It is Monday. I’ve returned from ConFusion and none of the worries which kept me awake Wednesday night have come to pass. I hope that someday my brain will accept that my departure does not create dire consequences, but this trip was not that someday.
“How was your trip?” My mom asked after we walked in the door this afternoon. It is not an unreasonable question considering that she traveled 800 miles and spent five days watching my kids so that I could go. The shortest answer is “good” but that is an unsatisfying answer. The next shortest answer which is also still accurate is “Not easy to summarize.”
This was a trip that Howard and I chose rather than one we were offered. It was one I knew I wanted a year ago and that I’ve put effort into being able to afford. The cost of the hotel and airfare are part of the expense, but more critical, Howard and I had to adjust our thinking in such a way that we allowed ourselves a trip whose primary purpose was personal enjoyment rather than business. We are very fortunate that our chosen vacation trip looks very similar to a business trip. I think this means that we’ve chosen the right business.
We chose ConFusion because last year it collected a large contingent of people we really like. This year it was the same. I reconnected with long-time friends and made new friends. I even made one new old friend which is a story that requires a blog post of its very own. We flew below the radar, not announcing that we were coming until just before, because we weren’t certain we could until just before. The fantastic Con Com and programming staff gave us good things to do and discuss. When all was said and done, I had nine items of programming and each one added good things to my experience. Looking back, I realize that I miss the fan-facing interactions which come from us spending time in the dealer’s room, but I am so very glad that we had one show where we had time to think “what do I feel like doing right now?” instead of feeling pressure to be “on” every minute of every day. Howard and I love the GoH gigs, but we are always conscious that our hours there must belong to the convention and its guests. These hours belonged to us and I liked that. I like even more how similarly we spent those hours to how we spend hours when we owe them to someone else. That is a good thing for us to know and I think it will increase our enjoyment of future conventions
I don’t know when we’ll be able to do another show the way we did ConFusion. I’d certainly like to be able to afford it again, but I have to do the math carefully. We certainly can’t do more than one per year, probably not even that often. This trip meant a lot to me, which is probably why the anxieties were out in full force on the night before I left. Yet here I am on the other side and there is not much about the trip that I would change. Given my choice I would have skipped the part where I was coughing and hoarse during the whole trip. I felt fine, but sounded awful and I worried about transmitting germs to others. Beyond that, anything I imagine different would have to displace something good rather than displace something bad. This trip was beginning-to-end a true joy.
But now I need to rest and see if I can convince my voice to come back. I appear to have left it behind in Michigan.
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