The night before leaving for Boston, I had a complete meltdown. I completely panicked and started sobbing uncontrollably. The work week leading up to the conference was hectic for me. I felt like I was a hamster on a wheel. I had no time to sit and center myself before traveling. I felt apprehensive about how the conference would be. I was meeting some of my tribe who I had only known online. Will I be myself? Will people like me? What will the conference vibe be like? I was a volunteer for the conference. I panicked thinking that I would let Susan down.
I am so grateful that I traveled with friends to this conference. As I started packing and bombarding my husband, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law with flying questions, I realized that I had not flown in about 8 years. My last plane ride was down to New Orleans. Being stopped by TSA only heightened my anxiety. I sat and breathed through it although the anxiety sweats occurred almost immediately. I completely forgot about the 8 oz bottle of lens cleaner for my glasses. I use them for computer work mainly. I was a bit annoyed that I had to toss it, but stuff happens.
Becky and Ruth were so patient with me as I stumbled a bit pulling my rolling suitcase. The flight to Boston seemed so quick, mainly because the three of us talked nonstop. Once we got off the plane, we met up with Jennifer. The four of us shared a cab to meet Anne-Marie and Lauren for lunch.
In the meantime my work phone kept vibrating with messages and e-mails. I asked Ruth to e-mail me to see if my auto reply was working. In my haste to do all the things, I neglected to put on my out of office message. I was mentally kicking myself. After lunch I got settled in our hotel room, and I sat down to work for about two hours. Normally I would not have done this because I was on vacation. I knew that leaving all those loose ends would make my conference experience stressful and more anxiety filled if I did not complete those outstanding tasks.. I sat down in the peace and quiet to wrap up the last remaining items to be present for the entire conference experience.
Anxiety reared its ugly head the final day of the conference. I panicked just before facilitating a group session. I could not locate my co-facilitator, and I had to pee. I had to apologize to my group who graciously accepted the anxiety freak out. Thank goodness for the amazing Liz from MotherWoman who kept me focused and calm. Anxiety is a part of me, but it does not define me.