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California

Clearly I have not mastered the selfie.  This is the balcony of my hotel room

Clearly I have not mastered the selfie. This is the balcony of my hotel room

I know it may seem I’m getting my blog out a little late this Monday morning, but honest it’s still REALLY early in San Jose.  I’m out here for Pantheacon (My regular readers will have seen previous years posts and several links to the con site in the last weeks.)  This is a convention for Pagan practitioners in the Bay Area and has become a national event.  I’ve met folks here from New York, North Carolina, Florida and Texas.  Not many this year from Minnesota through.

The locals are all complaining about the dry air.  I know that the area needs rain badly.  I also know that compared to living in forced air heating, well below zero, no humidity to be found air my skin is very happy with the moisture level.  My ankles may be swollen enough to be painful, but my heels are notably less cracked than they were just a few days ago.  63 degrees with the sun shinning is a treat not to be missed and I snuck an hour out of the day to put on my sunglasses and lounge by the pool.

I was on the schedule this year as a presenter, which has made this a very different experience for me than in previous years.  I find myself doing networking very actively.  This is hard work for me, but I’ve had some lovely conversations with people.  I even came out of nowhere to give Stephanie Taylor-Grimassi a big kiss!  Those of you who’ve listened to the The Priestess Show on Blog Talk Radio may know that Stephanie is another of the priestesses.  I’ve never actually met her in person, but Traci Logan Wood, our producer, asked me to give Stephanie a big hug and a kiss and I said I could do that.  It’s the kind of event (and Stephanie is the kind of person) where she didn’t instantly start screaming.  It was actually a good prank and it was great to meet her and her husband, Raven Grimassi, in person.

My publisher (Taylor Ellwood) is here and will also be coming to Minnesota for a convention in March.  We’ve been conspiring together between workshops.  It’s always nice to spend face time with people who are so important to the work I’m doing.  Taylor is additionally a sweet man and fun to talk to.  His wife has been very patient with him “checking up on hisImmanion Press authors”.

At the tarot table

At the tarot table

Because I’m a presenter I’ve also had the opportunity to do a book signing and tarot readings.  I took advantage of those events to make a few more contacts.  It will be great if I can manage to keep in touch with some of the folks I’ve met.  That’s not really my skill set either, but I know at least one of the women I’ve spoken with is now connected via Facebook.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that she’ll remember to send me the link to her favorite on-line women’s clothing store.

Next week when I’m home for real I’ll give you all more detail about my workshop presentation and the great friends I’ve been able to reconnect with.  In the meantime try not to be too jealous as you throw another log on the fire and curl up under you warm blankets.

Deadlines

I have a love hate relationship with deadlines.  I have to acknowledge that they can motivate me toward an action I’ve been inclined to avoid.  They  add a pressure to knuckle down and get the work out of the way.  They function like a goal line, marking the path to a clear victory.  They can also sneak up on you and bite you in the ass!

That pressure can feel like the sword of Damocles hanging over my head.   Ultimate doom.  Tax day deadline is like that for a lot of people.  Often deadlines we know we’re not going to make take on this quality.  Those are hard deadlines.  We also have soft deadlines, the kind that exist but don’t really have any consequences attached if we miss them.

I’ve always thought soft deadlines were a little silly.  Really, what’s the point?   On the other hand I’ve had occasions to be very grateful when a deadline I wasn’t going to make got bumped back a little.  Those extra few days sometimes make all the difference in the world.

What amazes me about deadlines is the way they like to cluster together.  It’s never just one thing that’s due, it’s three, or five.  Even better is when deadlines cluster around other commitments.  The things you can’t just put off in order to get the work done to meet the deadline.  Like when the big presentation at work gets scheduled for the day after your big anniversary dinner.

I have worked very hard to eliminate this kind of pressure from my daily life.  For the most part I’ve been successful.  Still, as a writer and speaker there are deadlines.  If I want to participate in a conference there’s a deadline to submit a proposal.   When I commit to present, of course the presentation has to be ready by that date.  I have a very understanding publisher, but the contract is clear about how much time I have to respond to the editors comments and requests for changes in my work.

Even when I’m confronted with a crazy busy week I try to take time and make those spiritual connections.  Often that’s when I find it’s most important to take a moment and breathe.  When the deadlines and activities are a reflection of my spiritual practice it’s easy to confuse the doing with the being.  Worrying about meeting deadlines is the opposite of being in the moment.  A sense of humor, a little smile, a deep breath are all helpful to stay on track.

This is a heavy deadline week.  I’m doing a class on Sunday at Eye of Horus.  Two of my great nephews (if I’m their great-aunt they’re great nephews, right?) have a joint birthday party on Saturday.  I have a date with my daughter for Dine Out for Life on Thursday.  Orion has a major doctors appointment, orthopedics take forever, on Wednesday.  I have my dinner/housecleaning exchange on Tuesday.  I need to be ready for the workshop, get another workshop proposal (Women and Spirituality Conference) in the mail, put in some serious time on my next book, oh and write my Monday blog.

At least I can check one thing off the list!

Since I don’t have pictures I’ll give you a little humor and this youtube link instead:

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