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Chicago Memories Part Three (Make Every Day Shine)

July 23, 2009

Before I start this post I must share with you hard it is for me to blog when I keep getting out of my chair and dancing. Perhaps I should have chosen a CD with less groove. But I digress.

If you haven’t read part one and part two of my Chicago memories, check them out. I already talked about Friday and Saturday, so it’s time for Tuesday. I mean, Sunday.

I woke up way earlier than I thought I would, which gave me ample time to pack before I took a walk. When I checked in at the conference I was given a goody bag filled with treats and information and face cream and stick on tattoos, so I had to sort through everything to get packed. My kick butt coaching buddy, Nan, also gave me some beautiful handmade gifts, so I had to find a way to gentle pack those items as well.

Once I was finished I consulted the Chicago map I’d been given when I tried to check into the wrong Embassy Suites, I headed out on my morning journey. It had been suggested to me that I go to Millenium Park and check out “The Bean”, a sculpture in said park.

Along the way I took some neat photos.

Flowers, Chicago Style

Flowers, Chicago Style

City on the River

City on the River

Cool Building!

Cool Building!

Some Neat Building

Some Neat Building

When I got to Millennium Park I wandered around for a while, and on the way to The Bean I came across the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

More Jay Pritzker Pavilion

More Jay Pritzker Pavilion

After this I finally got to The Bean!

The Bean

The Bean

It’s 66 feet long, 33 feet tall, 42 feet wide, and the opening under it is 12 feet high. And I took about a million pics because it was so cool! Enjoy (or try to, atleast, if you don’t nod off) all of the images.

Through the Bean

Through the Bean

The Bean with a Bird

The Bean with a Bird

Bean and The City

Bean and The City

Jen In The Bean

Jen In The Bean

Last One, I Promise

Last One, I Promise

After seeing this I headed back to Lake Michigan for a walk.

Lake Michigan and Skyline

Lake Michigan and Skyline

Finally I walked back to my hotel, grabbed some oatmeal, went to my room, and watched part of Cocktail. Yes, the movie starring Tom Cruise. Sue me, I’ve never seen it.

I went downstairs to catch a program that started at nine with Pam Slim and Michele Woodward on marketing and such, which was fun. They have a great new website with a name that makes me laugh, Kick-ass Mentoring. They even have a spot to sign up for weekly marketing tips, which I shall have to take advantage of.

After this program I checked out of my room, grabbed my bags, and headed to the Ballroom for Martha’s final talk. It was incredible and amazing. She had us laughing hysterically and crying our eyes out. In fact, when we went into the room there were boxes of tissues at each table, which was not the case for any other event all weekend!

I’ll tell you some of what I remember, but, as is standard for me, I took absolutely no notes whatsoever, so who knows how accurate this is. I don’t even know where to start, actually, so I’m going to start at the end of her talk, when she talked about making up life as we go along. She always felt like an outsider growing up, like she was from another planet observing what other people were doing, but not understanding them. Once in a while, though, she’d notice other people whom she thought, “They’re like me”. As she got older and went through life, she found more and more of these people, and now she makes a living writing for them and training them as coaches! How wonderful.

Anyways, she said every day she wakes up, goes to her chair, and looks at her fears. She looks at the stories she’s telling herself, what’s standing in her way. And every day she makes it up as she goes along. She decides what would make for a wonderful day. She said that every day should be a jewel. If we do wonderful, soul-fulfilling things every single day, we make that day shine. If we continue to string jewel after jewel together, we look back and have an absolutely beautiful life.

As far as I can tell, if we all take one day at a time and make it a jewel, there is no need to worry about the future. There is nothing but today. Make today shine. That’s my interpretation, anyways.

So, what about the speech had us all in tears? She told us a personal story, which I don’t want to share here because I’m sure she’ll write a book about it someday and you can get the story from her. After that story though, the flood gates were open, and everything she said made the audience reach for a new hankie. It was quite a bit of feel-good stuff, from what I remember. I know she told us all how amazing we are, and how we’re going to change the world, and how the room we were in was so filled with light emanating from each and everyone of us.

Seriously, it’s kind of a blur. It was a magical two hours and left me feeling like I could do anything. And that’s what I want to convey to people when I coach, I know that for sure.

The conference officially ended at this point, though Martha had a book signing and picture taking session after, here’s me, looking like a dear in the headlights!

Jen and Martha Beck

Jen and Martha Beck

Martha Beck signing Jen's book

Martha Beck signing Jen's book

So, you’re probably just dying to know what Martha wrote in my book, right? I forgot to look until hours later, and then I was confused. She wrote “For Jen, With HUGE love for a tiny person! XO, Martha” I’m just not sure what it means, but I like the idea of HUGE love.

The last thing I wanted to do before I left Chicago was get a piece of deep dish pizza. For one, I’ve been living in the South for almost five years, and pizza down here just isn’t that great, and second, I really wanted to try some regional “cuisine”.

I left the hotel and walked about a mile to get to Gino’s East, the place that had been recommended to me for the best deep dish pizza. First of all, it was a long walk with a huge backpack and shoulder bag hanging off of me. Secondly, the area where the restaurant wasn’t right in downtown, it was kind of on the outskirts of town and the area wasn’t as super nice as downtown (sorry, Mom). Luckily, it was only about one block that wasn’t all that great looking, and I could see the gigantic sign for Gino’s, so I pressed on.

And then things went downhill. I waited for someone to pay attention to me, and when they did I was told it would be 45 minutes for my pizza!!! I’m not sure if this is standard for deep dish pizza, but I just really didn’t want to wait that long, mostly because I had a plane to catch.

Sadly, I turned away and walked seven blocks to a train station and left downtown without my deep dish pizza.

I ended up at the airport nearly three hours before my flight! I was hoping to catch an earlier flight, but everything was overbooked. Of course, at this point I was completely starving, so I thought I’d get a piece of deep dish pizza from the airport. Bad choice. I ate half and threw it away. Oh well!

I read while I waited for my flight and my trip to Atlanta was uneventful. About three and a half years ago I was in the Atlanta airport with a traveling companion who had a lost bag. They told us it would probably be on the next flight and gave us food vouchers to get a meal to tide us over while we waited. While there we went to the Atlanta Bread Company and I got the most delicious bowl of vegetable soup in a sourdough bread bowl. I missed out on deep dish pizza, but I knew what I wanted for dinner it Atlanta.

When I landed I headed to my terminal. ATL has a tram connecting each section, but I wanted to stretch my legs. Unfortunately I didn’t know that the terminal I landed in, T, was disconnected from the other terminals and unless I took the tram, I’d have to go back through security. Once I realized this it was too late; I was already on the “wrong” side. However, all of a sudden I spotted the beautiful Atlanta Bread Company, and I made a beeline for it. They had exactly what I’d been craving and I enjoyed my dinner much more than my lunch!

After dinner I went back through security and was thrilled with my “bad” luck, for there wasn’t an Atlanta Bread Company on the secure side! Yay me!

My flight home was quick and easy and I arrived at the airport around midnight. Sigh. It was such a good trip!

I learned so much and I hope if you’re reading this you get some good out of it to. Truly, life is for ENJOYING. Make every day shine!

Be Joyful!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2009 8:54 pm

    i must have chicago deep dish pizza before i die. pizzeria uno just isn’t acceptable.

  2. July 24, 2009 11:29 am

    I LOVE the 2nd picture, but all of them are beautiful! I have to restrain myself from booking a plane ticket for chicago 😉

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