I’ve attended a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions. Some of them energize me, others are draining. Often the energy or drain have little to do with the event itself and more to do with my emotional state as I arrive at it, or how I engage with it once I’m there. However the people who are at an event can change it from draining to energizing or vice versa. The one I attended this past weekend was draining. Some of that was that I spent the vast majority of the con running a table for my daughter who was off being on panels or teaching workshops. The dealer’s room was cold and because I’m far from my house there were few familiar faces in the crowd. The best hours of the show were when friends sat with me, either at the table or over food, and we talked for hours. Such conversations are the reason I do conventions at all. when my writer friends stopped by to talk, those were bright spots in long hours of keeping myself occupied while not really speaking to anyone. Actual solitude tends to reinvigorate me, but the isolated non-solutude of being behind a dealer table where I can’t fully tune out because I need to be ready to engage people at a moment’s notice; that is draining. The weekend turned out to be worthwhile in an educational sense. An education for which we paid tuition rather than turning a profit.
Now I am at my parent’s house and much happier. I’m here for three days to help my parents accomplish some house projects that can be better done by backs and arms which aren’t slowed by arthritis. Tomorrow we’ll be re-painting their porch. Today we sorted through boxes of things left by my Grandmother. I love this kind of organization. In the boxes were things that were puzzling or fascinating or beautiful. We got to look through all of them and then haul more than forty boxes of things to various thrift stores. On Thursday we’ll get to tour the Oakland Temple which is currently open to the public after a major renovation. I’m really looking forward to being there again. It is the temple I visited as a teenager for many church-sponsored activities. It is where I got married almost 26 years ago. On Friday I get to go home, and by then I will be more than ready. I miss my people and my house.