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I Want to be an Amtrak Writer in Residence

Writers all over the U.S. are excited that Amtrak is offering people the opportunity to be a writer in residence. Jessica Gross was the first writer in residence and she rode and wrote from New York to Chicago and back again. What a great 39-hour adventure! I love the idea of getting on the train and going head-down into a project with the gentle rumbling of the train beneath you and the world zipping by out the window.

AZ Diamondbacks Game, Phoenix AZ - June 2010

AZ Diamondbacks Game, Phoenix AZ – June 2010

If I was chosen to do this, I think I’d want to travel from Tucson to New Orleans and back again. It would be a little over 70 hours total on the train. Because it’s such a long trip, I think I’d like to stay in New Orleans for a day or two to recharge my batteries, evaluate where I am in my writing process, and strategize what I wanted to crank out on the return trip. I’ve never been to New Orleans, so I’d want to find a place to take a handstand picture and maybe visit Storyland or Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop - the oldest bar in the U.S. I don’t drink but it would be fun to visit as I’m sure plenty of other writers have spent many hours there to rest and recharge while working on a project.

I’ve been a writer and a blogger for over four years and I love it. Every so often I find a project that I just can’t work on at home – I’m too easily distracted by chores or anything that’s not my writing. Sometimes when that happens, I banish myself from the house until my work gets done. I’ll go to a coffee shop or a library with the expectation that I’m there to work and I can’t leave until my work gets done. I turn off the internet and put my phone where I can’t see it or hear it and get to work. That’s usually enough to force me to put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard and crank out what I need to get done – usually faster than I anticipated.

Amtrak 353 by jpmueller99 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Amtrak 353 by jpmueller99 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I’ve been toying with doing some memoir work for years. I have a basic outline of what I’d want to include and the format for each chapter but it’s been a challenge to find the time and creative space to sit down and let the ideas flow. I would need big blocks of time to sit write without distractions, where I can sit in quiet contemplation, where I could lock into my zone and let my fingers fly over my keyboard. I’d love to be an Amtrak writer in residence to work on this project.

So Amtrak, if you’re serious about offering other people the chance to be a writer in residence, I hope you’ll pick me.

Wheaton’s Law is my Religion If Brewer Signs SB 1062

The Arizona legislature passed SB 1062/HB 2153 last week. They call it a law to protect your right to “exercise your religion” but what it really does is give businesses the ability not to do business with someone if it violates their “religious beliefs.” What it does is give businesses the ability not to do business with members of the LGBT community.

My Wheaton's Law T-Shirt

My Wheaton’s Law T-Shirt

This law is fucked up on a lot of levels. While so many states and cities are legalizing same-sex marriage and updating anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity, Arizona is moving backwards and trying to legalize segregation. It’s frustrating that the majority of the Arizonans oppose this proposed law, including several business organizations, but an influential minority was able to push it through both houses.

Here’s what’s really fucked up about this law – your “religious beliefs” don’t have to be affiliated with any officially recognized religion;” they only have to be your sincerely held religious beliefs.

I’m pretty agnostic but I do have some firmly held beliefs that are as dear to me as some religions are to others. One of those beliefs is Wheaton’s Law – “Don’t be a dick.” This rule was created by actor-author-gamer Wil Wheaton to encourage good sportsmanship during online gaming, and it has spread to and been adopted in everyday life. If you want your own Wheaton’s Law t-shirt, it’s available online.

Sign at Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria

Sign at Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria

And yes, just because Wheaton’s Law isn’t affiliated with any official religion or culture that requires some type of worship practice, it doesn’t mean it can be a religious belief. According to Dictionary.com, a religion is merely, “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” Note that superhuman agency and ritual observances are not required; therefore, Wheaton’s Law can be a religious belief.

Open to everyoneSo if Governor Brewer signs this bill into law, it will give me, and anyone else who considers Wheaton’s Law to be part of their religion, the ability to refuse to do business with anyone who acts like a dick. This will include any members of Arizona Senate and House of Representatives who voted in favor of this discriminatory law. I wonder how fast they would change their stance on this law if suddenly their grocery store, gas station, salon, landscapers, golf course, gym, neighborhood bar, and the private school where they send their kids refused to do business with them. (Hat tip to Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria for posting a sign that says they refuse to do business with Arizona Legislators after this bill passed.)

Some groups, like One Community, are taking the high road and saying that all are welcome to do business with them and encouraging others to do the same. And good for them – I’m too pissed off to be the bigger man on this one.

Please contact Governor Brewer’s office and tell her to veto this hellaciously discriminatory bill. You can call her at 602-542-4331 or 520-628-6580. You can also sign the petition about SB 1062 on Change.org.

[Note: I sent Wil Wheaton an email about claiming Wheaton’s Law as a religious belief if SB 1062 is signed. He didn’t respond so I interpreted that to mean that he didn’t object - at least not enough to tell me about it. I mean no disrespect to Wil Wheaton or Wheaton’s Law with this post.]

Minimalism Project Update: Closet Clean-Out 2014 – Six Weeks In

As part of my ongoing attempt to be more of a minimalist, I’m cleaning out my closet again this year using the hanger-flip method. At six weeks into the year, I’d say I’ve worn 40-50% of my wardrobe.

