Halloween Carnival after action report

The Halloween carnival went very well, or so I surmise from the kind comments of people who told me “good job.” I don’t feel like I saw very much of it. My focus was on making sure the food table stayed stocked, and then on getting all the decorations, tables, and chairs cleaned away. There were a few minor organizational troubles (Note to self: More ranch dressing, pre-test the microphone, and music for children’s parade) but nothing that impinged on the enjoyment or awareness of those who were in attendance. It was a good event.

And yet, I felt like a failure in the exhausted hours before bedtime. After I slept, I was able to sort out why. I failed to organize a large enough team for the event. I did too many jobs myself and too many gaps were covered by spur-of-the-moment volunteers. I am so grateful to the dozen people who pitched in to help clean up. I am grateful to the people who saw problems and solved them. It is because of them that the event worked. I knew that the event would be full of people willing to volunteer, I depended upon that, but it is better to have a crew of people with assignments to help focus the volunteers. I also depended too much upon my own family. Howard helped me run the event. The kids all helped with the decorations and set up. This meant that when I got home, the house was a wreck, everyone was tired and over stimulated. No one had the time or energy to reassure me that everything went well. All the evidence of success had been cleaned up, what remained was the evidence of all the family tasks I did not do because I was too busy doing carnival.

This morning brought a world of improvement. Howard managed the kids because it was all I could do to drag myself off to church. He even had Link carry all the loose bowls and ladles that I brought home to wash before returning. Howard also rallied the kids and got the house cleaned up. All of this helped me feel immeasurably better. This is important because my brain began to fill with ideas for the Christmas party which is the first Saturday in December just over a month away. Sorting out why I crashed so hard last night means I can plan better for the next party. The first assignment I made was to tell Howard that his only job for the Christmas party is to take care of the house and the kids while I’m busy. That step alone will make a world of difference.

Doing things myself instead of delegating is something I need to work on. It is probably a major reason I run myself ragged more often than I should.