Thank you all so much for your amazing feedback on my last post. I am so proud to be part of such a supportive community.
This post isn’t going to be structured quite the same as my previous recaps for #hls13 and part of that is because I can’t seem to find the words for a full recap of day 3. Take this post as my best attempt, but for recaps of the sessions themselves, be sure to check out the Healthy Living Summit website for links to live blogs and twitter recaps.
Saturday at the Healthy Living Summit is all about the sessions and sponsors. I had previously posted my #hls13 agenda, but didn’t stick to it 100%. The morning started with a speakers’ meeting to get logistics taken care of and then it was time for breakfast.
If there is one thing you can be sure of at a blogger conference, the food is going to be amazing! I definitely went back for seconds on the egg and potato scramble and was so excited to see gluten free breakfast breads!
I was in Heather’s group for ice breakers and the very first question set the tone for the rest of the day. “If you had a time machine for one day, would you go back to your past or forward to your future?” When I said forward, Heather asked me why. My past has shaped me. Even the not-so-good things have made me who I am. I wouldn’t want to alter that, but it would be really nice to look ahead and see what things I have in my future thanks to the hard work I’m doing now.
I say that it set the tone for me because the entire rest of the day I spent reflecting on who I was before blogging, who I was when I first started, who I have become, and who I want to be.
The next session, Blogs in Transition, was one I chose because I’ve thought a great deal about the voice of this blog and what to offer to my readers. One of my biggest takeaway moments was to create a Blog Mission Statement, so you’ll see that coming very soon.
I didn’t take actual notes at the Blog to Job panel mostly because I was listening so intently and taking stock of what I want for my blog and myself. My biggest takeaway moment was to stop wasting time at a job you hate. I’ve never been one to settle in my life and that’s always been one of my highest priorities when it comes to a job. It was great to hear someone else say it and to see three amazing women who have used their blogs to elevate their careers to a place where they are both successful and loving what they do. Check out the tweets that were going out during the panel if you want more. Trust me, the nuggets are gold.
I got the most practical information from the Organized Blogger panel by Heather and Julie. I still haven’t implemented a lot of it, but I’m most excited to get started on an editorial calendar. I can’t believe I don’t have one up to this point!
By lunch time I had lots to think about and my head was spinning. I was a bit quieter than usual while I digested both my food and everything that was going through my head.
The Keynote with Brenda Langton (owner of Spoonriver and a proponent of organic, fresh, and local food) and sponsored by Wild Harvest was right after lunch. What I loved most about Brenda’s message was that we can either make time for healthy eating now or make time for illness later. I think the same applies to the financial cost. Eating healthy may be more expensive than not for right now, but I’d rather pay a little more for my food than for treating illnesses later on.
After lunch I was feeling super nervous about our session on Blogger Self-Care, so I decided that what I needed was self-care. I skipped the hands-on workshop and went back to the hotel room for some deep breathing and also to think about the day. When I got back down to the conference rooms, I took some time to get to know a few of the sponsors. I was particularly impressed with the Ninja and also took some time to get my photo at the Cocoa Via booth.
Finally it was time for Blogger Self-Care. As Elizabeth, Jessica and I set up for our session, we chatted about things other than our presentation because who needs added stress? Once we got started we followed our planned structure, but really spoke from the heart about why self-care is important to each of us and how we manage to make it a priority.
The audience was amazing. So many people offered up their own struggles with self-care as well as ways they are making it a priority. After the session more than one person came up and thanked us for the presentation, some saying it was their favorite session. I was absolutely floored and on the verge of tears because it meant so much that people not only got something out of our presentation, but felt truly impacted by it. Make sure to check out the live blog of the session too and I’m always happy to answer your self-care questions.
After our session it was time for closing remarks and raffles. Although I didn’t win anything at the raffle, I learned at dinner that evening with Stephanie R. and Stephanie M. that I had won a Ninja blender for myself and two friends! Talk about an exciting way to end the day.
Speaking of dinner, it was amazing! We went to Masa, which was right near the hotel, because it was pouring rain. We weren’t disappointed with the food or drinks. I got a habanero infused margarita that was great and the food was delicious.
The rest of my evening was spent packing and hanging with Stephanie R. in my hotel room since I was going to be checking out at 3:30am to head to the train then to the airport for a 5:30am flight. As I sat with Stephanie and talked about everything under the sun, I couldn’t believe that another year at the Healthy Living Summit was coming to an end.
My flight the next morning was characterized by even more reflection and deep thought. I thought about everything I learned and everyone I met. The friendships I made this year, just like last year, are friendships I’m certain will persist because we all share a common mindset and are now bound by the amazing experience that was #hls13.
See you all in Madison next year!