I've just unpacked my bag in the Minneapolis Airport Marriott Hotel across the road from the Mall of America, the biggest mall in the world, I hear. I had a fairly easy flight though sitting for close to four hours is no longer my idea of a good time. I lead a reasonably sedentary life and work at a desk, but I'm up and down several times an hour to stretch, let the cats out, make tea, check the weather, get the mail. I don't sit in a small seat with little leg room between two other people with barely the room to move. So I'm glad to be in a space where I can move, walk around, and who knows? Maybe I'll log a mile or two over at the mall tomorrow.
I'm here for the Hazelden Treatment Centers Women Healing conference. I'm part of the speaker line-up (Saturday at 1:15) and I will be speaking to nearly 300 recovering women and treatment professionals. Yikes! I've got my PowerPoint presentation and I've been practicing my talk and will do so some more before Saturday but I'm both excited and nervous. It doesn't make me nervous to speak in front of people normally. I was a teacher for many years and can get up and talk. But it's my first time on the national stage and I'm hoping something wonderful can happen here for my memoir, which is on sale at the conference bookstore.
I don't do hotels much anymore. I usually travel and stay with someone I know or in a rented beach house or retreat center cabin. The room is nice enough though I'd have preferred a room on the other side of the hall with a view of the grassy courtyard instead of the parking lot and one with one bed, instead of two (the room is really full of furniture) but there's a nice writing desk here and a comfy chair for reading and all that I need. In service to my increasing commitment to ask for what I want, I did ask if there was a courtyard room available but they are full this weekend between our conference with people here from all over the Midwest and a girls volleyball tournament,.
In my academic years, I went to quite a few conferences and got drunk or ate a lot of sugar. None of that is going to happen this weekend. And that will be fine.