I love getting out in the garden and tending to my plants. There’s a simple joy that goes hand in hand with watering them and watching them grow, and it is amazing how they respond to a little fertiliser.
Sometimes I choose my time to do this just right and all I can hear is the trickle of the water as I move from pot to pot, watering each plant in turn. It centres me and I enjoy it – it’s addictive, it’s therapeutic, and it has its own rewards. It’s a simple pleasure that keeps me still.
A little like blogging. I enjoy writing about and sharing my thoughts, I look forward to sharing photos I capture, and I love the interaction with those with whom I share my posts. But . . .
Sometimes, doing so is the hardest thing. Sometimes, allowing the inside out is difficult. Sometimes, I get too busy with other things. Toastmasters for example. As much as I love gardening and blogging, I also love writing speeches and presenting them, and all of that takes time. Often, writing a speech can take weeks – or longer – and then starts the process of learning the speech.
I love to hone it and tweak it and practice it until it sings and is like another layer of clothing. This is what I’ve been doing lately, only this time, this speech was different. It was for a segment called ‘Open Mike’ – five-minute stand-up comedy routine.
If you think public speaking is tough, then stand up comedy is its big brother – on steroids. I cannot remember being so nervous, at least not in recent years. Was I going to be funny? Would I remember all my ‘lines’? Would the audience laugh?
I needn’t have worried so much because my ‘routine’ (for want of a better word) was well received and I solicited as many – if not more – laughs than I expected.
This was at a meeting of The Comedy Club, a new Toastmasters club that is in formation and sponsored by myself and my friend Tracey, and although every meeting the agenda has that ‘Open Mike’ segment, the club is ‘a serious club for serious speakers’. Yes, the name is a play on words, but we also focus on learning the ‘art’ of comedy and how to effortlessly inject it into our speeches.
My assignment for the night – that the nerve-racking five-minute stand-up comedy routine – wasn’t serious at all, and yet, as nervous as I was, apparently, I was seriously funny talking about Dean, my bad luck magnet, and (some of) the disastrous holidays we’ve had over the years.
Honestly, I can’t wait to be assigned this role again, and if this is what keeps me from being still, I say “Bring it on!”
(Dean can always water my plants.)