Monday, December 08, 2008

New things to learn and to own

Now that I work in Corporate Canada, running a small special library, I am involved also in Corporate Life.

I grew up in a small town, most of the people I knew were more blue collar Christians who faithfully lived and worked and sent their children to Christian schools. Very thoughtful, deliberate, God-loving people.

People that I hope Wendell Berry would like, especially the ones that had farms. These were not the doctors, lawyers, business or civil servants. And so, I did not experience five-course meals, table settings with more than one knife, fork and spoon, until I was in my early twenties. And in time, I became a librarian.

Libraries, even public libraries, can be a bit more business like. But not like where I am now. And so, I am going to my first Corporate Christmas Party. Cocktails and hors d'Ĺ“uvre, with mingling and later a meal. Thankfully (I asked the right people) there has never been crazy alcohol induced things. I am not comfortable drinking socially myself, so I will get some nice red Cranberry juice or something.

And today I bought a pretty red sweater with a nice black/grey/silver strands suit jacket and pants. I also got some nice silver with crystal (or what looks like silver and crystal) flower necklace and earrings. I have been wearing the same silver earrings for 4 years strait and very very rarely buy jewelry at all as I always wear my silver Cross and silver earrings. I do not remember buying a dressy necklace since high school in the early 90's. Anyway. I feel a bit more prepared now and now have to continue to pray for wisdom, courage and Christ's love for the social mingling part.

I usually would rather quote Jane Kenyon's poem on staying home instead of going out than go to big events! (Unless they are with my church, this seems different, as it is family).

So the little country girl has to grow up to be a city girl with a professional career, Cute Cat and a nice one bedroom apartment.

Please pray for me - this is all new to me and I have felt nervous about it.

Also, if you have any suggestions for how to make small talk, please share with me! I had a really good conversation yesterday after church and was reminded of the introvert's golden key - ask the other person about themselves. Any other tips, I would love to hear.

For me, I really feel that this is part of my growing up and is linked to my inner healing (another story that this post is indirectly about). What are things that you see as things that helped you mature and grow?

8 comments:

Simply Victoria said...

wow, I can completely relate. I did not grow up in a household where there were more than 2 utensils involved in any meal, and cloth napkins were only pulled out at christmas.

hmmmm. small-talk christmas parties are a real social hurdle.

I find that the best thing to do is to ask people a million questions about themselves... what do you do, how did you get into your field of work, what interested you about it, etc., etc.
People love to talk about themselves, and if you express true interest, you will have charmed your way through the evening. good luck!
your outfit sounds very classy.

RW said...

Yes. I agree with Vic. Ask questions - ask questions - ask questions...

YOu will be just fine.

Elevation Perception said...

I am just like you jewelry-wise. My cross and a pair of silver earrings I have worn for years is all I have and need. I also have a silver ring with "Lord, have mercy" on it, and also wear it always.

Good luck mingling! And, like everyone, I will tell you that questions about others is the way to go. Hopefully, you will be able to talk to someone in whom/whose work you are genuinely interested. Who knows, you might make a friend :)

E Helena E said...

Look forward to post impressions. You are a good listener too, so I am sure you will do fine. I'll pray for pleasant surprises! The outfit/ensemble sounds perfect for your colouring.

E Helena E said...

P.S. I meant to add that where you grew up sounds alot like the rural community of my Protestant spiritual mother who fell asleep in the Lord in Oct...

I hope you can add some of your own charming Elizabethness to this corporate social event!

elizabeth said...

V - nice that we can relate!! yes, i hope to ask lots of questions and focus on the other...

thanks so much for the encouragment also about the outfit! i am excited to wear it... :) i will wear it to work that day as we go strait from work to the resturant...

RW - thanks for the affirmation and encouragement!

T - very cool that we have our basic jewlery only in common! i love simple and silver! Your ring sounds very lovely.

it will be intersting to see how it goes!

E-H - thanks for the encouragment, prayers, and encouragment! Very special that where i grew up reminds you of your prodestant spiritual mother... we are similar in that both of our spiritual mothers were protestant!

Asheya said...

I am excited for you to be able to gain confidence in new situations with your upcoming Christmas party! The best advice has already been given - take an interest in people and you will get along great. Most people are busy worrying about the impression they are making.

Oh, and try to relax and have fun! Good food is always something to celebrate!

elizabeth said...

Thanks Asheya! I will try to do just that...