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My weekend in Vegas — making tons of memories and having way too much fun (part 1!)

It’s funny how many of us went into business for ourselves because we were tired of someone else controlling our professional destiny.

With my lady loves at Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational golf tournament this weekend -- yet another unforgettable moment! (with Patrice Grell Yursik, Nadine Jolie, Amber Katz)

And then, ultimately, we discovered there’s just a whole lot of someones now controlling it instead.

I speak in way-too-general terms for an issue that’s incredibly more complex, but the truth is there’s often limited freedom in being a freelancer. The concept of work-life balance can all too often be decimated by the need to be always available for everyone at all times. It’s hard to sit on your laurels when your livelihood is determined on a project basis. Days off can mean opportunities missed, and that’s as true on weekends as holidays or days we’d prefer to call in sick. Because, ultimately, there’s no one whom to call-in sick to.

But then we realize, even if we are machines (a good friend referred to me as one last week and I couldn’t help but take a bit of offense), life happens, and we need to acknowledge and respect when it does. Anyone can be a rock star when life is perfect. But stuff happens — we go through family tragedies, personal illness, money frustrations, or just plain get burnt out, and when adversity strikes, then the “real” you is revealed.

But you know what those moments teach us? The most important richness in our lives IS a rich life – not of money but of moments, memories, special time spent with friends that won’t soon (we hope, ever) forget.

As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”  And it’s so true. I spend many an evening – just about every evening, I must confess– brewing coffee way into the darkness to meet a deadline after going to an evening of events and appointments. It’s fun. I love my work – but I also often sacrifice the moments that are not work, thinking they all can wait.

Hanging out backstage with the KÀ by Cirque du Soleil cast at MGM Grand Las Vegas.

And while I won’t say that a weekend in Vegas — which was ultimately work-related but involved having a blast with some of my dearest friends — was life-changing or will in any way alter the way I live or work, it was an amazing respite.

We were in Vegas as guests of MGM Resorts International’s M life program, a rewards program for guests of MGM resorts — players and everyday travelers — where they can earn tiered benefits to score once-in-a-lifetime moments they will never forget. Whether it’s going behind-the-scenes at super-popular shows, taking cooking lessons from world-renowned chefs, taking a mixology class where you learn how to make the ultimate cocktail, practicing yoga among dolphins (as Amber did, and she had a blast!) or having the once in a lifetime M-life moment I had – getting to choose the song played at the Bellagio fountains, it was truly special.

The Fountains of Bellagio are legendary, and are arguably one of  Las Vegas’ most visited attractions. I was SO excited when I got the opportunity to choose the song the fountains would be choreographed to – such an honor! – and had immediately tweeted out, asking people which one I should go with.

With Amber and Nadine at the fountains!

Ultimately, though, there was no choice: It had to be Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas. Obviously. Getting to choose the song at the Bellagio fountains is another possible reward MLife members may receive, depending on their tier.

The ideology is individualized awards that are meaningful to the individual — your history of where you eat, play, and spa can determine future offers. For instance, someone who loves fine-dining options at the MGM properties may be invited to a private tastings menu with a celebrity chef. Someone more into gaming may get some freeplay slot cash, a table games player are offered promotional chips.

Related, the day after I chose Viva Las Vegas as my songs on the Bellagio fountains, I played the Viva Las Vegas bonus on the Elvis penny slots and won! THAT was my M-Life moment (well, one of them) – but for each of us, we had our own.

And that was what this weekend reminded me – to find our moments, and let ourselves enjoy it. It doesn’t have to be with spectacular over-the-top grandeur in Vegas, but when those moments happen (M-Life, or otherwise!) cherish them, appreciate them, and savor them.

Ultimately, those are what matters. And those are the parts of life we’ll remember way after deadlines and billing periods come and go.

We were guests of MGM for this weekend and all our travel expenses were covered for the purposes of these experiences and our reviews. However, my opinions are, as always, my own.



4 Comments

  1. Kristie Burnett
    04.8.2013

    Aly, LOVED this article! You are such a gifted writer and your trip sounds incredible. *take a trip with Aly* (and enjoy the mlife if possible!) has now been added to my bucket list :)

    xx!

  2. Nancy Reid
    04.8.2013

    So happy you had such a ball!

  3. ravzie
    04.9.2013

    In spite of the work you have to do, I still envy all the travel and fun you get to have!!!

  4. Dewayne Guarini
    05.12.2013

    Golf tournaments are great competitive events where you can both have fun as well as challenge your golf game along with others. There are hundreds and hundreds of golf tournaments held all over the world both for professionals as well as amateurs. Even local organizations have golf tournaments.*..

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