Greetings from Cleveland, OH! Well, I should say in the air technically for the title since I flew. I tell ya, if I could get across the country remotely as fast in a car, I'd do it every time. Flying (coach) is such an exercise in misery! LOL. I had so much more fun driving cross country, but time is money they say. The irony is that it cost me waaaay more to save that time, so I wonder, did I save anything by flying since I'm not working too much right now?
Anyway, THANK YOU all you lurkers for coming out of the woodwork today! It absolutely put a giant smile on my face when I saw how many of you shared - many for the first time! Really, I have to reiterate just how much of a difference it is to see your comments on the blog. Otherwise, I kind of feel like I'm just talking to myself. Thank you thank you THANK YOU! :)
I am in Cleveland to present at the national conference for the American Music Therapy Association. I also serve as a regional board member, so we have thrice-a-year meetings where we do most of our business. In my position, I run the regional conferences that we host every spring, and I've been really out of the loop due to our time in MN, so I really wanted to get plugged back in. Also, I made a promise to myself when I became a new professional music therapist that I would attend all conferences, regardless of location. As a music therapist, I have very low overhead; conference is my biggest annual expenditure, and that's only a couple of thousand dollars. If I can't pay that off over the rest of the year, I really need to examine my commitment to my career. I just told myself right out of the gate that I always make conference, and I work the circumstances out regardless. Lastly, this is my professional community that has really supported us over the past 18 months, and I really wanted to give some hugs, and I know many of my colleagues want to do the same.
We are an awesomely supportive community in music therapy. Just yesterday, a package arrived for Ali from the executive director of the AMTA. It had gotten lost in snail mail limbo with our mail getting forwarded to MN then back, but it finally arrived. It was halloween maracas, dolls, and other small trinkets. How cool is that? In addition, the president of the AMTA made a donation on behalf of the association to PUCK!
We are blessed to be among so many who live to give.
Do you live to give, or live to get?
The flights were murder today from an emotional standpoint. Hours with nothing "to do." I got my work done early in the first leg, so there was nothing to focus on. I brought several books on mp3, but I usually listen to them while driving, and there was something weird about staring at the back of another seat, just sitting there and listening. It would have been better to have a book, because I found that without my eyes engaged (remember... visual kinesthetic learner over here), I was bored by the text. I really had a lot of pain and sadness throughout both flights. Not enough distractions. Woof. Not gonna lie, it was rough today. Once I got here and could engage with others, it got better. That's the key: stay engaged.
Ang's first day went well. Her boss got her flowers! So nice. Really, the team at Verizon Wireless has just been amazing. Ang noticed how some people acknowledged Bella' death and others didn't. We figured that it's probably all just a level of projection; those who would like others to acknowledge the situation, say something, those who wouldn't, don't. Our favorite is the one, "Well I didn't want to bring it up and remind you." Trust us, we haven't forgotten! We think about Bella all day every day. There is nothing you could say or do that would 'remind us' anymore than we already are. IT's all good. We understand we don't do death and grief very well in the country; perhaps that is one thing Bella and God would like us to teach?
Last, here is the cognitive disturbance story of the day!
The conference is at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland, however, I couldn't afford the room rates, so I booked a room on hotwire. I THOUGHT I was staying at the double tree. It is not a short walk to the double tree from the renaissance, and it is not exactly warm here. I get there, and the guy says, "Um, do you have a reservation with us?" That's when I realize that I'm not at the Embassy Sweets that I'm really supposed to be at! I walked to the wrong hotel! Man, I laughed! SO, I walk the three blocks now to the Embassy Suites, and IT ALL HAPPENS AGAIN! "Um, do you have a reservation with us?" I really thought I did! Turns out, it's at the Crown Plaza! This time I am a little more than embarrassed at my C.D. (cognitive disturbance). The guy gets a cab for me cuz he doesn't want me walking any more tonight. The cabbie was a little confused, but overall gracious, as was the clerk here at the Crown Plaza as I gushed the whole story.
My presentation should be interesting tomorrow!