Thursday, December 22, 2011

To RSVP or not to RSVP...

To RSVP, or not to RSVP--that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to give notice of one's intentions ~ or to play it by ear and Go with the Flow. 

All the events I've hosted and attended (or not) this holiday season have me thinking about the simple act of asking for and giving (or not) an RSVP.  To be sure, when I am hosting, I appreciate people telling me in advance that they are coming, so that I can plan.  And yet, the reality is that, despite all of the good intentions, the Ones Who RSVP are rarely the same as the Ones Who Show Up. 

I understand this completely, as it is so often the case that the event to which I RSVP early, mark in red on my calendar, and make detailed plans to precisely the event I miss because of some unplanned occurrence, a sick child, a mix-up in child care, or I'm just plain too run-down to go. 

As an invited guest, then, I don't like to RSVP.  By RSVPing, I feel I've given up all intention of living spontaneously and being In the Moment.  Even if the calendar is full of events I am truly exciting to attend, I feel stuck when I look at a calendar chock full of appointments.  It feels more natural and more free to stay in Flow, and go where time allows and Spirit calls.  And then, if I do show up, having not RSVP'd, there is that happy moment of Surprise! when I do walk in the door. 

Of course, that moment of surprise may only be happy for me if the host has carefully planned supplies and refreshments for a specific number.  It also feels disrespectful of the host's time and energy not to have let them know that I'm coming.  And I know it can feel deflating to invite people to an event, and then have few people RSVP. Then again, it also feels disrespectful to RSVP and then not show up. 

Sigh.  What a modern day, spiritual, practical conundrum.

I suppose it's all a matter of setting a clear intention and clear communication.  So...'tis kinder of heart to respond ("I do intend to attend"), while also communicating with the respect ("and I am honored to be invited"), as well as accommodating Flow ("Goddess willing and Spirit don't conflict!").  Now, will eVite please put a box like that on their invitations? It just might resolve RSVPing issues for a lot of us.