Saturday, May 22, 2010

Again, with feeling

Is it too late to set new goals for 2010? I realise the year is half-over now, but even so...

I want this year to be the year of more, and here's my list of the more that I want:

  • Staff meetings
  • Potlucks at work
  • Blogging
  • Structured writing
  • Exercise (I can hear you laughing)
  • Time with friends and family
  • Outdoor activities
  • Photography (I'm making fair progress here)

I organised a potluck at work yesterday. I should state here that I love the idea of potlucks and general fun in my office; I enjoy the idea of that togetherness, of promoting the camaraderie among my employees.

But I really suck at planning and implementation. I fail at socialising. My attempts at generic conversation crash and burn.

One one hand, I feel that if I did it more often it would be less painful; that I wouldn't be so awkward with them; that the effort wouldn't feel forced and stilted if I just had more practice.

On the other, I feel so incredibly inept at relating to them that the painful awkwardness that invariably results from those situations poisons my mind against wanting to plan it after each attempt.

It's a problem, I know. I talk myself out of it. I convince myself that I can't possibly be away from my work for that long, that we all have too much to do.

Today was different. Maybe I was in a better frame of mind. Maybe I've been hearing rumours around the office that unrest is brewing because I remove myself from them so much, and I've begun to fear open war if I didn't do something. Maybe they were more receptive because it's been a dreadfully long time since the last potluck I organised... last year? Two years ago? Was that even the same job?

I was talking to The Husband about how hard that type of interaction is for me, how I don't know how to make small talk. He suggested talking about the food. Try a dish, ask the person how they learned of it; is it from an old family recipe? Childhood favourite from their mom, perhaps?

My head spun. Why would I ask such questions? I don't honestly care. I can't possibly be expected to fake that sort of interest. While it probably seems unfriendly not to make at least some effort at polite inquiry, I find the idea of feigning interest in order to promote small talk to be downright repulsive.

I grumbled about his idea all morning. What does he know, anyway? He doesn't know those people; he has no idea how to make small talk with them. Harumph.

And then what happens? I find myself in the kitchen at the office, just me and one of the ladies and she was making meatballs (turns out, balls of ground meat simmered in tomato-based sauce are not as horrifying as they sound) and I tried it out.

That totally fucking worked. For five minutes we talked about meatballs. And it was fine. The ground didn't swallow me up. God didn't send a lightning bolt sizzling to Earth to fry my ass for faking interest.

Turns out that Husband knows quite a lot.


Paula said...

Just found your blog and love love love that you gave it try.
And it worked so well. BTW I love these albondigas (meantballs in simmered in sauce - from Spain) NO, it is never to late to implement a new technique, tools etc. to better ourselves. Slip backs are normal and arent important. Important is only that we pick up again.
This year I have started photography as well and simply have so much fun on top it is soothing and so relaxing! Discovering my wolrld through the lens gave me some insights on other levels too! I never was good in exercising! Well rather with the needed consistency there. By now I have figured I love QiGong, jazz dance and Pilates. Years ago I never would have succeeded in any of those! Now I ask myself every morning how I feel and what I like to do. Some days I do QiGong, some days I use the bicycle, some days I do Pilates and once in a while I say it is OK to not do anything today. Ever since I am consistent and take mood, energy into consideration. Hugs across the pond

Jade said...

Hi Paula. Thanks for your comment and the encouragement. Photography has helped me in other areas too. Something as simple as changing my perspective for a picture has served to remind me to do the same during verbal interactions when things aren't lining up right (so to speak).

Thanks for reading, hope to see you back here!

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