thoughts on returning from the big easy
I'm back from the Mom 2.0 Summit, which was a complete whirlwind of activity, between meetings and sessions and book signings and, well, everything. To be honest, I feel somewhat disoriented (mostly from, admittedly, lack of sleep), and have been struggling with focusing on exactly what to write and share with you. Ultimately, however, these are the highlights:
Over the last month, I've been taking really good notice of the food I'm consuming: trying to to eat really healthily. This all went to pot the moment I stepped off the plane in New Orleans. Sweet Mother of Gumby, but that town is evil with the gustatory pleasures. I drank more wine and ate more food in those two days than I believe I had to that point in 2011. This week, I think my caloric intake is going to have to be all about green tea and leaves. My body is craving detox in a bad way.
But bless me, the food in Louisiana is good.
There are people who know me who would probably tell you that I'm an extravert; however, I think those particular people are ones who confuse "introversion" with "shyness." It is true, I am not shy, and am pretty comfortable doing public speaking, or walking into a party where I know barely a soul; however, once I've spoken, or even been in the party for as little as an hour, I crave solitude. Given the choice between going to a crowded, rowdy party or having dinner with one or two good friends (or even staying in and ordering room service), I'll choose the quiet dinner (or room service) every time. And so my favourite moments at the conference were the moments I got to sit quietly and speak with acquaintances who I didn't know very well, but got to know better, and one particularly special dinner on early Friday evening with two very close friends at the amazing Palace Café. I definitely had some lovely times during my days away.
They know you are here
On the trip back from New Orleans, the flight was delayed by about 25 minutes. Apparently several passengers had tight connections in Houston before going on to their final destinations, and they were nervous about missing their connecting flights.
During our flight, every once in a while, I would see a passenger catch the attention of one particular flight attendant, and nervously say something to the tune of: "I'm booked on a flight to Destination X. Do you think I'll make it?" And every time, the flight attendant would look directly in the person's eyes, and say with as much compassion and meaning as he could muster:
"I can't answer that. But I can tell you this: they know you are here."
The words were like magic: without exception, each passenger would visibly exhale, their shoulders would drop, and a tiny bit of tension would leave their faces. It was amazing to witness how ultimately, we all just want to be remembered. It's good to hear that we matter enough to someone -- anyone -- who would make sure to look out for us if tough times ever come.
They know you are here.
I think we'd all experience just a little less stress in our lives if someone could say something like that to each of us every day, don't you think?
Laissez les bon temps rouler
I hadn't been to New Orleans in over a decade, and unfortunately didn't get the opportunity to get out into the city much while I was there. Still, I did take a quick walk down Bourbon Street (otherwise known for being Ground Zero of Mardi Gras Debauchery), and take a few shots.
It is comforting to know that, even during times other than Mardi Gras, some things never change:
Here's wishing you a great week, friends.
Images: Photographed with my Nikon D300, 50mm. I'll update soon with shooting info.