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
- 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.