April Jeppson: Refilled and refreshed with conference

Published 8:45 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

As I type this, I’m at a work conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I’ve only been to this area a few times and am always wowed by the beauty of the landscape. For most of my life I’ve lived in Midwestern towns that lacked, what I call, texture. So when I go to Duluth, or visit the Black Hills, my soul sings at the sight of these mini mountains. Add in the fog rising off the water and the leaves turning brilliant shades of red and orange, and you have the perfect setting for a Hallmark movie.

April Jeppson

I think I’ve already expressed my love for work trainings and conferences. There’s something about gathering a large group of people, who are working toward the same goal and then filling them to the brim with education and motivation. I feel like the Energizer Bunny after it’s been wound up.

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One of the speakers yesterday said most of us already know this stuff, we just need to be reminded of it. In my mind I shouted, “Yes!” It’s true.

These presenters aren’t creating new content, only refreshing it and encouraging us to apply it to our lives. So to have the opportunity to get out of the office for a few days, I now can pause, refresh and refocus on what I really need to be focusing on.

I try not to respond to chaos or frantic energy, as I’ve learned most things can wait. However, there are times when an employee will hurry into my office and insist that I take care of something right now. When in reality, it isn’t an emergency at all. I’ve also let emails and phone calls take priority over the things that matter most. However, when you get bogged down by the day to day, it’s easy to find yourself off course.

So I’m grateful for this chance to pause and reflect. To take a moment and reimage how we do things. To ask questions and get counsel from those who’ve already been in my shoes. To receive training on how to better utilize the systems and products that we already have and learn about all the new things that will be coming in the future.

I’m also grateful that I have a weekend following this conference. Although I’m being refilled and refreshed, it’s oddly exhausting. Even as an extrovert, I find myself longing for alone time. I’m excited to see my family and snuggle on the couch. I’m excited to crawl into my own bed and sleep in. So although conferences are a much-needed break from traditional work, they will never refresh me as much as spending time with my family in my gorgeous, untextured Midwestern town.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.