Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Charmed in Charm City

On our wedding video (and yes, at nearly 17 years old, it is indeed a VHS video) several of our guests offer their wishes, thoughts, and advice to me and The Husband.  There are the standard Hallmark sentiments from people representing various eras of our lives, and then there are The Husband's two best friends - best man and groomsman in our wedding.

They're standing together for this interview, and the one whose job is to quote people for a living says, very sincerely and simply:  "Just amazing ... wishing ... well, I'm sure J. would agree with that."

J.'s response is a simple, "L'chaim!"  and the whole scene makes me laugh, every single time.

I've been away from the blog for the last few days, due to being at a professional conference in Baltimore (also known as Charm City).  The trip was incredible for many reasons, and I was thinking about that incoherent quote from our friends while I drove home from Baltimore this afternoon because that speechless in-awe feeling is how I'm feeling.

I don't talk much on here about what I actually do.  It's not really a secret, and you can read between the lines and figure it out, but I just haven't felt the need to introduce my work as a fundraiser/PR director for a nonprofit into the mix of posts on books, Aspergers, food, politics, whatever I'm in the mood to write about here at the time. 

I'm doing so now because over these past few days, I knew that I would want to write about some of the experiences we had because they were absolutely extraordinary.  Among our keynote speakers was Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  Being in the same room with him was like being in the presence of God.  We also heard from Lee Woodruff, wife of Bob Woodruff, who spoke about his brain injury and the impact it had on their family.  We heard from Peter Thum of Ethos Water and Jeff Salz, two people who aren't household names but who were incredibly inspiring for different reasons.  I also met Dan Heath (and won his new book!) and went into full groupie mode when meeting one of my favorite nonprofit bloggers, Katya Andresen. (I bought her book and had her sign it too.)

There's a lot I want to tell you about - the books, the food, the shopping, the people I mention above. So I'll be doing just that over a series of posts over the next couple days or so. 

But let me say this: I've had an incredible couple of days. There's something immensely energizing about being with 4,000 people who get what you do and struggle through every day.  I needed this conference in so many ways, for so many reasons. 

And what this conference brought home for me this week, too, was how the lines between these various aspects of one's life are more and more often blending into each other - like the voices and personalities of our wedding video guests.  I used to be (still kind of am) the type of person who keeps their friends separate - for example, my friends from high school would never interact with my friends of college, nor would coworkers at one job ever be introduced to someone from another job.  But as I found myself as one of the people live tweeting the conference, I found myself thinking more and more about these kinds of issues, the graying of these fine lines between the various aspects of our lives.  It's something I might write more about in the coming days or weeks. 

Till then, I'm still riding the high of these four days of living a very lucky and charmed life.

photo taken by me on Sunday evening 4/11/2010 at the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD.

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

1 comment:

IMOK said...

Great feedback that warms a meeting planner's heart. Glad you enjoyed your time away from home. Hope Betty, Boo and Husband managed without you!