Thank You's And Thoughts As I Prepare For #SCCTO via @superstargrace .

Over The Moon Invitation & Down To Earth Reality.
It's been a month since I got the invitation to attend the She'sConnected Conference 2011 in Toronto.  I was super excited at first.  One week later, planning mode engaged and I realized that I might not be able to afford to go.  My ticket is complimentary but hotel and travel costs are on moi.  After making a list of needs and wants for this trip, I chatted with my husband about the realities of what we could afford.  We decided I would have to compromise on staying in a Toronto hotel, and commute the two days instead.  It's not what I wanted because it'll be nearly 2 hours each way (2 buses, a train, plus subway).  And it will probably mean missing out on some fun with the new friend's I'm sure to meet when I leave to commute home on Thursday night.  I usually keep financial issues to myself, I'm VERY private when it comes to money and the issue of having it or not having any.  I told my family and friends about being invited to #SCCTO, explained what it meant to me, and left it at that.  My birthday was August 30, and I was blessed with money, enough to cover the basic needs for my trip to Toronto.  Alas, I will still be commuting.

Thank You's
My sister-in-law Cindy, sponsored business cards for me which was a great help and much appreciated.  My Manager let me schedule the two days off without any problems.  My father and mother-in-law sponsored cash, which went to a some new clothes.  I stashed the rest to help with trains, cabs, and transit costs.  (I didn't want to spend money on clothes but haven't really shopped since my daughter was born 2 years ago.  I don't consider myself a vain person but have come to realize that my self-confidence can be boosted by dressing in clothes that fit properly and suit my post-baby body.)  I can't forget to mention and thank my hubby for offering free child care for the 2 days I will be at the Conference.

Butterflies & Excitement.
So, I didn't intend for this post to set a tone of  "Wah, wah, wah! I don't have money to throw around and do what I want."  Far from it. I am truly grateful for this opportunity to attend #SCCTO 2011.  I am blessed with the money to cover the basic expenses.  I won't lie, I am more than a little curious to see our SWAG since the Twitter hints have been dropped.  And I look forward to meeting the ladies I have had the pleasure to meet on Twitter over the last year.  I am nervous and trying to keep the butterflies at bay as the hours on my Countdown clock tick away.  It's hard to give yourself advice about overcoming social anxiety when meeting new people.  "Be yourself." only applies when you like yourself, which I don't most days.  But that's a work in progress.  So the best Pep talk I can give myself right now? Here's to new friends and connections, two days away from my toddler, and a party at Towne Shoes!

Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.
Shirley MacLaine
Friends and good manners will carry you where money won't go.
Margaret Walker 
I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.
Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.
Francesco Guicciardini

For more information: including agendas and venue information, visit ShesConnected.

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