The last several days have been exciting, challenging and frightening. I don’t know why but I decided, when invited to speak in Minneapolis and Rothschild, that I would do three new lectures, one of the them a full day one. I had grown comfortable with the day long lectures that I do, I was perfectly happy with making small moderation to the shorter lectures, I’m 64, I was into coasting. But there was something pulling me, or pushing me, or motivating me in some way to branch out and challenge myself, to say out loud to an audience what I was saying deep inside to myself. So, months before I would have to do any of these things, I agreed to the topics and wrote up the blurbs for them.
Problem is, what you think is doable in four months, looks a lot less doable and a lot more frightening when time arrives. I kept saying to Joe how angry I was at myself for doing this to myself. It was like back being a novice speaker, getting materials ready and reviewed before going to bed, getting up really early the next morning and rewriting the lecture notes out long hand. Trying to figure out timing and not really knowing if I had enough, too much or if the whole thing hung together.
Every day, after finishing, I would be exhausted. Luckily I always had more material than I needed but unluckily that meant that I never got the ‘whole’ of the message in, with the exception of the day long lecture. Thing is people don’t know what they didn’t hear so I got away with it, but I knew what I’d wanted to say and made notes of where to cut and where to expand the next time, if there is a next time, I do these topics.
We fly home tomorrow, being done now, and it felt good. The lectures were well received but more than that, it felt good to get out of my comfort zone and tackle some new issues. The introduction of Disability Informed Therapy, in the day long lecture, for example, gave me great pleasure. Saying what I really, really, really wanted to say about how we approach and understand service to people with disabilities felt so incredibly good. That people responded well was gravy, or icing on the cake, or in my case sugar free strawberry jello.
In doing this I rediscovered something in myself. I was able to remind myself that at 64 I’m still growing and learning, I’m still in need of a challenge and I need to be wary of ruts that weary.
So, I’m going home.
With a good tired.
A tired inspired by taking chances, risking failure and renewing my relationship with professional vulnerability.
A real good tired.