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Conference Reflection #Data23

Updated: May 13, 2023

From the moment I arrived at the airport in Las Vegas on Thursday morning, my mind was spinning and trying to process the week I had. In short, I felt so inspired and alive. Traveling and taking time away from my boys wasn't easy but it was worth it. I felt compelled to try and get a few thoughts down before this buzz of a feeling passes.

How do I begin to recap this week?

The biggest highlight, we hosted the Tableau Tip Battle with 8 community members who shared Tableau Tips that were mic drop moments, more to come on these tips as we work on collecting these in a fun way to share back to the community. Three Tableau Visionaries judged our tournament bracket and two final community members faced off to build a live dashboard using 90s music data.

We had a wonderful opportunity to network with many other Tableau community leaders and met the new Tableau CEO, Ryan Aytay. I was able to connect with new friends and old ones and build deeper relationships with my wonderful Analytic Vizion (AV) team and family.

To be completely honest, attending the conference was an easy yes until days before it was time to fly out and mom guilt hit me hard. Sunday night I was in tears. How do I take this time away from 4 little ones? The idea of disengaging from family life for a few days filled me with anxiety. Since 2020, I have been working from home full-time. Which has in many ways remapped our family life. I drop them off at school and pick them up. I manage soccer schedules and plan lunches. That all seems simple but how do I just stop for a few days? It doesn't fit my personality or heart to simply, let go.

Monday came, and it was time to go, I had to let go. I was filled with a mixture of emotions. The flight out wasn't easy, mom guilt had me pick a late flight which had me landing in Vegas at 1 am Cincinnati time and 10 pm Vegas time. After a full day of travel, I was exhausted. I checked into my room and went right to sleep.

Tuesday started off rough, I woke up very early, and my clock was still on Cincinnati time. I felt extreme fatigue and began to question why. Why, was I here? Why was I pushing myself when I was tired and sad to be away? The why came later Tuesday in full force. We grabbed breakfast with my amazing AV team. Fatigue started to wear off as I was meeting amazing people I knew and didn't from the Tableau community. I could rattle off all the sessions and names of people I was able to meet and see but it would then be a long blog post of names. To summarize, I found energy again.

Wednesday, had me spinning in the most amazing ways. Wednesday, I can't put it all into words. We were lucky enough to host the amazing Tableau Tip Battle which we are working to recreate and bring back to the Tableau community for anyone that missed it or like me, didn't have a pad of paper and a pen ready to write all the amazing tips down. The highlight was Jeff Shaffer and Chantilly Jaggernauth both saying they saw tips they had never seen before and walked away learning something new. That's the best possible outcome, we all continue to learn together from each other.

Years ago when I first became a mom after years of trying and multiple losses, I was grateful! Shortly after Covid hit and I slowly started believing I was meant to be a mom and that was all I had to offer. It may sound wild to think but the conference helped me feel alive and awake again. I know I have a lot more to offer than only being a mom of 4 but the juggle of a professional life and mom life can come with lots of sacrifice.

The sacrifice for me, I missed success night at the boy's school and yes they were a bit sad at first but they loved telling me all about it once I was home. I missed tucking them in and kissing them good night which with our bedtime routine that included close to 100 kisses missed. I flew out early Thursday so I could rush home to my boys, so I missed the last day of the conference. I can't say I will ever find the perfect balance but I am learning I can find a happy balance that supports me. You can have it all!!

To summarize my experience at the Tableau Conference, thank you. Thank you once again to the community that has taught me, inspired me, lifted me, and surprised me again and again.


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