Another thing happened this morning at Toastmasters that seemed like a positive. The woman who wanted to be president of the club but whom I beat to the punch has been making it hard for me to enjoy Toastmasters lately. In the last Board meeting, she was pretty deliberately confrontational with me in ways that didn’t make a lot of sense to me. We were having a conversation about those home assistant things, and I said “Oh, like Amazon’s Alexa?” And she said “No, Alexa is Google.” I was pretty sure that Alexa was Amazon’s, but I identified the hardware as the Echo. She looked at me like a particularly stupid person (I’ve since confirmed that I was right.) I was running an event that she’d signed up to emcee. It was a seven speaker event. She declared that she intended to get eight speakers in. I said that it was pretty traditionally a seven speaker event and she assured me she had it under control. I said that I’d gotten sign-ups for most of the roles, but that I’d keep pressing for the last couple. I also said that I had a couple of aces in the hole for it. Snarkily, she asked what my aces in the hole were. I started “well, I haven’t signed up for a role, so there’s that…” and she interrupted me and said “oh, so you’re the ace in the hole. I understand now.” It was really crappy of her, but I continued that I’d gotten agreements from people who weren’t represented, and I thought we’d be covered for the event.
I went to Toastmasters this morning before I picked up my brother at the airport. Partly, I went because Toastmasters makes my morning better. Partly, I went because the guy who I thought might have been demonstrating getting-to-know-you-better energy was scheduled for a role. I’ve been at the last couple of meetings and not seen him, and because I wasn’t really paying attention before then, I’m not sure if that’s unusual. I didn’t expect to make much progress in getting to the bottom of that, because there’s not usually a lot of time for chit chat before— I get to the meetings 10-15 minutes before they start, but people who have roles are often preoccupied with logistics, and while you chat with people here and there, everyone’s usually a little more relaxed after the meeting’s over, and I knew I’d have to be gone by then.
I’ve talked a fair amount about belonging, with a friend. Belonging is definitely one of those basic human needs— I was even reading (slash watching one of those animations with captions on Facebook) this morning that one of the ways to get past some of the divisiveness in our current culture is to put people into the same category as you. In fairness, I also listened to Brene Brown say the same thing last night— lest it seem like I rely solely on memes for information— that she reaches out to people with whom she disagrees and establishes common ground before she bothers to address some of the things that divide us. I accept these things as true. And yet…
Yesterday, I listened to a sermon Jen Hatmaker gave (9/24/2017) at the church her husband pastors this weekend. In it, she talks about how the story of Jesus’s temptation in the desert shows how the devil attacks believers, first going for their weak spots, then going for their strength. There’s a third temptation, and I think that message will be next week. I’m not sure which of those places the following story falls into, or if I’m jamming this story into that unrelated story, but here goes.
I’ve known that my mom was unusually short of breath and dizzy for the better part of two years. I’ve known that every time I take her to the emergency room, they are alarmed at her pulse oxygen level. I’ve known that she’s fallen more than once, and that the dizziness is a likely contributing factor. I’ve known that she has smoked for more than 60 years, and that all of these things are probably related.
Yesterday, I didn’t make myself lunch. I got some good news during the morning (I went to the doctor and got caught up on all my general health screenings after more than two years without going to the doctor, because I lost faith in my primary care doc and then I took my sweet time replacing her. Although I had been warned that my blood pressure was starting to be a problem, it came in under the wire for hypertension, and the prediabetes that is probably only a matter of time, given my family history, isn’t yet bad enough that they’re going to force medication, given that I’m serious about lifestyle modification.) Anyway, the last of the tests came in clear. That, combined with a cancelled afternoon meeting sent me out for lunch, even though it was a busy day. I had a nice lunch (though a little disappointingly salty, which is hard to say about a salad), and on the way back to the office, had the irresistible urge to stop for ice cream. I’ve been really careful about calories lately, so I tried hard to resist, but I kept being prodded toward ice cream. I gave in and stopped, at some trouble (the first two places I stopped were busts.)
There are a lot of things I like about the idea that there might be a flirtation developing at Toastmasters (I have nothing to report on this, BTW— he wasn’t at this week’s meeting.) He’s nice, handsome, interesting, and I’d be highly complimented. It might not be— he might have felt a non-romantic connection, or might be trying to encourage me, since he sees that I’m taking on a leadership role in the club— a role he himself has held. I know for sure he’s a nice guy, and he hasn’t done anything overtly romantic, just expressed a continuing warmth of interest somewhat greater than I’d expect from a network contact. I’m for sure trying not to let my imagination run away with me. With that said, his warmth hasn’t been of the “good for you for stepping up” variety— it’s been of the “that took a lot of guts” and the “I admire what you did there,” variety— something just a little more personal.