We leave for BlogPaws Wednesday morning, and I am in a bit of a tizzy getting everything ready and planned, not to mention trying to map everything out in my head for the conference. Between checking and rechecking our packing lists, filling my phone calendar with event times and schedules, emailing fellow bloggers and event coordinators about meeting up (and completely screwing up dates and making a fool of myself), and all that, I feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off. I'm excited, nervous, elated, and going stir crazy with anticipation. To help clear my head, I figured I would share it here. Who knows? Maybe one of my fellow attendees is feeling the same way. :)
I'm an anxious person. I always have been, and it's been a struggle to manage since I was in my early teens. With a good diet (without refined/added sugars or gluten. Seriously, if you have anxiety, try cutting those out), lots of exercise, a good sleep schedule, calming hobbies and activities (reading, photography, grooming the dogs, coloring, ect), and a good support system, I can handle things with relative ease. Nola is absolutely invaluable when it comes to helping me.
However, in times of stress or when I'm confronted with new things, it feels like I'm balancing on a tightrope, on the verge of teetering off into a free fall of worry and fear that chokes me. It can be good and exciting things -like BlogPaws - or something less pleasant. It's really any heightened situation, and it can be exhausting. Let me show you a brief peek inside my head these past few days:
Anxious Amanda: "Oh my god, Nola is going to do nothing but bark through this entire event. She's going to bite someone. She's going to forget everything we've ever worked on. She's not going to let anyone touch her and I'll be 'that' person."
Sane Amanda: "Wow. Okay, first off: she is not a reactive dog. She hardly ever barks without reason, and I can count on one hand the times she's barked in public in the last 4 years (we aren't going to talk about the first 18 months of our life together. That was difficult. ;P).
Two, she has never, not once, shown any sign of fear or aggression. To anything. And she's been around a lot! She's not going to bite anything but food.
Finally, she has her Canine Good Citizen award, a leg towards her Rally Obedience novice title, she's been everywhere with you for five years. How many times has she blown you off in those five years? Once."
Anxious Amanda: "We've never flown before. I only have a slight clue of how to navigate the whole flying experience. What if Nola panics? What if I panic? This is terrifying."
Sane Amanda: "We've never flown before. I can read, and I can ask directions. We'll both be fine; Nola is happy in her carrier and happy with me, and I've always wanted to fly. This is exciting!"
Anxious Amanda: "What if I act like a twitchy, neurotic spaz at the conference? I don't know anyone. I'm going to say something uncouth and look like an idiot. I've been blogging 5 years, but I still feel like a newbie in the "professional" blogger world.
Sane Amanda: "Fake it till you make it! I know a handful of people, and even more pets. Nola is adorable and is the perfect ice breaker, and these are "my people". It'll be fine. I may feel like a newbie, but I'm a newbie that's ready and willing to learn. That's more than half the battle."
|"The woman is my full time job. Just call me Valium. Or ValiNola. Nolium?"|
So...yeah. That's what's been going on with us the past few days. In reality, I know I can handle it and I know I will have a fucking blast. I'm just telling myself that, and crossing my fingers that everything goes smoothly.
If I see you at the conference and make a fool of myself...this is why! ;)
- Dachshund Mommy