New Car!

After weeks of dealing with the insurance company, I finally have a new car!

My poor Toyota Corolla was totaled a few weeks ago when a stake truck backed into me. My Corolla was twelve years old and in fair condition, at best, but I was hoping for another five years out of it. I kind of figured it was going to be totaled based on the damage, age of my vehicle, and milage.

Thus, comes in the reason for my new car! A totaled car has led to a totally new car for me!

Enter, a 2019 Toyota RAV4. The new car smells washes warmly over your senses. The sleek exterior reminds you of smooth gun metal. The interior glistens and shines the deepest blacks and grays you have ever seen. There’s more tech in the vehicle than you could have ever imagined for a car that just barely requires a driver!

It’s beautiful!

I feel so high up in my RAV4 compared to my gocart Corolla. I actually feel seen! Like I could win in a collision. Not that I want to test that theory. I feel safe and secure riding around in the insulated vehicle. The sound buffering is amazing!

Overall, I’d say I’m over the moon with my new car! Now I just gotta figure out how to use all the tech!

IAAP Summit: Series & Logistics

Welcome to the IAAP Summit Series! The next few posts will be all about the Summit experience and how I managed to get the most out of my attendance. If you don’t know what IAAP is, hop over to their site with this link. For those of you who are familiar, let me explain why I found the Summit valuable!

PROS:

The entire conference was in one place. My lodging, food options, other entertainment, and the conference/ training classes were all on the Gaylord Hotel. It was so convenient and easy to attend, and I felt at ease not having to worry about finding a place to eat or what I was going to do when I wasn’t in class.

Huge classrooms! I mean, most of the conference rooms were referred to as ballrooms, so let’s just out that into perspective. A total of 1,300 people showed up to the Summit, so it was paramount to have these large rooms. There was never a time I felt crowded or a room overpopulated.

Standing desks are a huge deal in my office right now. The flexibility to go from standing to siting every couple of hours is not only good for your health, but it is also a smart commodity to keep you audience awake and engaged. Creates more room for people as well!

There were so many great presenters/topics! My favorite two were Vonetta and Julia. Vonetta Watson provided many technical topics that I loved! Her courses were amazing overviews on the latest office software, tips and tricks! Julia Kristina spoke about difficult people, but with a twist. Her words are still ringing in my ears: “There aren’t difficult people; only difficult situations in which you have a choice to react to.” Overall, the sessions were impactful!

As I mentioned, there were about 1,300 attendees at the Summit. That’s a lot of people! During the opening ceremony, there was a presentation of flags for all the attending participants countries. Such diversity! It was amazing to see and meet so many different people!

CONS:

I found it interesting that there wasn’t a lot of complimentary items for attendees. Even water that was provided was scarce. Sitting in a class all day without water is like sleeping with your mouth open. Your mouth gets dry, and you become distracted by your basic physical need. I’m sure the point was to make people buy their water, but what a waste of plastic!

Even thought some of the classrooms had standing desks, they were fee and far between. They were advertised as if every room had it, but that was not the case.

While most topics were amazing, and I was dedicated to ensure I found at least one useful bit in every session, there were a very few topics that were dry. One in particular was about document retention. I don’t believe it was the speakers fault as the course matter is dry, so it was one that I think should be scratched for the next go around.

Overall, the Summit receives a solid 9.5 out of 10 for me! This experience was amazing from a networking view, an educational opportunity, and an overall wonderful conference! I truly hope that I am able to continue to attend in the years to come.

The New Year – Keeping it moving

This year, I’m not going to set any resolutions like I have in the past because most of them would remain the same. Not for lack of progress, but simply because I want to continue to build upon what I have accomplished thus far. I want to be healthier, to travel more than I already have, and write more. Those items haven’t changed from last year. What has changed is my perspective on those items.

Healthier is no longer this unobtainable goal that I quit trying for halfway through the year. It’s a constant effort for the rest of my life to work on my crazy eating habits and chocolate addiction. Every little step I take towards becoming healthier is a feat.

I’ve traveled to one new place this year, a mountain resort nearby for my daughter’s birthday. It wasn’t my favorite trip by far, but gladly, we were able to take a mini vacation to the beach with family over the summer to make up for it. I want to continue to travel and see new places, even if they are close to home.

Lastly, I want to write! But when don’t I? I have the sequel to Guardians going through the editing process for publishing sometime in Spring 2019, and the third installment set for completion sometime in late Summer 2019. I have other ideas to explore, blogs and articles to write. I just love doing it, so continue on I will.

So, these really aren’t resolutions anymore. They’ve kind of become my new way of being. I will carry on and build upon my accomplishments because it’s what I want out of life, not just one year in the midst of a century.