What I Learned at ALT

Sitting in the Salt Lake Airport as i write, heading home from the ALT Summit. You know the sound your blender makes as it’s crushing ice? That’ s my brain right now… having taken in an absolute heap of new ideas, inspirations and tidbits, i’m now trying to break it all down so i can put some (read TONS) of these into action. I think what honestly surprised me the most is that this conference was much more than just a “bloggie rah-rah”.. i came away with real life “stuff”. And tidbits that could be put into practice by anyone, no matter what you do!

alt summit 2013

Photo by Brookelyn Photography 

So…my  mind is swirling but already there are 5 standouts points i don’t want to forget:

1. STOP THE COMPARISON GAME – So hard. right? We “totem pole” ourselves…either placing ourselves above or below others. Ultimately, it becomes an exhausting exercise…one of which i admit i have fallen prey to.  Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks shared this: “You are comparing your insides to their outsides.” Ummm… lightbulb moment! And something i need to stop doing. immediately.

2. BE AUTHENTIC – Don’t worry, you’re not going to start hearing all the gory details of how my hubby hid his toenail clippings in my toothbrush. .. seriously, WHO DOES THAT? And, if so bold, WHO THINKS IT’S GONNA END WELL??? Life is far from perfect around here. My kids’ rooms are a treasure hunter’s delight, if you’re into dirty balled up socks, wet towels, candy wrappers and old party loot bags.  Our dog, Ozzy, has been know to have a cultured palate, enjoying everything from my Christmas tree ornaments to Pam’s outdoor furniture cushions.  Last week Lexi pulled a block of cheese outta the fridge that looked more like a fuzzy blue hunk of…well, i don’t even know!  Things get missed, because life is chaotic and unpredictable and rarely dull. But? It’s.my.life.  Up until now, i’ve probably showcased more of the put together moments in my life. But this conference was a call to Keep it Real!

3. PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE – it’s a risk. But one point spoken resonated with me: The only risk is to not risk. Hmmmmmmm. So hard for me. Whether its reaching out to other bloggers, readers, or in the everyday life, the risk of how others will receive what i’m offering can be a major stumbling block. This weekend was so good in very practical way. Surrounded by 598 people who were strangers to me. I had to put myself out there. And i’m quite positive many didn’t find me interesting in the slightest. But i hope there were even a couple who did. And decidedly, that’s what i’m doing on Sugar Plum Sisters…sharing what i find to be interesting to those who may find it adds some usefulness and/or joy to their life.  And…to be ok with those who might not feel that way.

4. KEEP THE PASSION GOING- this is so not about Scott and i..now that would be TMI!! Rather with what I spend my time doing.  It’s not hard to feel passionate about the mom and wife role in my life.  I always knew that i wanted to be surrounded by a family and am so grateful i get to hang around my completely rad husband and 3 kids (they’re pretty fantastic too). But carry that over to other areas. Do what you love. Do what you do best…even if that sometimes and most often gets developed by stretching yourself into areas way outside what is comfortable and familiar.  One practical way to keep the love alive literally “clicked” with me : the notion of carrying your camera with you during the everyday. i’m gonna have to find me a pretty bag that will fit my neato mosquito Nikon. Look for things of beauty each and every day and capture it…big or small..the little everyday recognition of these things will keep the creative flame burning. I can’t help but think it may also keep my perspective on what really matters.

5. MANAGE MY TIME- Is it possible that you can go to a blogging conference where ipads, iphones and laptops outnumber their owners (in hideous fashion) , and leave with the advice that you need to spend less time in front of the screen? Holla!!!! So needed to hear this.  The idea is that the more purposeful time you devote to doing what you do and the less time you spend getting sucked into the abyss of social media (i can’t possibly be the only person who sits down to compose a quick email and 2 hours later still finds herself scrolling through pics of her cousin’s brother’s girlfriend’s family trip to Disneyworld…am i????) you can be: a. Less influenced by others and free to be completely authentic  b. Less stressed by the constant inflow of dings, rings, chirps that can seem to bury us and, most important, c. be more present with those you love. Win-win.


Going to ALT, i was nervous.excited.overwhelmed

It was fun.inspiring.so-o worth it.

Til we meet again, ALT!

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Alt Summit

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Alt Summit 

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 Serious business card eye candy!!