Continuing @GwenBell 's #best09 Blog Challenge...
Read all of my #best09 here.
December 6 - Workshop or Conference
CCPPNS - California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools, Sacramento, CA, March 2009
In 2009, I went to a couple of great conferences associated with blogging: BlogHer '09 (my second year there), the 2009 California Women's Conference. And I LOVE conferences - I think I could be a professional conference go-er (in fact, I am trying to work out my conference schedule for 2010 and it looking packed!). But, surprisingly, my favorite conference was one that I only got to one day of and it was one associated with my kids' preschool. I am a member of the board of the school and several of us, along with the teachers and our director, attended the CCPPNS (California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools) Conference in Sacramento. I got up very early to drive the 2 hours to the conference for the day and just made in in time for the keynote by Lisa Garrigues, author of Writing Motherhood. I am so glad I made it there for that keynote, because, for me, it was amazing. The company was good too :)
It was a really different keynote in that it had a workshop element as part of it. I had already read Lisa's book and done some exercises as part of it, since it was one of the first book clubs I manage for SV Moms Group. I loved how she got every person in that room, most people non-writers, to write. She set a timer and everyone wrote for 10 minutes. And everyone had something pretty amazing to say. As mothers, we all have things we want to remember and things that we need to work through. Like Gwen Bell's prompts for this #best09 challenge, Lisa Garrigues has many writing prompts in her book which are so helpful. Here is what I wrote in this quick keynote workshop:
The Long and Short of It - Topic: Breakfast Time
It used to be that I was the one who got up first, maybe to a crying baby (or two...or three), to prepare breakfast for everyone, of milk (heated, of course), applesauce, mashed bananas, zwieback biscuits, baby yogurt and baby oatmeal, while I nursed the newborn, but now I am awakened to sounds from the kitchen of running footsteps, doors opening and then slamming shut, cereal pouring, spoons clanging and water filling from the refrigerator while I still lie in bed. I sort of miss the old days.
Later in the day, I went to a workshop with Lisa Garrigues, which was more of the same, but a bit more focused. It was nice to meet her in person, after emailing with her so much about the SV Moms Group book club the previous summer. She is a captivating speaker and teacher. I was really amazed at how much we got down on paper in an hour. I loved hearing what Teacher Annie wrote in this workshop - having college-aged girls, she has different things she carries (see the topic below) than I. We all carry something. Here is my writing from that workshop:
Workshop Topic: The Things We Carry
I carry a laptop bag today, but no laptop, which was very hard for me to separate from for one day. I carry the wonderings of what my children are doing today while I am not with them. I carry the guilt of taking this one day off. I carry the irritation with people who give birthday presents to others two to six months late every single year, but who pretend that they don't. I carry my Flip camera, because I love to capture the present to watch in the future and the cooresponding feeling that I am missing the present altogether by recording it. I carry "The Power of Less" book that I only have time to read 5 pages of every weekend and the desire to eliminate the non-essential and gain more value and joy in my life., I carry the knowledge that I will be cramming to get Ben's Kid of the Week poster done by Monday, as usual.
There were some other sessions that I really loved as well. The theme, "Play for Life," is one that I embrace pretty seriously for my kids. I was bummed to have missed the Ooey Gooey Lady...there is always next year!
December 7 - Blog Find of the Year
You are sitting with your favorite and oldest friend (your sister) on vacation, chatting about this and that. She thinks of something to show you on her laptop and suddenly you are sucked into cheesy theme songs from 80's sitcoms and reading the nutritional label and eating it anyway and all sorts of awesome things that make you smile. She told you about 1000 Awesome Things and it is truly...
Seriously, this must be the funnest blog to write, ever.
December 8 - Moment of Peace
Mother's Day at Yoga Source
For Mother's Day 2009, I decided to treat myself and go to a yoga class at Yoga Source in Los Gatos. I hadn't been to a live yoga class in probably 6 years, before becoming pregnant with my twins. I had been doing yoga via yogatoday.com, which is great if you can't get to a class...but a class is oh, so much better. The heat, the people, the audible breath, the wood floor, the instructor who comes around and adjusts you or gives you a quick massage if you are one of the lucky ones. I felt present, there, smooth, strong. Om.
December 9 - Challenge
Teaching at Solo Practice University
As a lawyer who has operated her solo law practice for the past 5 years, I know what it is like to be out there on your own. I wanted to give back to my profession and to help other lawyers who are starting out on their own (especially in this economy - law firm jobs are not what they used to be...if they are there at all). I agree to teach a class called "Outsourced General Counsel" at Solo Practice University, which just finished up. I could have taught another 20 classes (or more!), but decided I had to give it up due to the time it takes to prepare the classes (at least the way I do it).
Therein lied the challenge. First of all, the video intro. Who knew that talking for 60 seconds (and ONLY 60 seconds) into a video camera was so hard. Memorize lines much? No. Sit up straight much? No. Dress up and do movie makeup much? No. Thankfully, my husband helped me and it only took me 150 hours or so to do a 60 second intro.
Then the actual teaching of the class. Putting together a class, even if you know the material very well, proved tough for me at times. Knowing it would be online was even tougher, because you don't have that immediate feedback to know if people are getting it. It took me a while to figure out how to set it up technically - I ended up doing mostly slidecasts with powerpoint and an audio track. It was fun to conquer the technical side of it, because it was not easy (and I am fairly techy, I think).
It was also challenging to give it up. Truthfully, I feel like a quitter in some respects. But...I am committed to focusing on the essential and this just didn't make the cut. I really enjoy speaking and teaching and sharing with people, and I'm still looking at ways to do those things that make sense time and effort-wise. I learned a lot from this experience (and other speaking and teaching I have done over the past couple of years) and I will carry that with me into the future.
December 10 - Album of the Year
Matt Nathanson - Some Mad Hope
I bought the album for the song Come On Get Higher, but love the whole thing start to finish.
(I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I also love the Glee soundtrack :) )