I did something for myself this weekend.
That’s right. Me me me me.
I didn’t take my son to soccer practice. Or my daughter to a birthday party. Or drag my sleepy vegetarian butt to the kitchen to make the chicken stir fry just how my husband loves it. Didn’t change the cat litter, replace the toilet paper roll, grocery shop or clean the one million crumbs out of my truck.
Friday night I spent a delightful 5+ hours in “rush” hour traffic driving from New Jersey to Boston. Delirious, dehydrated and in need of a pee, I valet parked the truck at the hotel, grabbed my room key and sprinted up to my 9th floor room all by myself.
I took the longest, hottest shower in the history of the world, piled about 15 allergen-free pillows on the my bed, cuddled up in my pjs with a little Scrabble on the iPad, and spent the night in a room where no one would bang on the wall at 5am screaming “MAMA I SEE THE SUN IT IS MORNING TIME! WAITING FOR WAKEUP TIME IS SO BORING MAMA MAMA MAMA!!” or lay next to me alternating between snoring, scratching my calves with uncut toenails and stealing my pillows.
Saturday morning I was fairly well rested and able to go from dead asleep to awake, showered, dressed and re-packed in under and hour because I had no one else to tend to.
* Allison and I totally had that slow-motion movie scene where we run to each other like long-lost lovers. Then I thought about how maybe I was being too forward and shook her hand. Then I realized I love her and needed to hug her, so did. Love at first f-bomb. We need to be neighbors, like, STAT. And JD? Holy crap that girl is cute as a button and I wish I could tap into her for some extra energy. Then again, girlfriend bleeds Starbucks so that may be possible to get on my own. Oh, and yes, we all looked really hip without any children hanging from us demanding our attention. I don’t think we stopped smiling like idiots the whole time. I didn’t even sign in for the event until after breakfast, and already felt my trip was worth every penny and every hour on the road.
The next 8 hours were spent absorbing insane amounts of information, meeting table after table of fresh faces, taking a copious amount of notes on things I didn’t even know I didn’t know, and having revelations about who I am as a blogger.
But let me back up.
I never thought I’d go to a blogging boot camp. I heard about it, I saw that the SITS Girls were hosting one in Boston on Mother’s Day weekend, realized I could slip in a visit to my own mom if I came up for the conference, and just booked it.
Mind you, I have been in a tift with the Husband over this, seeing that he constantly worries about my personal safety to the point that he insists that any old dude on Craig’s List selling a vintage typewriter is only doing so as a ruse in order to get me to his house so he can chop me into bits for stew. He worried that this weekend someone would either try to kidnap me** or scam me by stealing my identity***.
** Dude, I’m like 6′ tall and bright white: someone would notice me being dragged away. It would be like trying to sneak a Polar Bear out of a hotel bar.
*** Still not sure who would want the identity of a penniless college dropout with saggy boobs who is in charge of 2 shrieky leeches for the first 18 years of their lives. Not the most tempting of identities, in my opinion
Luckily for me, not only did no one steal me this weekend (shocking, I know…) or take me for the whole $16 I had on my person, but I learned some really cool things, like how there is way more to blogging than I ever knew: the strategies, the process, the legalities, the opportunities.
I Also learned that I could sit for hours and laugh with Allison and JD.****
****Seriously, ladies, move to New Jersey. Please.
I left the conference with a head full of ideas and a fistful of business cards. These cards aren’t just potential contacts, they are proof that there are so many inspiring, creative, intriguing women out there with stories to share, if we are willing to listen.
I admit, I was a nervous wreck driving to the conference. My train of thought was along of the lines of What the hell was I thinking? What if I freeze up and don’t talk to anyone? What I don’t remember how to take notes? What if I waste my time? What if absolutely no one has heard of my blog? What if someone there does know my blog and thinks I am an asshat? What if this goes way over my head? What if I say something really stupid in front of the entire room? What if someone blogs about the conference and mentions the ridiculous giant blonde at their table who needed an Altoid and a clue? What if I meet MotherhoodWTF and Momagement Matters and they hate me? What if this is a scam? What if I get there and they gave my room away? Shouldn’t I be finishing my novel rather than wasting a weekend at a blogging conference, for goodness sakes? Who do I think I am?
And that’s just what I thought while sitting in traffic on the George Washington Bridge.
But alas, I felt connected to the speakers, the other bloggers, the information itself. I feel that what I learned applies not only to blogging, but to Me, personally.
Going away this weekend “to work”, as I called it to my kids, was A Big Deal for me. I dusted off my Dry Clean Only Pants and strode back into the world of Using My Brain For Bigger Things Than How To Build Forts in My Living Room.
It was so fulfilling, that even spending my actual Mother’s Day cleaning up the torrent of crumbs, toys, rogue socks and dirty dishes my 3 Stooges back home let pile up for 2 days barely registered as Unfair.
(Though, quite frankly, a Tiny bit of picking up after themselves in my absence would have been appreciated.)
What does my weekend away mean to you? Hopefully a cleaner, easier-to-navigate place to come visit my brand of Crazy.
That is, if my kids ever recover from my desertion and let go of me long enough to ever compose another post….