Earlier this year I had a paper accepted to a conference in Stockholm, Sweden.
I began daydreaming of all of the places I would run, eat, and explore in that far away country. Surely I'd stay for at least a day before and after the conference. How much of Stockholm could I see in two extra days? Three? I researched flight and hotel options.
Sticker shock set in.
Transatlantic flights are never cheap.
But the spring surge in fuel prices, coupled with conference dates during prime tourist travel season, meant that I'd need to start donating plasma on a daily basis if I wanted to travel to this conference. As for employer funding, any travel funds I used for this conference would prevent at least three people from attending other conferences in the U.S. That, clearly, was out of the question.
I started freelancing more, thinking that might fill the gap between travel cost I could live with and travel cost that would leave me sleepless at night.
Finally, last month, I accepted the fact: I am not going to Sweden.
I allowed my paper to be withdrawn from the conference.
I felt like a quitter. Am I not the person who believes I can make anything happen with enough hard work? Am I not the person who makes decisions by considering "when I'm lying on my death-bed, which choice will I regret?"
Certainly I could have justified the cost by that last measure!
But, really, I couldn't.
Cost, plus other family and work considerations, took Sweden off the table.
And, really, it's ok.
|White House doorway (circa 1914)|
Plus, while I didn't know it at the time, the door that closed on Sweden freed up my calendar for another opportunity.
When I checked my email on Tuesday, I found a note in my inbox inviting me to Washington, D.C. to speak at a workshop being hosted by a fairly prominent organization. My workshop slot is on a day that I would have been in Stockholm. (Actual names and dates hidden to protect the innocent, of course.)
Guess who's going to DC?!?
(PS - If you're in the DC area and have running-route recommendations, or if you want to get together for a sprint around the National Mall, please let me know!)
What's your best "one door closed but another opened" story?
And what are YOU thankful for this week?