Embarrassment feels a lot like a bunch of worms wriggling about in the gut, glutting themselves on the stomach until they are so engorged they all vomit. Yeah, that’s about how I feel.
Bad news first: I was a no show at a workshop today.
I can’t believe. I never skip out on an engagement. I’m never even late. I’m the guy who gets there half an hour early and always has to wait for the doors to open up at the location where I’m speaking. (Really, this is exactly what happened last night.) But this morning everything just went wrong. Long story short, I was supposed to be in American Fork this morning to do my Triple Duty Writing workshop for a joint class between the local school district and library, I believe. Complications (sorry, that’s the best I can offer here) kept me from ever even leaving my house. Even if they hadn’t, I had the starting time on my calendar a whole hour late! I screwed up this day even before it could on its own.
To top it off, I didn’t have a phone number to reach the organizers (where did all those e-mails go?) until I was already late and they e-mailed me. I profusely apologized and offered to reschedule when and where they wanted, this time doing the workshop without charge. Still, after doing all I can make up for this, those worms are crawling around inside me puking. It don’t feel great.
If you were one of the people expecting me to be in the Professional Development Center in American Fork this morning when I no-showed, I honestly beg your apology. I just couldn’t make it. If we’re able to reschedule, I promise to make up for my non-appearance.
Now that the bad’s out of the way, I can report the good: last night I was lucky enough to be one of several writers to spend time with kids at the Road Home in downtown Salt Lake. For those who don’t know, the Road Home is a shelter for the homeless that helps people transition back into self-sufficiency. It’s a great place. Well, last night along with fellow authors and friends Jennifer Nielsen, Kristen Chandler, Matthew Kirby, and Becky Hall, I had a chance to spend an hour with the kids. We had a plan going in. We really did.
This was the plan: we’d split into three stations and cycle the kids around every fifteen minutes or so from event to event. I was planning on doing word games on a white board with lots of different markers for the kids to use, Becky had Play Dough and lots of picture books for the little kids, Kris and Matt were going to do balloon tying, and Jen was going to roam about keeping order and helping us hit our marks.
This is what happened:…
I don’t recall. All I remember is kind of a blur of color and happy noises. The next thing I know, I’m searching the room for my markers and am shocked to the core that I find all eight—with their caps! Didn’t lose a thing.
It was crazy, swimming not to sink rather than to a set location or to win a race. But it was a lot of fun. All the kids got a bag of books to keep, and the Road Home got donated books from the authors as well as some toys for their play room. It was a great experience with some really good people chipping in.
So where does that leave me? Today, I feel horrible ab0ut missing the workshop in American Fork. Yesterday, I felt really good about doing what little I could to show those kids some attention, and if I get passed my own moping today, I still feel good about it. So that means…?
I don’t know.
But I am glad I had the chance to play with those kids yesterday with my friends and colleagues.
And I am sickened and remorseful that I missed the workshop today.
However those two things mix together, that’s how I am right now.