The Palinode and I Went to BlissDom Canada, and All I Got Was This Awesome New Mantra

The Palinode and I just returned last night from our trip to BlissDom Canada in Toronto.

Palinode at BlissDom Canada
The Palinode in Toronto

BlissDom Canada was brought to us by these four fabulous women:

The BlissDom Canada head honchos: Barbara Jones, Paula Bruno, Allison Worthington, and Catherine Connors
Barbara Jones, Paula Bruno, Allison Worthington, and Catherine Connors

My one complaint about the conference was that this little hamburger was the most substantial thing I was fed during the entire three days, but aside from that I had a brilliant time.

how a mini burger compares to Amy Urquhart's head
a tiny burger and Amy Urquhart of Hears Into Home

I got to meet Tanya Davis of How to Be Alone fame (who also has an excellent new album called Clocks and Hearts that you should probably buy):

Tanya Davis
Tanya Davis

And I got to meet Scott Stratten, BlissDom Canada's opening keynote speaker and author of UnMarketing, which I am digging into as we speak:

Redneck Mommy during Scott Stratten's BlissDom Canada keynote
Redneck Mommy and Scott Stratten

I spoke on a panel called Content II: Kicking It Up A Notch – How to be a Content Creating Ninja with Jen Reynolds, Redneck Mommy, SweetSalty Kate, and Catherine Connors, who is actually missing from this picture. The last one on the right is BlissDom organizer Alli Worthington.

my Content Ninja co-panelists at BlissDom Canada
Look! It's my name on a placard!

I loved speaking on that panel. My co-panelists are such strong members of the Canadian blogging community, and I felt so tremendously honoured to be up there on stage with them that I had to sit on my hands in order to hide the shaking. Apparently this worked to affect an air of casual comfort while I worried about jittering sideways off the edge of the stage.

Over the course of the conference, I found out that I am jumping straight from 37 to 85 years old. I stole all the grapefruit-flavoured hard candies from the candy bowls on the session tables and dumped them in my purse. I sneaked free pens into my pocket like a thief. I secreted dirty plastic chopsticks up my sleeve and out of the Mabel's Labels party so that they would not go to waste.

Seriously.

I was plotting how to discreetly steal disposable cutlery while everyone else was happily chowing down on pad thai. Now they are in my kitchen sink.

Not the people. The chopsticks are in my sink. The people wouldn't fit into my sink.

Aidan and Bon Stewart at the Mabel's Labels party
The Palinode and Bon Stewart

Also, I took it upon myself to make sure that the Palinode looked his best in all photographs of him:

Aidan
Psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est?

Aidan and Redneck Mommy
The Palinode and Redneck Mommy

It's how I show him that I love him.

Aidan at the Mill Street Brewery
Hello, handsome.

As conferences so often are, BlissDom Canada was an absolute whirlwind, and it is hard to bring one solid message about it to the table.

We spoke:

my Content Ninja co-panelists at BlissDom Canada

We flirted:

Aidan with his mash note from Redneck Mommy
The Palinode's mash note from Redneck Mommy. Bitch.

We listened:

Kate and Aidan at the Mabel's Labels party
That's some SweetSalty Kate for you.

We were glamourous:

Bon Stewart
Bon Stewart swings her wig

We observed:

Moosh In Indy and KarenSugarpants
Check out the high quality Casey Mullins and Karen Sugarpants action.

We were left with a lot to think about once the last bit of party had been wrung out and we parted ways:

me at the end of BlissDom Canada
I already felt nostalgic on my way back to the room on the last night.

And some of us caught their customary bout of post-conference ebola and back pain to complete the whole experience. (It's this introvert's curse for socializing.)

BlissDom Canada helped me to understand more fully on both a personal and professional level how old-fashioned I am when it comes to high quality and bone-deep integrity, and it gave me my new mantra, which bears repeating not only when it comes to my internet presence but in every area of my life:

SUCK LESS and BE MORE AWESOME.

It seems a simple enough concept, but we often brew ourselves in a sea of mediocrity, and it's easy to forget that expectations met usually hit the middle ground. It is up to us whether we agree to the generally accepted terms or set our own standards.

I want to set my own standards.