I may still write up a recap of all the great blogging information I gathered while I was there, but I wanted to start out by sharing some things that relate to EVERYONE, not just bloggers.
So I give you my top 10 things to learn from a blogging conference that really just relate to life.
1--Where you look is where you go. This one came from Olympic Silver Medal winner Noelle Pikus-Pace. She talked about how you end up where your focus is. So I figure I'd better focus on what's important!
|Me, Our Thrifty Ideas, Noelle, Over the Big Moon, Rad Mom Cool Kid|
2--They like me, they really like me. You guys, this conference was not a popularity contest. I didn't care about how many pageviews or Facebook followers someone had when I was talking to them. And they didn't care either! I had people even recognize me and want to come talk to ME and it totally made my day. Every-single-time. I am more than numbers...and so are you.
3--We are makers. At our opening dinner, Kelly Backus from Home Depot (one of the major sponsors of the conference, thanks guys!) reminded us that we are all makers. I thought about how this extends: We are makers of things, of food, of homes, of memories, of friends....and we all want to make a difference. Even if the only circle of influence I end up having is within my own home, I can do this.
4--Everybody has insecurities. As I was talking to new and old friends, and listening to presenters in different classes, I discovered that we all have things we're worried about. Our hair, our age, our size, whether or not someone will sit by us, whether or not someone else thinks we have something to offer, on and on. We get better at hiding these insecurities as we get older, but just knowing they are there makes it so much easier to reach out and be supportive of others. And that is what builds relationships, creates friends, and strengthens all of us.
5--What you become because of the business is more important that what becomes of the business. In whatever you are doing...your full-time job, your hobbies, your service, whatever--are you becoming a better person because of it? Do my hobbies (and my blog) make me a better mother? A better wife? If not, then I need to do some adjusting in how I'm spending my time.
6--I'm not jealous of people like I used to be. It is incredibly easy to get jealous of people. In high school there were people with cars, boyfriends (and looking back thank goodness I didn't ;) better grades, better hair, etc. Now every trip that someone goes on or every new house that's bought shows up in our daily social media feed. I was so happy with myself to discover that all weekend I did not once find myself jealous of another woman's success in her business or blog, her Pinterest followers or shoes. I was genuinely happy for everyone's successes and wins. I must be growing up :)
7--It's good to break out of your comfort zone. Some people may think that because I blog I am naturally very outgoing. Some people may think that because I went to a blog conference and roomed with people I'd never met before that I am naturally very outgoing. This is NOT true. But it's so good for me to make real-life connections. And to be the first one to say hi because maybe someone else is having a shy day too :)
|Sowdering About, Me, My Craftily Ever After|
8--There are people out there who understand me. Even though I'm a very religious person and I know God always understands me, it's so great to meet actually people who do too! They know what's stressful about raising kids, and about swimming in social media but trying to teach your kids about a heathly balance, and that it doesn't matter how many people like my Instagram picture. They get what it's like to struggle with balance. And now I know there really are people who know what I'm going through.
9--You have to find balance. Sara and Kate from Our Best Bites reminded us that we need to take time to disconnect. I think that no matter what our hobbies or jobs are, we spend too much time staring at our phones. They said we need to make sure to "be with the people you're with." I heard once that when we are staring at our phones and other people are around, here is the message we are sending: "What is happening right here with you is less important than anything else that could be happening anywhere else in the world." Ouch, right? I'm committed to breaking some bad habits I have, and making sure I unplug more often.
10--Family is everything. I'd like to throw a special shout out to the lovelies who all let me cry in front of them at the airport. We were talking about all the fun things from the conference, and got started talking about our kids and I just lost it. I usually don't get so emotional being away from my family for a little bit, but throw in the super-high intensity of the previous days (when you are meeting tons of people and trying to be so excited about every one of them) it finally all was too much after basically having no down time. While I had a fabulous time at the conference, the most important thing was still getting back to my family to spend time with them and tell them I love them.