My Definition of Success
Well I managed to keep it together at Toastmasters today. And by keeping it together I mean I didn’t stutter all over myself or feel the intense need to flee from the room before I broke out in tears. To me that equals a successful Toastmasters meeting although at some point I may need to re-evaluate my definition of the word “success.”
There was some mix-up in the agenda and despite signing up 2 weeks ago to be the ballot counter, someone else ended up doing the job. That meant that I’d more than likely be chosen for Table Topics, and I was. Table Topics scares me more than Maya’s germ-infested lunch box but since I need to learn to speak properly I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Table Topics is going to be a part of my life whether I like it or not. Trying to come up with a 1-2 minute speech at the drop of a hat is not exactly my forte but I’m happy to report that I managed to pull something coherent together today. Not fantastic but coherent. Baby steps, right?
My question was fairly easy this time – “What happy memory from your childhood home do you recall with fondness?” Now that I think about it I wish I’d talked about how my dad would wake my brother up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday to kill the backyard weeds with a giant container of toxic chemicals while my brother muttered the F-word every few seconds. Or how my sister stole all the money I’d saved up to buy a Walkman and told me I could have it back only if I could find it. But I’m not really sure if memories of my dysfunctional siblings would qualify as “fond” so instead I talked for exactly 58 seconds about how great my birthdays were when I was younger.
I mentioned how my mom would cook up a storm for our extended family and a few friends, we’d have cake and Thrifty ice cream, and my dad would distribute loot bags. (This last part is a total lie but I didn’t think I could mention that instead of giving out candy my dad was yelling at us kids “To keep it down before I come over there with a stick.”)
People seemed to relate to how nice birthdays were in the good old days. They nodded appropriately and laughed at times, and nobody threw anything at me. Success? I’d say so, even though I didn’t win Best Table Topics speech. I prefer to believe that was because I was 2 seconds short of the minute I was required to talk for, instead of the possibility that someone had a better answer than me. Sometimes even a realist can revel in ignorance for a little while.
I am reveling in the aforementioned ignorance right now, as a matter of fact, as I blissfully ignore the “no’s” and the “you better (fill in the blank) right now’s” that are coming from Maya’s shower. La la la la la….