So, if you know me at all you know that I’m always going a million miles an hour, between the kids, work, the side company and my travel (for all of the above).
Friends who know I have been only getting four or five hours of sleep a night tell me to slow down, stay in one place for more than a minute, cut back a bit.
But here’s the thing. I love it all. Love it.
Take the last minute conference I popped in on yesterday. Sure, it was two hours from my home and taking place the day before I had to go out of state for a trip for my side business, but it was a conference I dearly wanted to attend and it was eating away at me that I would miss out by not going. I would miss out on some golden nugget of wisdom being shared, some great connection that I needed to make, some life-changing moment that would shake me awake in some way.
So, when my daughter was lucky enough to end up with a sleepover on what would have been my last night in town, I felt the mommy guilt of one more trip evaporate and let my husband know I was going to make it to that conference after all. Everything fell into place. And even though I only got four hours of sleep before taking that trip, I was exhilerated to be able to attend.
And I did all the things I hoped I would.
I made some great new friends, connecting with people who would help focus my blog but also help with some life choices I’m debating. Some who would make me laugh and others who would inspire me to grow to be even greater.
But the big payoff came just as I was headed for bed, when I stumbled across a cluster of attendees who had found their own corner, sharing drinks and conversation. I recognized a face or two, so I joined them, telling myself I’d sit for 10 minutes, knowing I was leaving at 5am the next morning for my next trip.
Well, I sat a lot longer than 10 minutes. And I listened as these friends laughed, and cried, and shared some of their inner most secrets…stories about how they have come to be the amazing people they are today.
I don’t think THEY think they’re that amazing, but they are, each in a very different way. They are survivors. Survivors who have chosen to not let life beat them down, but to use their experiences to build others up.
These women are each so incredibly talented. It’s hard to imagine what they could NOT do if they set their minds to it.
And I love being surrounded by people who choose to live life in this way.
I did finally make it back to my room, just four hours before I was to be leaving for the airport for the next trip.
And when the alarm went off, I was tired, but focused.
This was the thing I was waiting to have “shake me awake in some life changing way”.
No matter what mistakes we’ve made or bad experiences we’ve survived, we still have the choice to move beyond the darkness, and not just move into the light, but to shine it around for others, too.
I thank my new friends last night for reminding me of that priceless life lesson.
This is why I love these trips. And why I love what I do.
It’s all about these people. “My people.”
(Special note of love to Anissa Mayhew of @AimingLow for putting this event together and all the other amazing speakers and organizers who poured themselves into being part of it.)