|My Mah-jong buddy, Margo!|
Now I'm going to get real for a minute. I struggle sometimes in social situations. I worry so much about how I may be received. I will stress later over everything I said, hoping that I didn't offend somebody or appear upon first impression to be a person that I really am not. Sometimes it drives me mad. I'll worry about things that weren't a big deal or that were so minuscule that people probably don't remember that one sentence I'm worried may have been interpreted differently from my intentions. I may even start stressing in the middle of the conversation. I'll suddenly zone back into the conversation and realize that I have no idea what was just said. I was replaying my words anxiously and worrying without even realizing it. If I do hurt someone's feelings, I will likely fret about it even a year or two later when something reminds me of it. (SIGHS) I know it sounds stupid. I'm making a huge effort to overcome this. My mom suggested that before I go to an event or function that I repeat: "I will not have any regrets." She says that I will probably hurt somebody's feelings unintentionally today and probably tomorrow because I am human and so are they. So who cares? Let it roll off and move forward. It's not like it was done intentionally, and you can't control everybody's feelings or interpretations. She said that I'm going to worry so much about all of this that I will start to withdraw and stop being myself... and I've seen it happen. She's a wise woman.
Anyway, all of that was just to explain the next bit on this blog, which I'm sure you can tell I'm already stressing about writing. However, feelings are feelings. They are not right or wrong.
We were given assigned seating, which meant that I ended up at a table with only one person whom I knew. Most of them were older than me as well, which means they have kids and many more experiences than I've had. It's easy to talk to people regardless of age if they are family, have known you for a while, or if you have participated in activities together. It's much harder when they don't know you at all.
"Have you been here long?"
"Do you know or have you been to ____"
"Do you have any kids?"
"No. Just dogs."
They were trying so hard to find something to talk to me about. God bless them. It's already difficult... meeting new people.. but throw in an age gap (and my small town experiences, lack of travel, and lack of children) that leaves you grasping for things in common... and it's worse. I just sort of stared off into space for a while. I was just so tired, and I'm already anxious in social situations; I felt...alien. I started to withdraw. I hope they didn't think I was rude. I wanted to talk more, I just didn't know what to say. I asked about their kids and interests, but I couldn't figure out how to relate to them in a way that would sustain a longer conversation. Luckily, near the end of the meal, we finally all found some common ground...the education system...teenagers.. and pets. All of which I have experience! So, it did get better for me after my initial struggle. They were all lovely ladies.
Moving on. I love living here in Aberdeen, and one of the reasons is the time I get to spend with my dogs off lead, in parks, and in a climate that suits them as well as me. Angel loves to chase the sticks I throw. Sometimes she chews them up a bit before bringing them back. Dogs are great. They love you unconditionally. I've added some pictures of things blooming in the park. It's so beautiful. It really makes me smile to see God's beautiful creations.