Celebration!! Holiday office lunch on protocol!!

I read another post recently about a holiday lunch at the office that was being served gluten free, and how that was perfect for the Scholar but meant listening to a co-worker complain about the unfairness of it all.
It really motivated me to plan for my holiday lunch today.

I looked at the menu a whole day ahead, and decided I was not going to drink, or eat the appetizers or dessert.
When I saw that the entrees to choose from the prix fix service all contained things I don’t eat, I looked at the regular menu and decided on a salad that would be perfect.

Then I started to stress that I would be making too much trouble, that the waiter would give me a hard time, that my co-workers would be annoyed. And I just decided, this is what I’m going to have. The waiter will figure it out.
And that’s what happened! He came around to take our orders, and I gave him a huge smile and asked for the salad. He looked at me confused, explained it wasn’t on the office holiday menu, and that he would need to ask his boss. I just kept smiling and said of course! He came back a minute later and said it was fine. (!!!!)

I had also been stressing about my co-workers making comments about me not drinking, and not having appetizers. I decided I would happily order a club soda and tell them I had come for the company and was happy to be there.
In fact, I ended up grabbing the pitcher of margaritas and serving everyone, which put me at the center of things. No one made a comment about me sticking to water!

And lastly, I was worried I would feel left out, not eating the appetizers or dessert. But I knew they would make me feel bad, and the only reason I felt compelled to eat them was because I was eating in a group and felt obligated to join in.
So I decided to feel great about my reason. And not to debate it. Not to justify it to anyone. To just take care of myself, and decide to be exceedingly happy with my choice.

And I was. The salad was super yummy. I had fantastic conversations with several colleagues. I poured drinks and passed around plates of dessert without indulging in any. And I felt so at ease. No resistance. No resentment. No wishing someone would understand, or decide for me, or make this easier. Just choosing my own path and letting everyone else choose theirs.

I’ve never been able to decide before that I was so at peace with my choice. I feel like this is a huge Scholars win, so wanted to say thanks!!