For an extroverted introverted person, such as myself, this week has been both physically and mentally draining. I had to attend a health conference in Washington, DC and attend meeting after meeting. I actually enjoyed the legislative hill visits I partook in, as they served as a reminder that even in these crazy times, we the people do have power. That was all well and good. However, my whole time there, I felt tired and preoccupied.
After Washington DC, I had to fly to Boston where I was to giev a keynote address. That is a lot of pressure. While I am an extroverted introvert, when I get on the stage I can be quite a diva. I have a lot to say and I have passion and conviction. Yet, a keynote is a lot of pressure. While I was trying to work on my speech, I had to worry about work back home, still trying to buy a house and make sure I listened intently to my son’s bits of good news through skype. Sometimes, I just want to give it all up and move to a remote island somewhere. Problem with that is that I get heat rashes and migraines from the sun. Sometimes, you just can’t win.
Eventually, with a bit of help from back home, I got a speech written. Then I had to rewrite, edit and practice. Then edit some more. Then, I just had a string of odd bad luck.
I tried to print out my speech at my hotel’s printer. It was low on toner. It came out half legible. That was just not going to work. I downloaded it onto my iPad thinking that perhaps it was time for me to enter the 21st century and do my speech from a tablet. Ive seen others do it. But I have to share with you, I like the feel of a paper speech. It feels real. It feels like it has more weight and substance. It feels like it has been worked on. A paper speech tends to have my coffee stains and added pithy zingers in the margins. An electronic speech doesn’t have -or rather doesn’t-showcase its weight.
I tried not to give up on eventually holding onto a printed copy. I went to the American Airlines lounge at the aiport and tried to print from there. Unbelievably, the toner was out as well. What was going on? I felt a moment of frustration. I read through the speech on my tablet and made some other edits.
I arrived in Boston and at my hotel pulled out my laptop and practiced and tweaked my speech some more. I saved it and went to print it out from my new hotel. Well, there was no ink left in the printer. There was asuredly, now, a mass toner conspiracy afoot. I felt a bit despondent. And it was snowing. Snowing! So much for springtime.
I went out into the rain/slush/snow and quickly searched on my phone for a nearby FedEx. I found one and entered it into google maps and tried to chart a course to walk there. I am not great with maps. The sidewalks were slick and I was freezing. My hands were shaking as I was trying to figure out my google map pedestrian directions. I finally found the place where I would finally get a printed copy of my speech. Although, it was touch and go when I went inside and the staff were having a bit of a tiff with one another. At first, my speech wouldn’t print there either. I just felt I was cursed. But I hung in there and they gave me a free print out because I looked so tired, wet and pathetic.
You know what is funny about this all?
My speech was about resilience and solidarity within communities. Indeed, it truly took a village, stamina and fortitude to write and print it out. Life can be funny that way.
Categories: Culture, current events, Humor, mental health, Psychology, work, writing
I prayed for patience and found myself in line at the grocery store behind a person with $150 in coupons Funny how things work out, or “Not So Much”
Great story–which, of course, gives you some awesome material for your next keynote. Way to hang in there!! The village is cheering.
Quite an adventure you had with this speech !