what I loved about the CNMC

Got home close to midnight and turned around to teach the first class Monday morning. To say I’ve been busy is an understatement — it’s 5 pm, just got home from work and realized that my last meal was yesterday afternoon with Pat Gohn and Lisa Hendey. I didn’t have coffee this morning, meant to get some, worked through lunch, and just realized that I never did have that cup of coffee I was whining about this morning. At least my last meal was an amazingly delicious grilled tuna paired with a very light pinot grigio. Lisa insisted on a decadent chocolate cake for dessert. Of course. Because when women get together we eat chocolate. It’s in the rule book.

That’s what I loved about the CNMC. I’m vested in the new media thing. I get it. I don’t necessarily do it right or well (and many days not at all) but I get it. So for me, the weekend was about the relationships. And to my surprise, a lot of it was with the girls. Yes, that’s right — I played with the girls.

I feel like I should buy something pink.

I roomed with two amazing women, Pat Gohn, and then Sarah Reinhard, both very hardworking and humble, fun and fabulous. Oh, and talented, but I suppose you get that.  Anyway, that’s what I really loved about the weekend. There’s something comfortable (and something more) about doing some hard work together, and then winding down with conversation into the night because we’re chatty Cathies. I wish we could solve the world’s ills over girl talk. There’s a particular wisdom expressed in the dark. Maybe because our guards are down, or it’s anonymously dark, or maybe it’s just the comfort of relaxing physically and then emotionally. Anyway, it seems to happen with me when I am away with my women friends, and it’s a sweet intimacy that strengthens and restores me in places I didn’t know were needy. Until the next time 🙂

I enjoyed dinner with Denyse Leger and Deborah Schaben, women who have become very real friends in this crazy new media that seems to surmount the insurmountable problem of distance in a world that was once so large and is now so small. The borders today are not geographical — they are something else, something I’m not ready to write about, but probably has more to do with the inhumanity of man towards man than just a line drawn in the sand.

I jumped up and down with Barb Gilman when I saw her in the hotel lobby, and must disappoint her by crowning Zina Gomez-Liss the Queen of Podcast Giddyness.  I got to see Stephanie Weak, and we all suffered through Inge Loots travel travails, when in a collective sigh of relief we discovered she had finally boarded a flight!

I spoke with Naomi Young, and Jenna from France! Reconnected with some fine sisters, Shelly and Lisa (and missed their Mom, Marilyn –happy birthday). And a host of other interesting women whose names I know and don’t know.

I talked about shoes with Katherine Barron and lamented not being able to shop. And discovered she plays the piano!

I hugged Allyson Sweeney because it’s been forever since I saw her.

I chatted and laughed with the Daughters of St. Paul and wonder if they ever get on each others’ nerves. And had Sr. Anne Flanagan sign my copy of Stella Maris which I’ve already played to death.

Danielle Bean and Rachel Balducci looked like they had more fun not selling their books and laughing (although…you should buy their books, I did).

I watched other women reconnect and share and giggle, and I shared their moments from afar, knowing exactly what they were feeling.

And I marveled at the collection of our daughters becoming women. I have to catch my breath for that one.

I made Lisa Hendey blush, which, if you know her, probably isn’t all that difficult, but that’s not even the reason why it’s funny. It’s funny, because she spoke a big ole truth that came straight from the heart — those are the truthiest truths, aren’t they?

I thought, too, of our Blessed Mother. What kind of girl was she? What kind of woman did she become? How did she bear the responsibility of her charge, the joys and the profound sorrows? It came to me that she bore them like we all do … like the women in the room who were smiling and laughing and each carrying her own great sorrows and fears. She remains my greatest inspiration and model for trusting in God’s plan.

But undeniably, the best moment of the entire CNMC I attribute to my dear friend Linda Nielsen, quiet as a lamb, demur, almost shy, sweet Linda Nielsen. Well folks, she’s not. She’s conniving and calculating and exceedingly patient because she stalked me until she found me in the depths of my distraction and irritability and struck like a viper. Bam! She pranked me, and she pranked me well.

Wait’ll next year.

9 thoughts on “what I loved about the CNMC

  1. Oh, I love this post and the one about men at the CNMC! You are a blogging fool. I happily give Zina the “SQPN #1 Groupie” award back for this year’s CNMC. Last year, I stole it away from her because she was holding a baby. This year, Myra was walking so ZIna could jump up and down again!

    By the way, I really want to print that photo of you and me taken by Scott Maentz of the 2 of us together and frame it!

  2. Great post, Maria! I’ll be working on mine tomorrow. It was great to see you again and the hug was appreciated! 🙂

  3. Aw, ladies. you make me blush. sort of. not in a Lisa Hendey mortified way — in a warm fuzzy it’s nice to be liked way. {{{hugs}}}

    And pink? Unlikely.

  4. Maria, watching you and the other CNMC Leaders was inspiring, to say the least! What a great time to be a (Catholic new media) girl! (And I think you’d look great in pink, too.:))

  5. What I loved about Maria “Bego” Johnson at the CNMC…

    She has a steadiness that engenders confidence in others. She has a great “can do” attitude that I did not know about until we worked “in the trenches” as they say.

    She touched my heart when she came on her own to Boston — a day early — to help me get ready for the CNMC. I never asked her to, the SQPN board did not sent her in to hold my hand. She just thought she’d arrive early and lend support.

    Even tho’ she’s from the south and a few other places, once upon a time she was a NYer and I love that!

    I also love that Maria is a straight shooter… while she jokes around (a lot), when she’s serious, you can trust what she says. There’s no BS.

    Did I mention she can drive… in Boston?!

    She is a woman with vision, passion, wit, and faith… A wife and mother with brains who is a natural teacher. That’s a brand of femininity that we need more of in this world.

    I think Maria would look great in pink.


  6. Maria, your stinkin post made me laugh and tear up. Darn you!


    Thanks for a slumber party and for making me not miss (too much) that which I miss most when I’m away from him. 🙂

    You’re da best.

    And that Linda Nielson…STILL crackin me up. She bloggin yet?

    1. Are you kidding, Linda doesn’t even READ blogs. She doesn’t even listen to Jeff’s stuff.

      Well, perhaps she especially doesn’t listen to Jeff’s shows. Teehee.

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