1/30/11

Dreaming My Dreams: Blissdom

Hi, people! I’m back from my conference, the first time EVER I’ve left my boys for 3 whole days and nights. You’ll be happy to know that things improved greatly after my rocky start. For me; not necessarily for hubs back home.

It turns out school was cancelled the ENTIRE TIME I was gone, due to the snow. So he had to figure out alternate childcare arrangements, lunches, snowsuits, drop-offs and pick-ups, not to mention shoveling the walk every morning. The man’s a SAINT, I tell you. My gift to him is putting that in writing for all the world to read.

OK, so: back to the Blissdom conference. I could write at least 7 posts about it, but I will spare you since most of you reading this will probably never attend a blog conference. Although if you’re a blogger, I highly recommend it. They give you tons of free stuff and you’re surrounded by people who “get” you and make jokes about captcha and how much time they spend on Twitter.

For me, the conference was chock full o’ inspiration and self-revelations. After maybe a half-day of feeling like the uncool kid back in high school, I realized I am 36, not 16, and I no longer care about who’s cool and what they’re wearing and what I’m wearing and where I should sit. Everywhere you looked, there were friendly faces and people sitting alone and every type of fashion imaginable (including tiaras, sequins, jeans, pajamas, and Converse sneakers).

I realized that I am MUCH more comfortable striking up a conversation with someone in line or sitting next to me in a session than walking up to people at cocktail parties and thrusting a business card in their hand. I realized that I was allowed to walk out of sessions that didn’t interest me and go get a manicure instead. (Which I did, along with 2 shoulder massages. For free! That alone was worth the price of admission.)

For me, the best parts of the CONFERENCE were the speakers and the conversations. More on those later. The best part of the EXPERIENCE was having the space and time to think.

Think about that for a second – oh, wait, you probably can’t because you have people crying and asking you for snacks and where are their keys and can you put Spiderman’s head back on and when’s dinner. Until I was in my nice, clean, quiet hotel room, I didn’t fully realize that I rarely have time to THINK anymore. My head is so constantly spinning with grocery lists and to-do lists and schedules and chores and obligations that I almost never have time to simply think my own thoughts.

Check out this billboard I saw on my tour of downtown Nashville. Isn’t it great?

I went into the conference expecting to learn things – how-to’s, tips, resources. And while I did learn some, I got more out of the speakers and panel discussions about issues like work-life balance, authenticity, courage, and how to define success for yourself.

I had never heard of the opening keynote speaker, BrenĂ© Brown, but she blew me away with her funny, honest, and uncannily relevant presentation. (You can watch one of her popular talks here.) I am already halfway through her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection.” Another panelist whose book I’m looking forward to is Hollee Schwartz Temple's, “Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood.”

I’m going to have to write a whole separate post about the interesting conversations I had with people. (Don’t worry, fellow conference attendees -– anonymity ensured!) It made me realize, again, that there is a whole wide world out there filled with fascinating people and ideas and opportunities. What a thrill to step outside my house-preschool-grocery store orbit for a few days and interact with it.

PIC O’ THE WEEK: I couldn’t wait to tell Miles that Nashville is home to “The Batman Building,” aka, AT&T Tower.

7 comments:

Kristi @ Creative Kristi said...

I love your post on Blissdom! I have so much I want to share about it but my head is still swimming with thoughts! Brene was amazing, as was almost all the speakers! Sorry we didn't get to meet but maybe next year! :)

MollyinMinn said...

I agree, Brene was absolutely one of the best moments, well of the entire week. She was amazing and gave me so much to think about. (Although, yes, the massage was lovely, too ;)

Shell said...

Brene's speech was so wonderful. More than the how-tos and the do-nots, I was inspired by Blissdom!

Angie said...

Speaking of never having time or quiet to THINK anymore,I thought you'd like to know that I read your post at around 3:30 this morning. I keep my phone by my bed, and sometimes when I wake up, I check the blogs I follow. Crazy, but it's quiet! I'm so glad you're back safely.

Hollee Temple said...

Thank you so much for mentioning my post, especially in such close proximity to Brene's! What an honor. Can't wait to talk more soon.

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

So JEALOUS! I would love to go to a blog conference someday...and I'm super jealous about the alone time you had to think. What a luxury!! Glad you had a good time. :-)

Mike Warren said...

Well, I am sure tat your boys are so happy to see you again.

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