Posted by: Diane | February 25, 2014

The Lows, The Highs, And The Lows

Monday madness!

I got up early and worked on my manuscript for six hours, felt sick for four hours in the afternoon and then competed at the club level for the Toastmaster International Speech contest last night.  I seldom miss blogging for a day but when I arrived home at 11:00 PM, I literally fell into bed for a long winter’s nap.

I was really looking forward to competing at the Club level. This particular speech has been brewing in my mind for a year. It’s so important to write for the ear – not the eye – and when I’m preparing a speech, it’s a gruelling exercise to get the right words down on paper.

The club competition, although it’s only the first level, is the big hurdle for me. The speech has been written and practiced but this is the first opportunity to present in front of an audience. There are still kinks to iron out, nerves to calm and last night, a cement-dry mouth to contend with.

Five of us competed and all the speeches were inspiring.

participants TM international contest. Feb.17.14

After I spoke, there was a 45 minute time period when I though I had been disqualified. It’s a long story but suffice it to say that during the speech, I lunged forward to catch Connor McComb, (the leader of the skirt-lifters) and I thought I had moved out of boundary. I was really disappointed in myself and when I sat down, I really had to do some strong self talk.

“Yes. . .it was a stupid mistake and I should have known better…but it’s over. . .there’s nothing I can do about it now. I won’t make that mistake again. . .live and learn. . .now, move on and get back into the competition.”  

Something like that.

The head judge communicated that there was indeed a disqualification so that solidified it in my mind. It was me. . .

. . .so when I heard my name announced as the winner of the competition, I was completely shocked. . .and thrilled at the same time. My friend, Monika, said that I looked really confused when I received my certificate.

winners TM club contest Feb. 17.14

I enjoyed the evening but it had been a very long day, so a calm ride home with Monika was just what I needed.  It wasn’t to be – more action to come.

I got caught for speeding – 85 in a 60 zone.  I wasn’t paying attention because Monika and I were debriefing about the evening. When I saw those flashing lights behind me, I could feel the nerves all over again.

I tried to talk to the officer.

“I’m so sorry. I just won a competition and I was so excited.” 

“Ma’am, your licence, insurance and ownership, please. 

So much for THAT attempt. There is no negotiating with a grumpy police officer.

I was awarded a $52.00 ticket for my fast driving.  The “not-so-grumpy-after-all” police officer changed the offence to driving 75 in a 60 zone so I didn’t lose any demerit points.

Quite the full day…and here I sit on Tuesday morning – with speeding ticket in hand – ready to face another day!


  1. Oh Diane! Congrats on the speech… But…. Here’s a picture of Larry after he related to me about his ticket. We’re still in florida. He went shopping at a Publix store and as he drove into the parking lot, an officer pulled up behind him. He had been followed and Larry wasn’t wearing his seatbelt!!! Again!! And again!!! I’ve tried to help him remember… Our 2003 Toyota doesn’t have a warning sound.. But it doesn’t have a seat bell sign on the dashboard. Loving your blogs!! Love K

    Sent from iPhone

    • Now, now, Larry…you need to obey the rules! Get that seatbelt on! Miss you both! Thanks for the congrats…onto the Area final next Monday night!

  2. Congratulations Diane on winning the first level of this speech competition. I was thinking about you off and on all day and when I didn’t read a blog from you I presumed it was because you were exhausted. As for the speeding ticket I can only say….another lesson learned in the journey of life…even at my age, I am still learning lesson to live by. xo ‘Mrs. B.’

    • Thanks, Mrs. B. I was definitely exhausted! And the speeding ticket? Well, life goes on, right?

  3. Congratulations Diane! Talk about a roller-coaster day! Hope you’re feeling better now.
    So, who the heck is Connor McComb, (besides being the leader of the skirt-lifters), and were you able to catch him?

    • Well, if I make it a couple more levels in these speech contests, you’ll just have to come and hear me talk about good ol’ Connor McComb, now won’t you?? I’ll keep you in suspense!

  4. Congratulations on the win. Sorry about the ticket.

  5. Hi Diane,
    Thanks for sharing your life story with us on a day by day basis. Hey, you’re allowed to miss a day or two, but I know your own standard is high.

    After reading your early blog this week on the lows and the odd high😄, I just had to send this to you.This one was was posted by a very dear friend who has her PHD in political science, was a representative of the religious right to the UN, to present a paper on the definition of “family”, and she was heard, and at the time, made an impact. So as I read her post, in some ways , I was shocked that she identified with it. (God keeps us humble.)I know you will too, because God uses those with a passion for the lost, and for the Kingdom, to accomplish His purposes, despite our feelings of inadequacy. It is a quick read, when you have time.

    Shared from The Gathering…….

    Will be praying as you send your transcript in, for Gods will and purposes to be accomplished! I congrat you for being such a soldier in this writing thing, and never giving up.

    I won’t tell you that it’s 64deg. F here, and we just came in from a short boat ride.

    Sending a hug. It’s been far too long!

    • Hi Barb! Wonderful to hear from you! Thanks for the article…I’ll take a look. I’m one of those strange people who loves the winter but I’ll tell Chris you just came back from a boat ride – he’ll definitely be jealous!

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