Team Pickles moseyed* our way down to Maryland this weekend where Ian, Ben, and Molly hung out with Uncle Chris while I got back in touch with my inner university student at Blog University. I’m not going to bore you with the details because if you’re reading this you were either there or you’re one of my other 4 readers and are like, “Riiight…blogging conference…that’s nice. Now have you got a pithy, pun-filled story about something cute my grandkids did or not?”
I will tell you that going back to university, unfettered by worldly concerns of husband and children; released from practical considerations like laundry, pull-ups, and how on earth I’m going to work off the calories in those cupcakes; and free to pretend I was 21 again with open heart, open mind, and open bar, resulted in deep self-reflection and soul-searching.
As such, I want to share with you The Top 6 Things I Learned Going Back to School:
- College dorms make economic use of space. The dorm we stayed in, for example, had soaring approximately 25-foot ceilings. To make the most of the vertical space, they provided wooden bedframes that elevated the mattresses 5 feet off the floor, leaving an open space underneath perfect for storage or offsetting your tuition costs by subletting to a family of gnomes.
- Dorms are also much more eco-friendly than they used to be. Our blankets were obviously repurposed from those railroad-striped train engineer jeans we all wore in the mid-90s. This had the added benefit of grounding us all in the decade when most of us went to school in the first place and making the experience that much more immersive!
- No matter how old you are, how long you’re staying, or how big your dorm room is, somehow it will STILL wind up looking like this:
- If you were a back-of-the-classroom student back then, you will still automatically head for the back of the room now; and if you overcome the urge and go for the front row you may catch yourself rolling your eyes and muttering, “keener,” derisively in your head.
- If you put 400-odd X-chromosomes (and 1 Y) in a room before 8 am, you’d better keep a close eye on the coffee service because if that baby slows to a trickle you’ve got about 30 seconds to act before waves of panic start to set in.
- Dress me in sequins and get the margaritas a-flowin, and sooner or later I’ll wind up either singing along to the Spice Girls or stealing random stuff.
♪♫♪“If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends…” ♪♫♪ *shakes fist at Becoming Supermommy*
- Our kids may think we’re boring, but moms (and dads) have The. Best. Parties. Let’s just hope by the time they’re teenagers we’ve found a way to get these pictures the heck off the internet.
- If you pour your heart and soul into something like planning a conference for like-minded people, focusing first and foremost on community- and relationship-building – before, during, and afterwards – and secondly on sharing amazing insights and information, you are going to have a success on your hands, because as we all learned this weekend, it’s collaboration, not competition. Community is the cornerstone of this whole blogging thing – for most of us it’s the reason we got into it in the first place. Everything else is just the icing on the cupcakes.
*Correct spelling – “moseyed,” not “mosied,” as I had originally guessed. Sometimes you can be pretty ducking annoying, but thanks for having my back on that one, Spellcheck!