This week's Sunday Scribbling prompt is Punishment and Reward. Nothing comes immediately to mind about this phrase, so I think I'll just freewrite and see where it takes me.
We had a Christmas party last night, and the reward was getting to talk with people I haven't talked with in a while, including BostonErin, and DJ. It was also nice to chat with my upstairs neighbor over beer, instead of over condo docs and contractor bills, and with my sister-in-law outside of the normal family cauldron. But the punishment for inviting a lot of people was that there were some that I barely got a chance to say hi to.
The punishment for having really high hopes around parties and the holidays is that inevitably the event is disappointing. We were disappointed that a few people who said they'd be there didn't show, and that people left on the early side (a lot before midnight--are we getting too old for late, drunken, silly parties?)
The reward for having high hopes though is that you're an optimistic person in general, so after you wallow a bit in the disappointments, you can spend more time concentrating on the good: Brian made a lot of wonderful food that everyone enjoyed, I got just tipsy enough to laugh a lot but not be hungover today. We got to share our insanely decorated house with friends. We realized the joy in having a Christmas event with friends instead of only with family--the best part being that we could control the guest list and truly be surrounded by people we love.