Gally 2016, Thursday: Self-Care Edition

E at Getty 2016

It’s now the Wednesday after the Gallifrey One convention, and I’m just starting to feel like I belong in the real world again. I think Gally, which is the weekend I look forward to all year, gets better every year, and this time was no different.

Actually, the one difference was that I was feeling a bit under the weather the whole time. Not bad enough to impact what I participated in, but enough to affect my choices when it came to eating and drinking. In the end, I think that might have improved my Gally experience. I usually tend to go a bit overboard in that department. I tell myself “it’s vacation!” so I eat all the gluten and dairy I want and guzzle booze like it’s going out of style. I didn’t feel up to that this year, and as a result, I remember the entirety of the disco, and I didn’t spend my days feeling bloated and sluggish. I hope I remember that next year. Moderation leads to more fun. (Gosh I feel old when I say that.)

Anyway, on to some of that fun!

The Thursday before the convention is a chance to get out of the hotel and enjoy the sunshine before we closet ourselves in the basement of the LAX Marriott. It’s always a good time, but the last few years, the logistics of that gathering had become rather complicated and fraught. It started to verge on being as stressful (for me) as some of the rest of the con activities, which, while still delightful, somewhat defeats the purpose. I was pleased that this year a scant few of us recreated the first intimate pre-Gally outing I ever had.

The first time I met Chip and Deb was in 2012 when we went to the Getty Villa. It’s a beautiful place, and its quiet stateliness, greenery, and grandeur helped calm my soul before the excitement of the weekend. Self-care was a big theme of this Gally, and I think it started here.

Getty 2016 crew

The self-care continued that evening. I was exhausted, slightly unwell, and feeling not-up-to socializing. In the past, I’d’ve pushed through this to see my friends, but I know from experience this would have dimmed my enjoyment. A lot. So I made the smart choice to hole up in the hotel room with a bunch of DW comics and relax quietly. This was a doubly-good idea because I was on a comics panel Friday night, and I hadn’t quite finished reading/re-reading everything I wanted to.

I’ll admit I did have moments when I started feeling guilty about missing time with friends I don’t see often, but for the most part, I felt really good about my decision. I was cozy and comfortable, and I was able to get a bit of friendly interaction via Twitter and Slack, so I didn’t feel at all lonely. In fact, I tweeted about my self-care evening and received a ton of positive feedback on Twitter. Thanks to everyone who replied or favorited. You helped improve my night immensely!

And to end my Thursday recap on a really fun positive, I bought a kaleidoscope at the Getty Villa gift shop. I adore kaleidoscopes, and this one is one of the better ones I’ve tried in the last few years, so I couldn’t resist. Looking through it brought me to another level of calm, so I had that going for me too. I’ve taken to posting almost-daily pics through it to share the joy. It’s hard to line up a cellphone camera through the viewfinder, so they’re not perfect, but they give you an idea of what it looks like and the kind of color/design patterns I like best. If you search #kaleidoscopics on Twitter, you’ll see more.

I will leave you with that. More exciting Gally goodness later!

ETA: Photo credits Chip Sudderth and Steven Schapansky, respectively

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3 thoughts on “Gally 2016, Thursday: Self-Care Edition

  1. Don Pettyjohn says:

    It was a pleasure to meet you finally during Gally. You are so right about needing to take care of yourself, the hectic pace can wear anyone out. Peer pressure has been the downfall of many, and only the wise are able to resist that siren call. Your kaleidoscope looks wonderful, glad that you are finding so much enjoyment with it.

    Anyway, it was a great time at Gally and a pleasure to meet you and Steven, along with the rest of the Verity! Crew.

    • Erika Ensign says:

      Was wonderful to meet you in person, and thank you for bringing the pictures you promised to show me. I am suitably impressed! I’m so glad you enjoyed the con and made time to come and meet us too.

      And yes. I’m between jobs and just about to the stage where I start worrying about money, but the $10 I spent on that kaleidoscope was so far beyond worth it. It brings me untold joy every single day. I’ve been having such fun posting pics so I can share the beauty, too. Sometimes the simple act of putting beauty out into the world gives me a little boost too. :)

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