Hi all, and welcome to 2006.
Last year, I invited several of my friends from work to join me for lunch at a local restaurant. This was just meant to be a time when we could "hang out" and talk with each other about things that we might not have the time or desire to talk about at work. Thanks to my computer, I printed out small maps of how to get to the restaurant (about 3 miles from work) and told them to arrive at noon. I tried to invite as many people as possible, with the theory that the more I invite, the more likely I'd get a good crowd to actually show up. (If I invite five, I should get at least 3, right?)
In the end, I invited at least ten people out to lunch. Two of them said they would try to bring their families. I reserved a table at the restaurant for at least 12 people. The day of the lunch, I dusted off my tiny digital camera and arrived about 10 minutes early. I took my seat at the center of a long table in a small room just off of the main dining area. After relaxing for a minute, I got up to peek out the window and see if I could spot them driving into the parking lot.
Lunchtime came. I kept peeking out the window. Then I sat down at the center of the table again. Five minutes went by. I reasoned that most people would likely be late if they had never been to this restaurant before. Then another five minutes went by. I got up to look out the window again. I didn't recognize anyone driving into the lot.
By 12:16, I said to myself, "Okay, I am going to buy lunch for the first person in my group who walks through that door!"
But nobody ever did. Nobody showed up.
"I don't know where they are," I told the waiter. "They knew this was the right time. I'll go ahead and order now." I ate my meal alone at a table that was big enough to serve 12 people.
As I sat there, I realized that I hadn't done anything wrong. I made the invitation. Nobody accepted it. It wasn't my fault. My aim was true. I had tried something good, and it didn't work. That's okay. My aim was true. I'd prefer it if they were here, but they're not, so I'm going to enjoy my meal by myself.
It reminds me a little of "The Wise Little Hen." I'd like to have help with the things I do, but if I don't get any help, that's just fine. I'm still going to do them. Just understand that you're cheating yourself from whatever good may come out of it.
And so, speaking of things that I have to do by myself, may I present this blog, my present to the world for 2006. May its words help you as much as they will help me.