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7.31.2008

Hey, Stranger

Today was the first day of the Special Needs in the Early Years conference sponsored by UAMS and Kids First. I have to say...it was EXCELLENT!...except the parking downtown. The conference was at the Peabody so parking was kind of scattered. I ended up paying ten bucks that I *thankfully* had stashed in my purse (left over from the other nights Taco Bell).

The conference lasts two days, and after today's speakers I am so excited about tomorrow. Sibyl Cox, MS, RD, LD, had THREE sessions on Food Chaining. It was excellent and I learned SO much that I can use at my clinics. I also heard an awesome speaker (sorry...forgot her name right now) give an exposition on F.A.S. and the dangers of drinking ANY alcohol during pregnancy--especially the early weeks. I also heard an RD from California speak on new nutrition hot topics...including breastfeeding and pro-and prebiotics.

But the highlight of the day: I was very apprenhensive the first half of the day because of our scheduled lunch. If you know me, then you know I am very OCD. I have to have a schedule usually, or at least a plan. I get anxious when I don't know what's coming. Well...today, the schedule read "Lunch on your own." Of course, I was a little bit apprehensive about this. I begged Andy to come meet me downtown for lunch because I was just a few feet from his office, but he had a loan closing at 12:00, so he couldn't. So, knowing no one at the conference, I set out alone, following the crowds, begging silently for an easy Subway that I could zip in and out and get back to the conference hall.

Unfortunately, no Subway until a few streets up and I was not about to walk that far in the heat, so I followed the crowd in front of me to Iriana's Pizza downtown (de-lish). People from the conference were filing in all around me in groups, grabbing the 4-seater tables with their co-workers. I slightly panicked. I didn't want to take the only 4-seater table left just for me. At that moment, I noticed a lady with a conference badge sitting at the only 2-seater table. I walked up and politely asked if she was alone and if I could sit there with her. She said yes and so I spent the next 45 minutes making friends with a Physical Therapist for Access Schools with a 3 year old who has ADHD and who used to work at Kids First in Pine Bluff.

You see, I am not an outgoing person. I love making friends, but I'm not the type to initiate. I normally would have turned away from that situation and even left, but something made me stay, and I had a very pleasant lunch and even made an acquaintance that I'll most likely never talk to again, but an acquaintance all the same. We actually had a lot in common, both working in an ECI setting with kids with similar disorders.

So, I have a newfound pride in myself today, for stepping out of the box. I guess you'll never know much about life unless you take chances. After all, what do we really have to lose if God is with us all the time?

Joshua 1:9
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."

4 comments:

Lindsey Ellett said...

I would be proud, too! Last year, I went to a week-long training where I didn't know anyone and definitely ate in my hotel room every night by myself!

Jessica's Blogs said...

Ah, I know exactly how you feel. I hate situations like that. Do you mind telling me what the PT's name was? I know lots of people at Access.

Danya said...

Well, to be honest, I forgot her name now. I think I remember her saying that she was the only PT there at the time?

Jessica's Blogs said...

Was it Amy?