I’m at the Thrive conference being put on by Arianna Huffington here in little old New York City. Hundreds of people paid big bucks to sit in the audience of a day and a half conference at the City Center. The stage is complete with Huffington’s own coffee table and tea set, couches (so Oprah!), big screens, Mika Brzezinski’s mother’s massive tree sculptures, and a bed — which Huffington and Brzezinski (of Morning Joe) pretended to wake up from this morning.

The rocking violinist Miri Ben-Ari opened the conference last night and today. Many different people are talking about how meditation changed their lives, yoga empowered them, sleep changed everything. Julianne Moore. Professors and writers and heads of stress reduction clinics. Huffington keeps talking about the time she was so tired, she passed out and needed stitches. So she wrote a book and kicked off this conference. (Her book is for sale outside. As are the books of most of the attendees.)

I don’t disagree with much of what’s being said. And a lot of it is interesting. We are the first generation of parents who are struggling with being “on” all the time, whether it’s the mom at the playground who is expected to respond to other mom’s texts, or the working parent who has to spend the night answering e-mails related to her job.

I think we’re all looking for balance between the must dos and the maybe don’t have tos and the I think I probably should do. In fact, Mari-Jane Williams wrote about the time when she realized she had to let go of a few things for her own well-being, and that of her family.

This is a great topic, and it’s a thing to talk to friends about. I know I have and you probably have, too. Irony of all ironies, I ended up sitting next to Anjali Varma, a Bethesda mom and entrepreneur (have you been to Kidville?). She writes a blog at and recently wrote about how she unplugs.

How have you learned to deal with technology and well, life, in this generation of must-be-available? I’m guessing you don’t need a conference to talk about it.