Why is it that whenever I have an obligatory event to attend, I stress out over it? I always worry about all the things that need to get done over the weekend and how I’ll have to put them off to go out-of-town for a relative’s graduation, retirement or 90th birthday party. I think about the laundry, and the bills that need paid, and wonder when I’ll find time to get groceries before the week starts all over. But then, I get there, and I see people I haven’t seen in years and re-introduce myself to relatives who haven’t seen me since I was a teen, or meet someone new with an interesting story to tell and I’m glad I made the effort. Babies get bounced on knees and cameras flash. There’s cake and punch and a dish of mixed nuts and someone tells that embarrassing story that we’ve all heard a million times before. Hugs are exchanged and as we say good-bye, the guest of honor says, “thanks for making the trip, I’m really glad you made it,” and I am too.