That a conference like ConvergeSouth is actually held in my town is a very big deal to me. And finally, all registered (for Friday's sessions - Saturday, alas, includes an out-of-state trip to visit family,) and ready to go, I was feeling very fine, indeed, about finally attending this "combination of a blogger-con and a creativity center" with sessions on new media, affiliate marketing and social media, effective title creation, to name a few. Never mind the independent music performances and the film festival component. As a consistent blogger who is generally NOT connected to the local blogging world, my list of reasons this event is important is fairly long.
I am not at ConvergeSouth today. The whole business of being this close to attending, then not going, is more than a little unsettling.
People - read: non-bloggers - have asked why I would want to go to such an event. I've gotten responses like, "Wow, you really are a geek!" and "A whole conference about blogging???" All I've been able to tell them is "These are my people." The attendees at this conference are the ones who are most certain to understand why, if at 4:30 am, I awake from a bad dream and can't put myself back to sleep, I usually sit down and blog about it rather than drinking warm milk or picking up a comforting book or turning on the television. These are the people who "get" my urge to turn every interesting anecdote I hear into a blog post. Yet I'm not meeting them today.
Not only have my blog posts been sadly substandard lately as I've whined about being sick with a cold or posted nothing at all for days, but I've continued to allow certain items on my to-do lists mount so high that I didn't take the quality down-time I needed this past week to really take care of myself while "under the weather." And so I actually did wake at 4:30 from a nightmare-bordering-dream about a conference that was a Tim Burton-esque morphing of several different past events I've either attended or helped to coordinate. Realizing within a half hour that not only was my "common cold" very much still with me, but also that there were nonnegotiable items I needed to handle before I went off to converge with my southern bloggers this morning, the unthinkable turned out to be the only solution. The longer I sat there, mentally wading through the best way to manage it all before I showered and dressed for my long-awaited arrival at the conference that's going on right now, even as I write...without me...I became more and more exhausted. It hit me then that I have to give up my attendance now, for my health.
So now, having gone back to bed and slept until 9 when I awoke with another headache, stuffy head, and still coughing, then moved very slowly through the first half of this day, I know it was the right thing to do. I've given myself the gift of this day to relax and pace myself. Sure, I'm working. Let me not even make a single, short list of the things I'll no doubt try to accomplish before I retire tonight, lest we both feel the added pressure. But today I'm NOT participating in one more big activity that just wasn't the responsible thing for me to do at this time. I'm sad that it had to be ConvergeSouth I've given up. I'm happy, though, that I've reached a place in which I knew when too much is just too much.
Here's to the ongoing quest to better manage my time and responsibilities. Because next year? ConvergeSouth 2008 is, without question, where I'll be. And this year's sessions? At least I can confidently know there'll be tons of places I can go online to read about those panel discussions and those workshops from people writing about 'em first-hand! My people. The people who would, if asked, best understand why today, in spite of having made The Best Decision For Me, I'm feeling pretty bummed.