Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Those Who Knew Me When . . .

Throughout this year, I've found myself gaining more confidence and feeling more comfortable every time I speak in front of a crowd.  It doesn't seem to bother me whether the audience is 2 or 200.  I find myself responding to the audience reaction and my favorite part is always the question/answer part at the end whether the audience is 2 or 200.  I love open discussion even when speaking to a larger group.

However, I find myself a bit nervous whenever I speak in front of a group of people I know.  Especially when it is a group of people who "knew me when."  Especially when it is my village (or my church family from childhood).  These are the people who watched me grow up from birth until it was time to move on into adulthood in a different location.  These are the people who heard my first attempts at public speaking.  (This time was slightly longer than the 3 1/2 minutes of my first speaking experience.)  These are the people I continue to see on occasion as I visit my childhood home.  These are the people who know me well enough to ask pointed questions.  It's a good thing they are kind and I am open to questions.  They were so attentive and asked important questions about the last 10 years of my life and the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas program.  I am always thrilled when I get to talk about this amazing program and how I am privileged to spend my year as Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2013.  And, this time, I was prepared.  I could answer questions about how many appearances I'd made, different towns/cities I'd visited, and miles I have travelled.  Thank you Norton Lions Club for reminding me to make sure I always have that information at hand.

When I was done speaking up front, I had the privilege to speak to people as they exited the church and signed my gratitude journal.  I love hearing other people's stories as much or more than I love sharing my own.  Stories are an amazing way to share life lessons.  I'm always impressed by the stories I hear and thankful thoughts I get to read in my journal.  I treasure that journal and might just carry it with my everywhere I go for the rest of my life, not just the rest of this year.  :)

Thankful thoughts of the day:
The last warm day in the forecast
Exciting field trips
Christmas Decorations
Prepared and enthusiastic piano students

"There is a calmness to a life lived in Gratitude, a quiet joy."
                                  Ralph H. Blum

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