I’ve never been one to make a big deal about birthdays. I don’t ask for much and don’t make a big fuss. While I’m not throwing any parties for myself this year, I did ask M for something specific this year – a whole Saturday to invest in myself, by myself! He agreed, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Growing up, we went out to dinner to celebrate a birthday at the restaurant of choice for whoever we were celebrating. Sometimes, the dinner happened on a night near but not on the actual birthday. Sports and school often got in the way of any plans during the week.
No matter the other activities, we did always have a small celebration for the birthday person. Usually late in the evening, my mom brought out cupcakes, brownies or a cake with candles and we opened a few birthday gifts. The entire celebration lasted about 15-20 minutes, and none of us ever minded the low-key approach.
Now, I still don’t make too much of a fuss over birthdays. I really enjoy buying a nice gift or two for others for their birthdays, but I’m always hard-pressed to come up with great gift ideas for myself. I guess I tend to buy something for myself when I want it, so I don’t have a long wishlist like I did when I was twelve.
This year, though, I actually did have an idea that I “asked” M to do for me.
On July 11, 2015, just a couple days after my birthday, SoFabU on the Road stops in Chicago. SoFabU (Social Fabric University) on the Road is a blogger conference run by Social Fabric, part of Collective Bias. Collective Bias works with brands and influencers to help create and facilitate meaningful sponsored post campaigns. This gives bloggers an opportunity to earn a bit of income from their online space. Sponsored posts also offer brands a chance to connect with customers and share about their products in an alternative context and through voices other than their own. Social Fabric is a community space that provides opportunities for bloggers to connect and share insights and offers educational opportunities for bloggers to hone their crafts.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with Collective Bias on several campaigns (always disclosed in my posts) and really enjoyed my experiences with them. When I found out they were coming to Chicago for a day long conference all about being a better blogger, I definitely wanted to check it out.
I’ve never been to a blogger conference. For many, it probably sounds a bit nerdy. Ha. But for bloggers, it’s a day spent with a whole bunch of people just like us. Also, it’s an investment in ourselves and blogs. I’m in!
This particular conference covers topics like videos, sponsored posts, networking and other topics to help us all build our blogging brands (here’s the agenda for those who are curious). Certain brands, like Müller, Kraft and iBlog with whom Collective Bias works will also be there. Müller sponsored my first post with Collective Bias a few months ago, so it’s an interesting opportunity to interact with the brands and get better insight on what works well from their perspective.
Long story short, I asked M if he would be in-charge of the boys for an entire Saturday and let me play in Blog Land at this conference. M definitely does his fair share of child care duties, so it’s not like this is out of his wheelhouse. Remember when he brought both boys to Florida for a weekend while I stayed home and worked a few months ago? The conference lasts from 8 am – 7 pm though, so watching both our boys that long by oneself can be exhausting. It’s certainly not expected to be the norm. He said he’d be happy to do it, and I could enjoy a day for myself taking in everything at the conference and investing in myself.
While it might not be how everyone envisions their “birthday day to themselves,” I’m pumped. I’m excited to attend my first conference and continue to learn so much more about the world of blogging. (I’m such a dork – haha – but that’s no news flash.) I even bought myself some blog business cards. Blog nerd red flag #2.
I know many of you aren’t bloggers, but let the moral of the story be about the importance of taking time for yourself. In our fast-paced, jam-packed lives, opportunities to spend time on ourselves don’t pop up out of thin air. We need to make time for ourselves, even if that means physically adding it to the calendar. We may need to ask others to help us accomplish this. If that’s the case, start asking!
What’s upcoming on your agenda that’s just for you? If nothing is scheduled, now’s the time to make it happen!
Heads Up: I wrote this post in exchange for a discounted ticket to the conference. But have no fear, I certainly believe it’s going to be great or I wouldn’t be spending a precious day to myself when they’re so hard to come by (courtesy of my two little guys)! #SoFabUOTR #cbias