Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Post conference thoughts

I got back into town yesterday from the conference. There were a few glitches during the conference (I'll get to that in a moment), but overall, I met most of my goals and had a good experience. The speaker for the closing session, a well known dog trainer, was absolutely fabulous. She left everyone energized and optmistic. It was just such a good way of ending the long conference.

So the good:

*My roommate situation turned out okay.
*I did well socializing with everyone, including going out to dinner just about every night and :gasp: even having dessert.
*I did NOT exercise while I was there. Seriously, between sessions, multiple meetings, setting up rooms, handling the 1,050+ people (yes the registered count went up), and late night dinners, there was no time. Plus, the gym hours were not conducive to mine, and I wasn't about to make myself look like a freak in front of my o the roommates and other conference staff. The plus is that I really did not balloon up.
*I did carry protein bars with me which was helpful.
*I took some good photos which I'm hoping they'll use for future promotions.
*Everyone seemed very nice, and we all worked well together.
*Some of the speakers and sessions were great. The trade show had some good stuff. I probably spent way too much money there, but hey, it was for my dogs. ;-)
*Everyone seemed to appreciate all our hard work.

The negative list is much shorter. Besides not doing so well in the breakfast and lunch departments, my one major glitch was getting lost driving. I recently talked about this in my mazeophobia post. This happened on Saturday. We had a lot of last minute changes that day. I wound up having to take one of the speakers to the humane society since the three other people before me could not. I had previously been to the shelter the day before to drive the photographer. That went well due to the local photographer who knew his way around. This time, I was really really panicked. The good thing is that I got the speaker there in plenty of time before her session. I only had one misturn, so not too bad. However, on the way back, I got incredibly lost.

Sometimes, you just can't reverse directions! I quickly learned that driving over the bridge, well, puts you in another state! I was like holy crap! I got myself turned around and headed back in the correct direction and took a downtown exit. This was not the way I came in, so I was not familiar with the downtown area at all. When I got to the street the hotel was on, I could not turn there. From there, I got flustered and ended up going in circles for quite awhile. I finally stopped and asked directions and did get back to the hotel, though I was supposed to have been at an off site workshop. In what should have only taken me 30 minutes took me 2 hours to get back.

The other thing about this is that I couldn't get in touch with anyone. And when they finally called me, they were mostly concerned about the speaker. I think they could have cared less that I was lost. I guess if I had come back in the evening after sessions were over, they might have been wondering where I was. Oh well. It's true I would have felt a lot worse if the speaker had been with me while I was lost.

Besides all that, I managed to step in dog poop at the shelter, leave my phone in my car in the parking garage, and almost thought I broke my walkie talkie. Luckily, this was a one day incidence of a lot of bad luck, and on Sunday everything went off without a hitch.

When I talked about this in therapy today, C. kept asking what I was telling myself. I'm not sure I was telling myself much other than I knew I would eventually get there--eventually being the optimum word here and that I was not going to come back full of tears. Actually, as embarrassed as I was, I did laugh with everyone about it, especially the bridge part. C. just reminded me to hold onto those feelings. So I guess I'm at least sort of getting past this fear of driving in unfamiliar places. There is still a long way to go.

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