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.
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!
@HollyGoDarkly super okay 💙
— Jason Snell (@jsnell) February 12, 2016
@HollyGoDarkly i Do this all the time. Don’t stress it!
— Brianna Tiberius Wu (@Spacekatgal) February 12, 2016
@HollyGoDarkly Ditto. I’m turning in early so I can hopefully really enjoy myself later
— Sarah (@sourcitruslady) February 12, 2016
@HollyGoDarkly *fistbump* I figure i’ll see people tomorrow too :-)
— Christina D (@akasha111182) February 12, 2016
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 bought a kaleidoscope today. Can’t even describe how spiritually transported I feel every time I look through it. pic.twitter.com/HPQsI81O6P
— Erika Ensign (@HollyGoDarkly) February 12, 2016
I will leave you with that. More exciting Gally goodness later!