“Everything old is new again.”

I’m not sure where or when that saying originated, but it’s what I’m feeling right now.

I’ll be spending this weekend in Atlanta at the Toastmasters District 14 Conference. This isn’t my first Toastmasters conference. I’ve attended a number of district conferences and conventions, and several regional and international conventions since I first joined Toastmasters in 2005. But that was when I lived in Minnesota. This is my first district conference since moving to Georgia two years ago, and I’m really excited about it.

I’m sure some aspects of the conference will feel comfortable and familiar, since the structure and organization will be similar to those I’ve attended in the past. But the content, the atmosphere, and the people will be new to me, and I’m looking forward to that.

One of the first sessions I’ll be going to is the First-Timers Welcome, an orientation session for those who are attending the District 14 Conference for the first time. But near the end of the conference, I’ll also attend a Distinguished Toastmasters Reception, which celebrates those who have just received their DTM Award, something I accomplished in 2008. At the first event, I’ll be with people who are brand new to the organization or to the area, and are just beginning a new journey. At the second, I’ll be with other long-time members whose paths have had some common elements as mine as we worked toward DTM status. Old and new coming together again. And I’m sure I’ll learn much from both groups.

Another thing I’m sure of is that the educational sessions will open up new information and opportunities to help me grow – in Toastmasters and in life. I’m also sure I’ll be entertained and inspired at the District finals of the Humorous and International speech contests. And, although there will be only a few people at the conference that I already know, I’m sure I will meet many other interesting and fascinating people, some of whom will become close friends I will enjoy seeing for many years to come.

At least, that’s been my experience at virtually all the Toastmasters conferences I’ve attended in the past. And it’s something that never grows old.

April 26, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019

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