Friday, February 17, 2006

A fish out of water

I'm sorry I have not been a good blogger this week. Between The Hermit being out of town and my keeping up with work, school, daycare, chores, and the pursuit of warmth, and being immersed in the preparation of my first PowerPoint presentation and the accompanying talk, and going to the meeting where I presented said talk, I have not had time to breathe, let alone blog. I can relax now.

I came up with the title of this post as a reference to the nature of the meeting I attended, which was a gathering of Fisheries staff from the five area offices in our region. This happens every other year; in the alternate years we have a really big extravaganza with staff from the entire state. I am also referring to my general state of mind at such gatherings.

Not that I don't enjoy these meetings, and I think it is important to know what is going on in the organization beyond our little office, as well as interact socially with my colleagues. I have known many of these people for nearly fifteen years now, and Fisheries people in general are very down-to-earth, unpretentious types. I also didn't mind having a single hotel room, complete with thermostat, indoor plumbing, shower, and bathtub, all to myself! To feel at home, I did turn the thermostat down to about 62 at night. ;)

However, for an introvert like myself, who maybe even teeters on the far high-functioning end of the Asperger's/autism spectrum, too much social interaction becomes overwhelming after a while, and I end up needing quiet time at home (HA! No such thing!) to recharge.

Thanks to those higher up the food chain in the agency for which I work, who obviously don't think we're worthy of having a meeting at all and vetoed our first reasonably-priced venue, we ended up at a budget hotel, which was nice enough, but the meeting room for fifty plus people was only slightly larger than the total square footage of my tiny house. We were packed in, as one former flight attendant put it, "Like economy class passengers on a 747 to Tokyo".

My presentation went well. Despite my introverted nature, I have never had a problem with public speaking, probably thanks to my experience playing music for an audience. And, watching the other speakers, I realized everyone is far from perfect at it.

By after lunch on the second day, I had had enough. Packed in the tiny room, I felt fatigued, and my eyes hurt. Perhaps that was due to the heavy perfume worn by the person behind me; I am somewhat sensitive to fragrances. After the meeting concluded, and the hour-long ride back to the office (luckily I didn't have to drive), I had to pick Starflower up from her Girl Scout meeting, go home, then return to the school in the evening for parent-teacher conferences. Were it not for the lasagna The Hermit had ready when I got home the first time, I don't know if I would have been able to endure more interaction. As it was, I think all I did was nod and smile as Calvin's and Starflower's teachers praised their excellent work and their personalities. (I'm so proud of them!) When we got home, finally, I could only dive under the comforter with a cool washcloth over my eyes.

We got our high speed internet hooked up at home, and I'm likely to be spending a lot of time indoors this weekend as the temperatures dip down lower than they've been all winter, so I'll hopefully catch up on blogging!


Rexroth's Daughter said...

Glad to see you back. I like your description of the meeting. You're lucky that you don't mind public speaking. When I've had to do it, my voice cracks and I start to sound like I'm going to cry. I also manage to stop breathing for that added anxiety affect!

Looking forward to your high-speed postings.

Laura said...

Welcome back. Every time I go to a meeting like that, I wonder why somebody doesn't come up with a conference room with real air. Light, too - light would be nice. Funny about introversion and public speaking. In my experience, we introverts actually take to it more easily than the rest. Lately I find it's a thrill to have a whole room of people hush just to listen to me. What a rare treat!

Nio said...

I don't mind speaking in public, but I'm really really really bad at it. It's not that I get nervous beforehand it's that I get nervous as soon as I stand up. THen I panic and go into hyper mode: I talk way to fast, loose my train of thought really easily, repeat things like 500 times, and have waaaay to much body movement.

But I'm working on it. Practice makes perfect, right?

It's going to be really cold here this weekend also (after yesterday's temps in the 50s). Chop some extra wood.

clairesgarden said...

well done you. I hope you find a space to have some peace in.

Floridacracker said...

It's behind you now. Enjoy your family and your weekend!

pablo said...

I'm sorry you had to use PowerPoint!

madcapmum said...

Me too! Hate Power-Point. I've never used it, but I get an almost overpowering urge to scream and run when someone inflicts a P.P. presentation. I don't hold you responsible, never fear.

I'm glad you're home, glad the kids are thriving, glad the Hermit made lasagna. Have a good rest this weekend.