“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Thoreau
My funny left me around about October 2012…when I hurt my back, Superstorm Sandy came to visit, and people I know and love started to sicken. And worse. I struggled to write, something, anything interesting. Or funny. But mostly I stewed.
I looked for an antidote, something or someone to help knock me back into alignment. I hung my hopes on BlissDom. At first I thought BlissDom might be a faith-based conference, and since I misplaced my faith a few years ago, I wasn’t sure that I’d fit in. But I signed up anyway, hopped a plane to Dallas, TX and arrived knowing no one. Sitting alone in the van that would take me to the Gaylord Texan, I opened my heart to new possibilities.
Now I can tell you that BlissDom is not overtly faith based, but the women (and few men) I met there, by and large, are people of faith; I don’t know what religions they are (hey, they could be Wiccan Jewish, Catholic, Presbyterian …) because it never really came up in conversation and because they didn’t wear it on their sleeves. I can tell you that the people I met wear it in their hearts and minds, and their faith seems to be what sustains and encourages them.
Lucky me, I met Jennifer from Parenting with Passion & Purpose on the Super Shuttle ride to the hotel. Jennifer is a home schooling Mom of five who is as warm as the Tennessee sunshine on a summer day. We talked. And every time we met during the conference, we talked some more. I heard my name called in a place where I started out knowing no one. When I turned around it was Jennifer. She said she thought we were supposed to meet; that she met me because she was supposed to. All I can say is that her encouraging words, big smile and open heart started something inside me. I’m typing this and tears of joy are rolling down my cheeks. Jennifer gives me hope for our world.
Another chance meeting, on one of the huge escalators, was when I said hello to Kacey of Well-Rounded Home. She has a smile that can light a room, and BlissDom knew what it was doing when it asked Kacey to be a Community Leader. Kacey and I socialized at the dinner and concert by Chris Mann and Amber Riley sponsored by Conagra for “Child Hunger Ends Here,” and again at Girls Night In featuring the Spin Cycle Relay and karaoke. I also spent time talking about the sessions we attended, sharing and comparing, and socializing with Denene Brox, a professional photographer. Quiet and sincere, Denene is visiting NY next month and I plan to meet her.
A “rookie blogger” (she says) named Michelle spun into my world with a quick smile and quicker wit. By the end of the weekend Michelle was pretty much convinced that she wants to return to nursing, her first love. Keynote speaker Jon Acuff and conversations with new friends helped Michelle see her path more clearly. I’m going to be part of Michelle’s cheering section as she re-ignites her passion. Another newbie blogger, and another Michelle, she of Fort Worth Mom sat with me at the Thursday newbie blogger meetup. Michelle seemed like an old friend from the start; she enveloped me, made me feel at home. I can’t wait to see how her blog develops.
I met Claire of Claire’s Healthy Home in a hallway between sessions, then at breakfast, lunch, and again at the Glass Cactus for the ConAgra event. Claire brings people together. She started a Facebook group for 40+ women bloggers; she encourage me to join, which I did. She introduced me to Tammy, a social media consultant who says what she means and means what she says; Tammy is one of the most out there women I’ve ever met. How many people do you know who would wear footed PJs to a party?
I was fortunate enough to sit next to Barb of Rural Mom at an on-our-own lunch on Saturday. To me, she’s like Hershey’s syrup on top of chocolate ice cream — she makes everything better. Barb is quiet, thoughtful and grounded. We talked about life, family, writing and more. Although our day-to-day lives can’t be more different we are similar people at our essence. Barb and I could have talked all night, the kinds of talks I have with my long-time friend Carole in Maine. Barb and I are friends. It’s that simple.
With 700-plus people in attendance at BlissDom I didn’t meet everyone, and I certainly haven’t given you a rundown of all the special people I met. But I wanted to give you a feeling of BlissDom, of its people, or at least the ones who I found.
And now for something a bit different. A Blog Hop with my Generation Fabulous Friends! Check it out:
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