But I'll be honest - I still don't really know what I'm doing.
I like getting up there and telling some jokes, warming up the crowd.
But when it comes to calling out the numbers and selling the items...well, I don't know if I'm doing it the right way.
But I'll say this - and I am not one to toot my own horn all that much (says the guy who is writing about himself for 365 days in a row) - I killed it last night.
You might recognize that picture from my Twitter profile - that's from my first (rookie year) auction, two years ago.
See - my school has an auction every other year.
Four years ago this guy came and did the auction - he had done the one six years ago, too, I think, and he was a comic. He was fine, but the way he talked about some of the items made me think, "Maybe it would be better if someone from the school did that." I asked one of my friends, and she said it would be a great idea. "I bet I could do it," I said. She thought so too.
So I asked, and I was allowed.
And two years ago, I was good. We raised a lot of money.
I didn't know if this year could go any better. But I felt good about my material. And then the day unfolded:
I spent Saturday morning with my girls, and then after lunch I got ready to go. After I showered I needed to lay down. I have never had an anxiety attack, but if I were to come close, Saturday in the early afternoon might have been it.
After a few minutes I stood up, didn't collapse, and finished getting dressed, got my stuff together, and headed for school. And my confidence started to grow.
The closer we got to show time, the more confident I felt. And when the time came for my introduction (the joke-telling part) I was calm. I got a little nervous when it came time to do the money part, but even then - the folks in attendance were so great and patient with me it went smoothly.
My worst fear is that we left money out there - that might have happened once, but I also feel like there were times that I got bids to go higher than they might have otherwise.
I don't know that I'll make a second career out of auctioneering. (I would like one of my 365 New Things this year to get on stage for some stand-up...stay tuned.) But I like knowing that if I have the opportunity to do it that I can feel more and more confident in myself.
I hope I'm not coming across as cocky. Because I'll tell you what - I almost took last night for granted. After it ended two years ago I was in a celebratory mood - I felt like I conquered something impossible. Last night, I approached it like a job - this is what I'm setting out to do, and I did it. When it was over I was satisfied, but I wasn't ready to do flips.
I did my job, and I did it well.
I expect the same thing will happen the next time.
But it would be great with a little less anxiety beforehand.