talking by Len Matthews,  (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I have a runaway tongue. There is no doubt, that given the opportunity, I know how to talk. Just introduce one of my favourite subjects and I am unstoppable.

Many years ago when I was much younger, whenever I came home from a social function, I’d replay all that evening’s conversations in my head. Around and around they’d go like an ever-revolving record. I said this, and then I said that… I always ended up wishing I’d said less. If I hadn’t said so much, I wouldn’t be wondering: “What is everyone thinking about me?” They were probably not thinking about me at all, but my young insecure self didn’t consider that.

 Of course I always vowed not to talk as much next time I got together with friends. Yes, I’d leave the speaking to others. I planned to listen carefully, nod my head in agreement, smile and generally keep quiet. That way I wouldn’t dominate the conversation. I wouldn’t say anything foolish and wonder what everyone was saying about me later. Of course I always failed.

Those days are long gone but I’m still talking. Sometimes I have a good excuse to open my mouth. Recently, I was invited to speak at the Catholic Digital Media Conference in Sydney. I co-presented a blogging workshop. My fellow speaker was Laura from the blog Catholic Cravings.

Laura is different from me in nearly every way. She is tall and I am short. She is young and pretty and I am much older. She is a single student, aware of all the latest news about Catholic issues, and I am a stay-at-home mother who often doesn’t know what’s going on in the bigger world. And our blogs and writing styles are very different as well. And I like that. I think our workshop was potentially richer because of these differences. They show we don’t all have to be the same. There is room for everyone in the blogosphere. We all have our unique way of sharing our Catholic faith.

The time for our workshop arrived. Laura very capably opened the session, and then handed over to me. Now I did remember to pass the baton back to my co-presenter every now and then, but I fear I always took far too long. You see, there was so much to say and I forgot to look at the clock, and dear Laura must have been wondering if she’d ever get a word in.

And so I came home thinking about how I’d talked too much. But unlike my more youthful self, I didn’t keep replaying the session in my head, cringing at my every word. I know I only spoke because I was passionate about the subject. I don’t regret my actual words. I didn’t beat myself up over it. I have learnt that doesn’t really help. But I do feel I should have stepped back and given more time to Laura.

Why do we think what we have to say is so important? Why do we feel we have to say it? I’ve been mulling these thoughts over. Sometimes other people have even better things to say than us, and it’s good to remember that.

When the conference came to a close, Laura gave me a big hug as we said goodbye. And I left Mary MacKillop Place feeling I’d known her forever, instead of only a few hours. She said it was good to meet me. It was great to work together. Yes, she is a very gracious woman.

Laura has written her own post about the CDMC. It’s totally different to mine. And that’s good. I’ve just filled a post talking about myself again. Laura didn’t do that. She actually wrote something interesting.

I’m going to stop talking now. I’m going to let you go. Please hop over to Laura’s blog and listen to her instead.

You can also find me on my Sue Elvis Writes Facebook page. You could stop by and say hello. I'd like that!

Post a Comment

  1. “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ."”
    ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

    For me, the struggle is sometimes from nervousness. When I am nervous, I talk way too much. I walk away from a stranger and think, "Now, why in the world did I tell them that."

    I am glad things ultimately went well at the workshop. I am considering a blog of my own. Please keep me in your prayers.

    God bless Sue. :)

    1. Michelle,

      I do like that quote from C S Lewis. Yes, often we find we aren't alone in our failings. We are actually bound together because of them. It's good to have friends who understand!

      Oh yes, nervousness is responsible for a lot. Maybe that was my problem when I was younger. I so wanted to be liked but ended up doing all the wrong things!

      Of course I'll keep you in my prayers. Please stop by when you've created your blog. I'd love to share your posts!

      God bless you too!

  2. I've done that replaying conversations over and over thing as well Sue, it can get ridiculous can't it? I read Laura's post - gosh she's has got an amazing talent. I'm very impressed!

