I recently canceled my trip to the Type-A Mom conference in Asheville, NC. I was really looking forward to it as a way to re-connect with some of the fabulous ladies I met a BlogHer. I booked it while still on a BlogHer high, but over the next few weeks I was asked to speak at another conference and to do some workshops out of town and my fall schedule started to look a bit overwhelming.
I started trying to justify my trip to Type-A as a networking opportunity, but in the back of my mind a little guilty voice was telling me that I really didn’t NEED to go. So, as Big Guy started to look a bit more anxious about how long I was going to be away this fall, I considered canceling the trip. Canceling my flight (and re-depositing my frequent flier miles) wasn’t cheap and I knew I’d probably have to just eat the registration fee. I finally accepted the trip as a special treat for myself and let it go.
As the conference grew closer, I started to feel more stressed about the money, the time, and the travel. And then, I got a sign. As I was confirming my flight less than a week before my departure, I realized I had booked it into the wrong airport. This is unheard of, by the way. I have traveled literally around the world and have never booked a flight into the wrong airport. Perhaps my subconscious was sending me a message. Or maybe my kids have finally destroyed my mind, but whatever… I scrambled to find a ride from the airport, as my anxiety grew and grew.
Finally, when my entire family came down with colds (and Bug was on a nebulizer for asthma) and I was trying to put together some important articles for my site on About.com, I gave in and canceled the trip. It was hard to do, even though I had no doubt that it was the best choice for me. I was sad to miss my new friends and to miss out on what I knew would be a good experience, but I also knew that something had to give.
Instead of heading to Asheville (or to NY, where there was another conference I wanted to attend), I rented a beautiful house on a lake and took some time for a writer’s retreat. It was less expensive than either trip and meant that I was close enough to home if anyone needed me. I also had time to get some work done and reflect on where I am in my life.
I have been watching my fellow bloggers get caught up in frenzy of opportunities. Trips and speaking engagements and freebies and this and that. It’s seductive to be courted like that by PR companies, and it’s hard to say no and possibly miss a fantastic experience, but I have had a wake-up call this week. I don’t want to become a media whore (I’m sure this is going to draw some interesting search engine traffic to my site!) or a pseudo-blog celebrity. I don’t want all of my opportunities to come from being a mom who blogs a lot. Instead, I want to be recognized for my writing and speaking talent, for my creativity and for my other areas of expertise. The good news is that some of that has already started to happen. Now I just need to nurture it.
I’m not sure what this means for me going forward, but I want to make sure that I remember what my long-term goals are and to make sure that I hold on to those opportunities that move me in the right direction. And I need to let go of those that don’t contribute to my future dreams or that aren’t right for me “right now.”
In the meantime, I did miss all of my fantastic ladies at Type A Mom and I hope to see you all soon!