Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stepping Out

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a parenting leadership training conference. A friend had emailed me the information and application a few weeks ago. It sounded interesting, and bonus! it was a paid gig. So I applied and was accepted.

First of all, the conference was at a college in a town I had never been to, about 2.5 hours from my house. Since it was so far away, my hotel and mileage were covered. This is just sounding better and better, isn't it?! And guess what? All the meals during the conference were included as well. But my point that I'm getting to is that my independence level was really stretched which was a great thing for me. I had never driven so far all by myself, or stayed by myself in a hotel. I didn't know anyone else at the training. Plus Chris had never stayed overnight with the kids by himself, so that was a good experience for him as well.

I had to leave our van with Chris in case he needed to transport our troop anywhere, and his car had just had a big repair done the day before I left, so I was a teensy bit leery of driving it that far alone. Since my phone is virtually always on roaming or out of service basically whenever I leave my neighborhood (I'm barely exaggerating...), that wasn't much of a consolation for me. So my mother-in-law offered me the use of her convertible. The drive was really lovely (although no top down - couldn't destroy my hair since I wouldn't have had time to fix it before training started). I wish I had had more time so I could have pulled over to take some pictures a few times, because the hills and farms and fields and animals I passed truly made for a scenic ride. 

The hotel was right on campus, and the training conference was literally right down the hall from my room. Everything was so easy to find, and I was relieved that I didn't have to search all over the place for the hotel and the right building for the training. Sometimes easy is really nice. I arrived hours before check in time, yet I was able to get my room key right away. Over the course of the two days of training, all of our food was either right in the conference room, or set up buffet style in the hall with the dining tables at the back of our room. There were snacks and drinks and bowls of candy available to us all the time. Convenient and comfortable!  

However, I was way out of my comfort zone, to be honest. And yet everything worked out so well. The group was a great size - about 20 people. The leaders were personable and kind. Everyone was friendly. I don't think I could have picked a better opportunity to go somewhere all alone, in a town I was completely unfamiliar with, without knowing anybody else there. 

I'll do another post and actually share some of what the training was about. But I am really so glad I went. Staying overnight alone was scrumptious (yes I missed my family, but I still enjoyed the peace and quiet), and the drive home alone was with the top down was pretty great too.

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