I have to admit that I find General Assembly difficult. Although at one time this week of meetings, workshops, and worship was one of the highlights of my year, the combination of the growth of GA (from around 500 in the 1970's to multiple thousands now) and my own changes have changed this for me. For a few years I went only every few years, and lately I've been only going to the pre-GA ministers meetings, where there are "only" 500 attendees, more useful workshops, and more people I know. Although even that, as I age in ministry and our ministry gets bigger, is changing. Once, I felt that I knew most of my colleagues. When I moved to Albuquerque (way out in the sticks, UU-wise) and had a baby, I pulled out of all of those committees and work groups at which one meets new people, and the price for that, very necessary move, is isolation. And that makes GA a nightmare of required extroversion for this introvert. GA, even minister's days, is not the time to meet people. The very best one can do is catch up with old friends. So, that is what I will do.
I have a chapel to manage...my last year of that little chore. I have several "dates" already to meet with persons and groups. I've got a knitting project to get me through the endless meetings, and the cereal bars and apples to keep me fed without spending megabucks (or any more megabucks...this, in my case, 4 day jaunt is going to cost nearly $1,000 already) or more importantly, without having to eat mega-calorie restaurant food for four days. Once I get there, I'll enjoy my week. Really, I tell myself, Really.