I was talking to my friend at work about New Year’s Eve when she started to do a head count of all the people she invited to her apartment. I lost track after a while, but I think she invited at least twenty-four. Wow, I said. That’s a lot of people in a little bit of space.
Like me, my friend can sometimes be a perfectionist and often wants things to be beautiful and perfect. Like me, my friend worries about details. So I was impressed with her rather uncharacteristic more-the-merrier demeanor. I didn’t want to be a killjoy, as I sometimes can unintentionally be, but as a self-proclaimed entertaining expert, I had logistical concerns for her party and tried to tactfully express them.
She responded in Greek, with something her mother says. Translated, it roughly means, “All of the good people can fit,” or “There is always enough room for the good people.” It was one of those things which instantly stopped me in my tracks. You’re right, I said. I know you’ll find a way to make it all work, and it will be a wonderful night.
Too many times in my life I have let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Ironically, the satisfaction achieved from being perfect, from winning, never measured up to the expectation. But looking back, I’ve never regretted the times I was generous and kind, the times I extended (or overextended) myself to connect with another, even if things were messy and imperfect.
And so as we end 2013, that is my wish for you and for myself: that we just remember to make room for the people who matter. Open up the doors and let all the good people into our hearts and our homes. Don’t stress about the particulars, and be confident that all of the good people can fit.