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Monday, June 07, 2010

#CBC10, day 3

I had intended to rise and shine early on Saturday, but, you know, the best laid plans . . . something, something, you turn off your alarm and get up at 8:30. I decided to show the world that, despite my avatar photo and the previous three days of my life, my hair is curly and not straight.

After getting dressed, I phoned Jessica; we had made plans to have breakfast but I worried that I would be late for my own presentation, so I wanted to let her know that my plan was to skip breakfast. However, after loading all of my belongings into my car, as I approached the front desk to check out, I caught a whiff of the hotel's restaurant's breakfast, simultaneously realizing that if I skipped breakfast I would be in bad shape by the end of my panel. Not wanting to have an audible tummy growl whilst discussing the finer points of depression, I opted to take a seat in the dining room. I ordered cranberry juice and a veggie omelette, and while getting some yogurt, granola and watermelon, I saw that Jessica had indeed come to the dining room, so we did get to eat together after all.

(I love that girl.)

At the conference, I found our presentation room. Initially we were scheduled to present on Saturday afternoon, but as it turns out, Casey had a pass to be a photographer at some car race, for which she had to fly back to Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon, and our Depression Panel was bumped to Saturday morning. Unfortunately, many people didn't hear about the change and even though they wanted to attend our session they missed it. As a panel we are very grateful for those who were in attendance because they had many classes from which to chose during that time slot.

When people ask, "How did it go?" it seems a little off to say, "It went great!" since our topic was depression, but really . . . it went great. You know, as great as one can hope for it to go. Our panel featured Heather King from The Extraordinary Ordinary, Jaime Kay Chase from Bipolar Beauty Queen, Casey Mullins from Moosh in Indy, Yours Truly, and our moderator, Natasha Parker from Mormon Therapist. Caroline introduced each of us, after which I gave a couple of quotes from Rabbi Shmuly about depression:

"It's not feeling down, it's feeling nothing. It's a feeling of numbness. When you're depressed, you don't feel sad, you don't feel anything."
"To be depressed is to be transformed from an animate human being who's alive to an inanimate object."

We then went through an outline of questions that we had each answered in our own ways, describing how our situations differ, vary, and are similar. Tears were shed, feelings expressed and validated. Toward the end of our session's time we were able to interact with guests who were in attendance in our audience. It was a worthwhile time, to be certain.

I sincerely hope I am asked again to speak at a blogger conference.

Following the depression panel, I happened upon a girl who I had seen throughout the duration of the conference. The first time I saw Tenille I was drawn to her, but I lacked the courage to introduce myself. On Saturday afternoon, she and I ended up talking and sharing . . . an hour and a half later, we hugged, grateful for the time we had to share and get to know each other better.

I attended the Grief Panel, similar in ways to the Depression Panel, yet starkly different in others. Being there made me feel safe, and I knew everyone in the room was rooting for each woman on that panel just as much as I was.

Attending the grief panel, I missed out on the organization class, the information from which I desperately need. I was able to catch Marie Ricks on her way out the door, and I cornered her, so-to-speak: "Marie, I'm Jenny -- we met yesterday. I wasn't able to attend your class, so, if I may: What are the top three things I need to know from the information you shared?"

She looked me in the eye. "Do you finish your laundry every day?"


She continued to look at me.

"Yes! It's one thing over which I have control, truly, and I enjoy it."

"Okay. Do you have a hot meal on your table each night?"


"That's the second thing. I'm going to help you plan what you're going to prepare for your family for dinner every night for the rest of your life. Here's the paper."

She gave me a paper, and By Golly if it's not actually a chart to plan what to cook for my family for dinner every night for the rest of my life.

"Fill this out, and then email me and I'll tell you the third thing."

(I'm almost finished filling it out.)

In complete disclosure, I then found a hallway bench and took a much-needed rest. I talked with friends and worked on my laptop, but ultimately I put my head down on my arms and closed my eyes, slowed my breathing, but didn't actually sleep. Even so, the rest was just what I needed.

I made my way into the Great Hall (not actually called Great Hall) in preparation for the evening's, and the conference's, final event. I ate a gluten-free cookie and chatted with Cindy Clark, then sat next to Kim, who likes to be the last one of the group to clap, every time. None of the Grand Prizes (not actually called Grand Prizes) were fated to be mine, and I enjoyed the speakers of the evening. Being on the front row I didn't spot Lisa standing in the back of the room until well into Courtney's presentation, but I did excuse myself to go see Lisa. She was holding Ever who, if I might say, is quite fond of Yours Truly, as evidenced by her gazing and cooing in my general direction. We listened to Sophie Uliano (I want so desperately for her to read Harry Potter books to me), and then, before we knew it, The Casual Blogger Conference had finished.

Lisa had to leave, but Courtney was still greeting her fans, so I gladly took Ever into my arms and caught up with CK. After a good, long while, Ever could no longer stand to not have her mom all to herself, and the crowd dispersed, sending me to a final dinner date with some of the coolest women I've had the pleasure of knowing.

Arriving home, I was exhausted and filled. Thanks, Ladies. Looking forward to next year.


Heather of the EO said...


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to hear the third thing. please post when you get it.
I lived at Wymount bldg. 11C from 1999-2001. Found your blog through cjane.

Melody said...

Enjoying the event from afar and from your reports. Good job, high five, happy day to you.

If you ever change your profile foto I will die and my children will blame you.

It is my ALL TIME fave foto on any blog, facebook page, bio for who wrote/speaks/whatever. .. just so you know.

Emily said...

Love your recap posts. So glad you had a wonderful experience! I think you should be a permanent speaker on the blogging conference route. ;)

alexis said...

i felt like i needed a nap the entire third day of the conference, and i wasn't even presenting. if i had seen you on that bench, i probably would have curled up in your lap and asked you to stroke my hair.

lisa said...

As soon as I start finishing my laundry every day can I have a copy of the meal thing...don't worry, it will tale a while...finishing my laundry every day wasn't even ever on my radar. How does that work exactly?

Brandie said...

Wasn't it fantastic? It was great to meet you and see you perform with Mindy. Wish I was going to another conference. Maybe next year. I am actually typing this on an iPad I lifted from my hubby also wish I would have won something at CBC.

Kim said...

I.LOVE.YOU. The end.