    1. Marilyn,

      Funny how we think we're the only one who does things like replaying conversations, and then we find out we're not alone at all! Ridiculous is the right word.

      I am so glad you went over and read Laura's post. She has a lot of worthwhile things to say. Amazing? Yes!

  3. Oh goodness....that's me too. I can be quiet at first, but once I get going I feel like I don't shut up & there have been WAY too many times that I come home & mull over conversations & think WHY in the world did I say that or ramble on & on like I did. LOL!

    1. Amy,

      We are kindred spirits. You can belong to our talking-too-much club too! It's funny really. I wonder what would happen if we all got together and started talking at once. Actually I bet we'd have some wonderful conversations and they'd all be worth mulling over again and again!

      Thank you so much for stopping by both my blogs!

  4. I'll check on her blog in a bit to see her take of it; I bet she was glad for your input and probably glad that you said something, know what I mean? That she didn't have to carry on the presentation totally herself. I tend to talk a lot too and then play it over in my head. I'm trying to learn to be quiet :)


    1. Betty,

      It's interesting to hear two people's take on the same event, isn't it? We often see the same experience so differently. In this case, Laura wrote a totally different post to me. Much more reflective!

      It is good working with other people and sharing the responsibility of a presentation. Some people seem to have no difficulty knowing when to pass the lead back to their co-speaker. I guess it would have been easier if Laura and I had known each other better and been aware of what each of us wanted to say. More preparation maybe!

      I was thinking if everyone tried to be quiet we wouldn't actually have many conversations!

  5. Oh Sue, this is exactly me!!!! On and on and on and on, and I know I'm doing it at the time, which makes me keep on even more, somehow. Now, why on earth is that ?!?!?

    I took a writing class years ago, and at the end the teacher had an individual conference with each student. To me she said, "your writing is sharp and to the point. You do not waste a word." (which was something she liked). I told that to a few friends and always got the same reaction: gales of laughter. "Nancy, not wasting words?! That could NOT be possible!"

    Your writing is to the point also, Sue. Your every word is meaningful. So, whatever we are, looks like we're that together. Thanks for letting a fellow runaway tongue owner know she's in such good company!

    1. Nancy,

      Oh I do like your comment! When I first started writing for myself rather than for someone else's publication, I thought, "Great! I don't have to work within a word limit. I can use as many words as I like!" It didn't take me long to realise that writing has to be "sharp and to the point." Pruning out words is much more important than adding them. I am so glad you think I'm headed in the right direction. I shall just have to refrain from talking and stick to writing! And if I write on my tablet, without a proper keyboard, I will say even less!

      One thing I hope you'll never limit is your wonderfully long and delightful comments. They can't possible be too long. Every word is treasured!

  6. I found your post very interesting. I can relate to talking too much at times. Now that you have your first workshop under your belt, you'll know how to pace yourself in the next one. And, should you have a fellow presenter again, you'll have learned from this time. The thing I like about you, Sue (in our show time of knowing each other through our blogs), is how are you self-aware and willing to move forward in improving things about yourself. Yup.

    1. Susie,

      I appreciate your encouragement very much. Yes, (if I get asked to speak again!) I should do better in the next workshop. Speaking by myself and working with a co-speaker are totally different. I learnt a lot by working with Laura. I hope I get the chance to try again.

      There is so much I like about you, Susie. How you take the time to write thoughtful comments is one of them. Thank you!

    2. I don't think that last paragraph is grammatically correct, but never mind. I think you will get the idea!

    3. Yep, I do. I notice that I wrote "show time" in my first comment when I meant "short time". You got that! :-)

    4. Susie, I rather like 'show time' but yes, I worked out the keyboard didn't cooperate with your fingers, and it should have been 'short time'. Actually I've noticed I often type the wrong word when I'm writing. My brain says one word and my fingers type a completely different one, and it's nothing to do with spelling mistakes. Probably it's all to do with getting older!


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