Today I felt like I had a split personality. By morning I was “Mommy,” dressed in ratty, stretchy, slouchy PJ pants and a t-shirt that had seen better days. I made Daniel pancakes for breakfast and tried to keep him entertained (because he felt 100% better and was frustrated that we wouldn’t let him go outside) while fighting off my own case of the queasies. By afternoon, I was Professional KeAnne, dressed in work clothes and downtown for the first part of a conference.
It felt really weird and for the first little bit, I felt like I was playing dress-up. Sometimes after I take a day off – for vacation or for illness – re-entry is difficult. It is amazing how little time it takes for me to become enmeshed in the cocoon of home. It’s surreal. It’s like the real world doesn’t really exist outside of what I read on Twitter or my news sites. We don’t have cable any longer, so any TV we watch is on demand and doesn’t include news. I’ve gotten better at not checking work email, so it’s like another tether is fraying. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; it’s just interesting how quickly being “off the grid” in a way takes hold.
If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that I was at a conference today based on the number of tweets I made. Feel free to mute me until Thursday night if you need. I won’t be offended. The conference is the Internet Summit, an annual digital conference held in Raleigh. This is the the 6th year of the conference, and I’ve been to almost all of them. I was at the first one in Chapel Hill in 2008. That one was interesting because my cousin gave birth to her son at the same time, and his birth kicked off the Year of Boys our family was about to experience. Four babies. All boys. November 2008, February 2009, May 2009 and June 2009 (Daniel).
I like the Internet Summit because it is a good conference with a nice mix of topics that appeals to techies, marketers, innovators and everyone else. After years of being on Twitter and going to local conferences and events, I swear that everyone looks like someone I know. Some of the ladies I’ve met locally through blogging are attending professionally as well, and let me just say that it is odd when worlds converge. To Beth Anne, Kathleen and Brandy, I apologize if I seemed overly stiff and weird!
In the past I’ve attended a lot of social media sessions since that was part of my job. This year I justified going based on the “Big Data” and data analytics sessions. It is all interesting content, and I’m sure I’ll have a post or two to write about it. I feel at home at this type of conference because I really “get” the content. Last week’s conference wasn’t in my field exactly, so I felt more like a fish out of water. It’s good to be with people who spend the conference tweeting and taking notes via laptop or tablet. It feels right.
Tomorrow all of us re-enter the real world again. Daniel will return to school and go on his field trip to the history museum. Jimmy will have a full day at work. I’ll try to accessorize well (you should see some of the outfits) and head to the convention center for day 2 of the conference. It was already going to be a short week for me and Daniel because his school is closed on Friday and Monday for parent-teacher conferences, so after this one day of returning to normal, we’ll be home again.
Fingers crossed that our one day of re-entry is smooth.