Then I started to panic. What should I feed them? What should I say to them? Where will they all sit?

These are not high-falutin’ big-wigs from some fancy corporation that I’m trying to impress, these are my friends. And I was still scared!

I woke up the day of the party and had a severe talk with myself about how this was meant to be FUN and about how I would not scream at my children for getting the house dirty or touching the frosting on the cupcakes. I promised myself that I would enjoy the evening, and the day leading up to it.

And I did.

At one point last night, I was standing in the middle of my house when I was overcome by how blessed I am. I offered up a silent prayer, “Thank you God for bringing such amazing women into my home and into my life.”

As soon as gratitude entered my thoughts, my anxiety left. You can only think about one thing at a time, and instead of thinking about being the life of the party, I was finally able to think about all the beautiful lives at the party. Lives that God so carefully and purposefully has placed into my life.

FullSizeRender 6I can’t promise I’m turning into a regular party animal, or even a social butterfly, but I think huge progress was made last night in the way I will approach upcoming festivities. Gratitude beats anxiety every time.

And if I truly can’t make it to an event, I promise to be grateful for the invite.