I survived the conference!

And it did not kick my ass nearly as bad as it did last year. Seriously, at the end of it last year, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to do it again. Ever. This year, I’m tired and my feet hurt, but bring on next year.

Can’t quite figure out what was different this year, but I am putting it down to more time for myself, and I think we may have started a little later in the morning this year. And I steeled myself for the worst going in, so that probably helped.

Also, had a great time with one of my coworkers who is about as introverted as I am. Nice to hang with someone who is as awesome in person as they are online at work. (Weird aspect of working remotely.). We introverted all over the place.

And he reminded me that Habitica RPG exists. I cannot remember why I stopped using it, but I found my account, remembered my password, and I am going to be getting some shit done around here.

And major props to my brother for picking me up from the airport. I think if I’d had to walk all the way to a car to drive home, I would have probably laid down and taken a nap halfway there.

And now, I have a long weekend.

ETA: Just checked my Fitbit, and I walked 35 miles. This may be why my feet hurt a bit.

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Mom would be so proud.

And I don’t say that sarcastically.

I am on day 3 of a 3 1/2 day bigassed company conference. Went last year and got roped back in again this year.

I am an introvert, like others in my group that are here. As I said, “Yes, let’s send the introverts to a conference w/ 3,000 people and have them be client facing all day, every day. What could go wrong?”

Amazingly, nothing that requires client-centric damage control. Cause we don’t hate people, they just kind of wear us the fuck out, that’s all.

But back to Mom. When I had my 10 year high school reunion, it was a comedy of errors and/or signs from above of DO NOT DO THIS, which is a post for another day. But in the end, I went, and before the festivities, I decided, “Fuck it, I’m going down to the bar and getting a beer ALL BY MYSELF.” And that alone time + a wee bit of liquid courage got me in the headspace to go do the thing.

Mind you, that would have been scandalous for her to do when she was 28. But when I told her about it, she thought it was absolutely fantastic. And later when she was on a business trip on her own, and did the same (this was after my Dad had passed away) – she gleefully told me how she’d just gone to the bar on her own and it was because I had done it, that she decided to do it, too.

Back to the conference. When I found out I needed to go this year, my first reaction was legit, FUCK MY LIFE. Cause last year kinda sucked hard. Because – and I didn’t realize it until this year – I did not say, “Nope, doing ALONE TIME, client facing social time be damned.”

Arrival night, went to get dinner, and already utterly knackered from airport bullshit and needing MY time, and ran into coworkers. “Come over!” “Sorry, no, need to be alone. I’ll see you tomorrow!” (One coworker popped over to where I was later. “So, why are you being a hermit?” “Because I have to NOT be a hermit for the next 3 1/2 days.” “Gotcha.”

So, we get a free breakfast in the main hall as part of the deal from Tuesday to Thursday. I walked in yesterday, it was crowded and loud and chaotic and awful and I realized, “I have a good job that pays well and I can do fancy things like buy my own breakfast in one of the hotel restaurants.”

So I did. And again today. And will again tomorrow. Because that ~45 minutes of alone time to eat and drink my coffee and gear up for the day put me in a good headspace to actually help the clients I was meeting with. Didn’t do it last year, and that is probably a contributing factor as to why it SUCKED last year.

Mom would be so proud that I figured out, that damn the critics, I need alone time. And then acted on it. (And in concert, also got out of two morning sessions with management permission to boot.)

And she’d be so proud that I figured out how to introvert all over the place while looking like an extrovert. It’s not easy, and thank god I found one coworker who is also getting the “No, you can’t be an introvert” thrown at him as well, and we’ve introverted all over together these past few days. (We split off together at entertainment night tonight and bailed early back to the hotel together. There is now the real possibility that we may now be having a torrid affair that neither of us are aware of.)

But, she’d be pleased as punch that while I am doing something intensely uncomfortable for me, I’ve not only figured out a way to make it work by realizing what *I* need and acting on it, but that I’ve found a partner in crime in the deal.

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Can we just stop everything for a couple days?

