On Saying “No”: Disney Social Media Moms Conference


I’ve been blogging for five years now and every year I’ve quietly hoped to be invited to a blogging conference called Disney Social Media Moms. It’s a very big deal in the social media community, or seems to be. Besides getting an opportunity to delve into the world of social media with other women for a weekend, you get to bring your family along to experience Walt Disney World in a very magical way with Disney as host.

When I didn’t make the cut the first year, I thought I’d make it eventually. But when I didn’t make the cut the next year, I began to think I wasn’t the right pedigree as many of my peers were selected and went the next three years in a row. I told people that the rejection didn’t hurt me, but it did. I felt like the awkward girl in high school again, the one who didn’t get invited to the prom.

Side bar: I actually really didn’t go to the prom, so I know what it feels like NOT to be invited.

But guess what? After five years, when I didn’t ever expect the invitation to ever hit my in box, it did. I was on a press trip with my son last weekend and hardly had time to focus on the fact that I got invited or that the invite said that I had to book quickly. All I do know is that the invite felt very validating. The world of blogging has taken to me to places and helped me to explore parts of myself that I didn’t know existed, and I’m grateful, and now it would take my kids back to Disney. After telling my tween aged daughter about it for several years, I would finally fulfill a dream of mine to take her to Disney in a way I would never be able to otherwise. Sure, we’ve been, but this conference would be a different experience.

But unfortunately, we can’t go. The weekend the conference is scheduled is the same weekend as the daughter of an old friend’s Bat Mitzvah. When I noticed the date, I told myself that I would talk to my friend, that of course we wouldn’t miss Disney. But I knew deep down that would be the wrong thing to do. This friend told us to save the date for her Bat Mitzvah six months ago. Our presence at the event would mean the world to her, and when we got the invite in the mail, I quickly sent our confirmed RSVP back, not just for my husband and I but also for the entire family.

So, I scheduled lunch with her in the city to have a conversation about my dilemma, but in the process, the conference filled up and registration closed. I got an email that I might be put on the waiting list and that they were trying to open more spaces after filling up in 72 hours.

Lunch with this friend also got called off and I was glad that we never had a chance to discuss the situation. I would have hurt her feelings and our friendship might not have recovered.

I took it all as a sign. I have a lifetime of opportunities to go to Disney, but I don’t have a lifetime to fix destroyed relationships.

It wasn’t easy for my daughter to understand but ultimately, I believe in her ability to know how to do the right thing and I am the only one who can teach her how to.

So, in the end, the conference taught me about priorities. It taught me to put others before myself. I hope I get invited next year, but if I don’t, I’ll have to be happy with this year’s decision, and that is one thing I know for sure.


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