Want to know how easy it is to fall out of the habit of blogging regularly? Very easy. Honestly I don’t know how some of my colleagues in social media do it. After a day full of posting, tweeting, commenting, writing, editing, re-posting, re-tweeting, updating, and monitoring for my two
full-time part-time jobs, two freelance gigs, and a host of passion projects (ferals, feminists, philanthropists, et. al), it’s sometimes all I can do to “Like” a Facebook photo of a cat. Seriously.
Being a marketing-type gal requires a multiplicity of skillz these days: I gotta be up to speed on myriad social media sites, mobile apps, digital trends, best practices in communications, worst examples in website design and – of course – I must be adept at wrangling BIG DATA (I put that in all caps to emphasize JUST HOW BIG IT IS). I often equate my career choices to choosing to run on a hamster wheel for all eternity. Sometimes I envy Sisyphus’ task. How does one person make a difference and get their message through the endless onslaught of content? I’ve chosen to work exclusively for/with non-profits and small businesses (remind me to tell you about that time that I flirted with the idea of being the community manager for a major brand…and sold a little bit of my soul in the process), but even that’s not enough. If we’re not garnering enough website traffic, bringing in enough donations, getting enough click throughs on our newsletter, or going “viral” with our social media content, then I feel like a failure. I mean, not a massive failure. Just a tiny failure. A failurette. Ein kleiner Ausfall. Un échec minuscule. You get the idea.
That’s why it was so nice to step away from it all for one weekend.
I owe a lot of people a huge thanks for their support of Ride for AIDS 2013. The amazing donations, the kind words (even after I changed from being a rider to being a crew member), the general you-are-awesome-ness that infused the entire weekend: it was just what this gal needed. This may shock some of you, but I only managed to tweet a few times over the course of an entire weekend! Otherwise I was checking in riders, hoisting banners up in the camp shelter (you can see my handy work in this pic), driving a golf cart, driving a 15-passenger van (a li’l ironic that the person with no car ended up doing so much driving, eh?), hoisting myself onto the top bunk, dining in a “mess hall,” spending time in nature, and generally engaging in activities that are mostly foreign to my grown-up, urban(e) existence. I even stood in close proximity to a camp fire!
Ride for AIDS weekend was actually my first time at a campground, as far as I can remember. Sure, there was percussion camp, but we stayed in dorms, because we were band nerds and therefore not well suited to the elements (too much humidity would’ve warp my timbale sticks, duh). And I did some outdoorsy 4-H stuff, but my favorite projects involved shopping and…shopping. So there’s that. But as far as spending time in the middle of nowhere (sorry Elkhorn, Wisconsin!) with sometimes spotty cell phone service and way more exciting things to do besides post status updates to Facebook, well, I can’t remember a time during my career that I’ve done that. I managed to step off the hamster wheel for a few hours. And it was awesome.