Like, maybe no announcements that 45 is sending the flipping military to the border, or that he routinely uses an unsecured phone, and no more mass assassination attempts? Just everyone chills the fuck out for a few days and does nothing and says nothing and the big news of the day is that it’s going to rain in the middle of rush hour.

I don’t know about that, but I could certainly use it. I can’t keep up anymore and it’s just one terrible thing right after another. I am not glued to the news all day by any means – the bulk of my day is spent looking at effed up database tables and trying to figure out what is broken, the software or the user. And I am just overwhelmed with all the horrific treatment of anyone who isn’t straight, white, male & rich.

But, we’re at least close to the weekend, even if after work tomorrow will be a last blitz to make the house slightly less horrifying for the furnace guys on Saturday, who will be arriving at oh my fucking god 830. But, at that point, all I have to do is open the door and let them in so they can do their magic.

Lily says hi.

Lily, a black and orange tortoiseshell cat, laying on the sofa and looking at the camera.

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In happier news…

I’m binge shopping for this conference. I’m realizing the rolling suitcase I got is probably too big to comfortably fit under an airline seat, regardless of what they say in the description, so a smaller rolling tote is coming and the backpack will probably go back. (Go me for keeping the box.)

And there is a new purse on the way. (Thank you Zappos for the free overnight shipping.)

And god help me, Sunday I have to go to the outlet mall, because I am lacking in pants. The only saving grace of this is the fact that I know exactly where I need to go, and in theory should be in & out in no time.

Still waiting on the business cards to show up.

Had a meeting about it all today and the marketing folks are SO VERY EXCITED about all this, which is good, cause that is kind of their job. My excitement is somewhat tempered by the fact that I know full well how exhausting this whole thing is. (I’ve been poring over the hotel website in attempts to locate quiet places to have a glass of wine and hide.) In short, conferences like this are not ideal for introverts.

Ah well, I’ll get through it this year, just like last year. With a new purse and a spiffy rolling tote.

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So, how are y’all doing today?

I’m still trying to process the fact that someone or some group of people attempted to assassinate two former Presidents, a former Secretary of State, a former Attorney General, a former CIA director, and a sitting US Congresswoman.

And the reaction of the current President is to go have a rally and say things like this:

Basically – Democrats being mean is what gets bombs sent to them. And then mocks the idea that it could have been his own rhetoric that could have been partly to blame:

Yes, Democrats are pissed off and tired of this administration. Lord knows I am. But no one I know, no matter how pissed off, is sending pipe bombs anywhere. And don’t tell me that this act today is in any way equivalent to someone simply confronting an elected representative in a public place.

If they’re trying to scare us into silence, I don’t think it’s going to work.

Go vote.

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Wheeee

I get to go to the company conference in two weeks. Went last year, wasn’t supposed to go this year, but here we are. I’ve already enthusiastically turned down an “opportunity” to do a presentation. (I am not hurting myself by saying no to this.)

So, the past month has been trying to remember what did and didn’t work well last year and fighting with the travel website so I can actually use the airports closest to my house and the hotel. Had to point out the company would have to pay as much in Uber fares to & from the airport to the hotel for the $100 saved on airfare.

Rolling backpack is a must. I have a good regular backpack, but hauling my laptop all over creation last year got old real quick – new one is here and it has to make things a little easier, right?

Keyboard for iPad. I have a new iPad and it’s slightly smaller than my old one and I find doing any kind of typing is a wee bit awkward and the Bluetooth keyboard is awesome. Also, kind of hoping it can give off a “leave me be” vibe for times when I am not working but not able to hide in my room.

Also need to somehow get everything in my suitcase and still have room leftover, cause everything expands the moment it comes out of the bag. Repacking last year was colorful.

I’ll admit, I’m not super excited about it. The travel is a pain in the ass, the whole thing is pretty exhausting, and my voice was shot by the end of it all. Last year was not terrible, but being “on” for 4 days straight is just not really my idea of a good time. This year I really do need to figure out how to get more time away from people.

But – I should definitely be off the hook next year.

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Today sucked

So here’s a Lily.

Lily, a black and orange tortoiseshell cat, lying on the bed

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