Blogs in Space (space…space…)

22 05 2010

I haven’t had a chance to put up a blog post of my own in quite some time, though I’ve posted several for a friend.

I’ve attended a birthday dinner or two, a baptism, and a graduation.

I’ve traveled a state away to visit family, toured a house built in 1939 that is being lovingly restored by a family member, traveled BACK home with a Uhaul on my heels and the Wee Beastie riding shotgun in the cab with his grandma looking like he was born for that, and then helped unload the truck full of family memories before reloading it with other family memories.

I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve slept (a bit), but mainly I’ve just worked. Worked, worked, and then when I thought I couldn’t I worked some more.

So when better to find a little time for myself to sit and write a little than when strapped in the seat of an airplane, however high above the earth you are when flying, hurtling towards a meeting in Denver. One of the ‘little’ things I’ve been working for, but also a reward of sorts for all of the hard work.

This coming week in Denver will be a lot of things: frenetic, exhausting, labor intensive, overwhelming at times, and jam packed with meetings. It will also be a lot of fun. So much fun that I’ll wish someone would put me out of my misery come Wednesday night, but I will soldier on through monitoring a session on Thursday morning (EARLY) before rushing to yet one more meeting then closing up shop there and flying back home to arrive ~ 12:15 AM Friday morning.

I’ve only missed one year since I began going back in 1997. You heard me; I’ve missed only one meeting in 13 years. As much work as it takes to prepare for this annual meeting, as much running around meeting attending as I do AT the meeting, I’ve looked forward to this meeting every year since probably the 3rd one or so since I began.

The early ones weren’t as fun. I knew hardly anyone there and in order to attend at all (and back then it was for a very short time and I stayed in dives so that I could go) I had to prepare a presentation, have it accepted, and then deliver it to a huge crowd of people who I felt had more knowledge and experience than I could ever have. It was like 3 or 4 years of a Freshmen year at college where I was a little fish in a big pond.

Then things began to change. I started meeting more people. I became involved in a committee (where I’m on my second rotation as an officer). I got comfortable. Since then so many of these people have become very good friends and several more are like family. Some I get to see more often than others, but many I get to talk with regularly. We’ve lost a few over the years, some to death that we mourned like a family and others to job changes where you can still stay in touch. In a sense, it has been one long Senior year and I get to feel like one of the cool kids.

Where at first I knew very few people and was in complete and utter awe of some of the others. The ones I knew by reputation. The rock stars in my field. Now I know many, it is the most bizarre feeling in the world to me to walk around a city you hardly know and see all these people in the crowd you know. I don’t have that same experience at home very often. Yes, I’ve been in a store or restaurant and had a friend walk in, but at these meetings that sort of thing happens constantly. Or as you are walking through the convention center someone will call out my name or wave from across the way.

Some people I see annually, but don’t even know. We run in different circles, different areas of expertise, and yet we still wave at each other. How could you not? You see them every year, you feel as though you SHOULD know them, and so you wave. Letting them know that you too acknowledge that you see them every year. It’s just what you do.

There are also the people you wish you DIDN’T see, but they are ridiculously outnumbered by the ones you do want to see. There have been some funny events involving one particular person of that sort. It has now become a game to me when I see them since I’ve discovered they are more mortified to see me than I am to see them and well, that’s just too much fun to pass up. Messing with their head now overtakes that pit in my stomach.

Each year the meeting is in a different city and by now I’ve been to several more than once. Last year was my second year in Toronto. This year will be my third meeting in Denver, I think. I like discovering new cities and determining if I’d want to visit on my own dime, but I also like revisiting ones I’ve been to in the past because they are familiar. I look forward to Philly again because of a little hole in the wall we found. I also look forward to Minneapolis again because of several awesome restaurants. And Toronto, well, I just love Toronto. Next year it will be in Oregon, I’ve never been there. It should be an adventure like all the rest.

This will be the first year where social media will play a big part of my meeting attendance. We’ve been Tweeting about it (@B_EMC or BEMC_groupie should you desire to follow me geeking out), they have a Facebook page, I’ll be hitting foursquare as often as I can, and if I have time I may even blog about some of the fun things.

Wee Beastie is at ‘camp’ this week. He was thrilled to see where we were when we pulled up and he nearly busted a gut when he saw his favorite kennel person. No love for me when he was taken back, couldn’t delay getting back there to bark at the other dogs! He’ll be thrilled to see me when I return though and that will be good enough for me. He’ll be thrilled and then he’ll sleep for two days straight…even better for me!

We’ll both be exhausted from our own little adventures. Now, if I truly intend to blog from space I need to jump on it since we are about to begin the final decent that marks the official start of this year’s adventure!