The downside of using the hanger-flip method to clean out your wardrobe is you’re always aware of what you have and haven’t worn. There are days when I’m getting dressed where I specifically look for something I haven’t worn yet instead of thinking about what I feel like wearing that day. I’m sure there were a handful of times during last year’s clean out when I wore a garment just to “save” it from going into the going-to-charity pile, which goes against the principle of doing the closet clean out in the first place. If you have to make an effort to wear something, you probably won’t even notice if it’s not in your wardrobe anymore.

My Closet as of February 15, 2014 - I have a lot of T-shirts, but I wear a lot of them

My Closet as of February 15, 2014 – I have a lot of T-shirts, but I wear a lot of them

I was recently inspired to take a hard look at my wardrobe. My law firm celebrates T-shirt Friday every Friday, meaning that no matter what’s on your calendar, you wear a t-shirt to work. I was curious to know if I could go a year without repeating a t-shirt for T-shirt Fridays and I was a little astonished to realize I have 52 t-shirts in my wardrobe. That’s way more than what I really need. In my defense, some of those shirts are amazing – like the custom shirts from Ignite Phoenix. But there are others that I need to consider more closely. For instance, I usually wear a unisex small shirt but I have a few mediums for kicking around the house – but do I really need three of them?

I was recently at a conference where a vendor was giving away shirts with a really cool design, but by then they only had XLs left. I took one at the suggestion that I wear it as a night shirt. I already have an XL night shirt that I wear every night that I got at the same event last year. The XL night shirt that I used before that was one that I got in 1995 and I wore it until it became threadbare, practically see through, and was getting more holes every time I washed it. I won’t need another night shirt anytime soon so the new freebie went into the charity pile.

Looking at my t-shirts made me start looking at the rest of my wardrobe. I looked at the upper shelf in my closet and counted that I have 12 pullover sweaters. And remember, I live in the desert – I don’t need 12 sweaters. I took an honest look at them and pulled four of them out that I know I don’t wear anymore. I’m sure I could pare down the pile even more.

I also took a hard look at my garments on the hangers and pulled at least ten items out and hung them in the hall closet. If I find myself wanting to wear any of them later this year, I can go get it, but putting them out of sight provides a trial run to see what it would be like not to have them in my wardrobe anymore. I’m pretty sure I won’t miss any of them.

I accept that I probably never be a complete minimalist when it comes to my wardrobe. I enjoy the variety too much. I have admiration for people who can do it and make it work. If you want to be more of a fashion minimalist, consider trying to create a capsule wardrobe – a wardrobe built on ~33 items that can be mixed and matched for three months. If you want to go a more extreme route, you can replicate what Nadia Eghbal did and wear the same outfit every day for a year.

For those of you who are on Reddit, I posted a question about whether minimalism was harder from women than men – at least from a fashion perspective – and it generated a lot more discussion than I expected. Check it out here.

Learning Good Running Posture After Years of Being a Heel Striker

2012 Half Marathon Photo by Crystal O'Hara

2012 Half Marathon Photo by Crystal O’Hara

When I finished the 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, I had excruciating pain in both shins and feet. I was pretty sure I had multiple stress fractures from shin splints and plantar fasciitis. My coach suggested I do some work on my running form before my next race to prevent these injuries from recurring. I thought he meant I should take a half-day interactive running seminar. I had no idea that I needed 10 weeks of physical therapy.

My physical therapist, Eric, filmed me running on the treadmill, from behind and from the side, with and without shoes. He showed me the footage in slow motion which clearly showed that I had a heel striking problem and that my hips were uneven when I took a step with my left foot. I had no kick on the back side of my stride, and I was barely picking up my feet, (which explains why I frequently trip on cracks in the sidewalk).

My physical therapy regimen included stretching, exercises to strengthen my legs, and ASTYM to break up the scar tissue in my lower legs. We also did exercises on proper running posture. It feels kinda dorky to practice going through the motions of running without actually running.

Once we got the scar tissue mostly broken up, I got to practice running with the new form. Eric started me on the Alter-G treadmill – it’s a treadmill with a built-in air bubble. I love this thing. It’s a great device for practicing new running form because you tell it how much of your weight you want to run on. He started me on 60% of my body weight and each session increased it by 10%.  It gave me a chance to practice running on my toes without pounding on my joints.

The best part of running on the Alter-G treadmill was I was literally zipped into the air bubble so I couldn’t fall down when I tripped – and I tripped a lot. When we switched me the regular treadmill, I was petrified of tripping over my feet and falling – which thankfully didn’t happen.

After a few weeks of treadmill running, Eric finally cleared me to run in the real world again – just for a few miles. Eric told me to alternate between using the old running form and the new running form – one minute stretches of each – which I thought was weird until I started to run. Holy crap it hurt to run with the new form. I don’t think I’d really used my calves to run long distance before. Switching between the old form and new form gave those muscles a chance to rest a bit.

I worked up to running 3 miles every other day. I started giving equal time to the old form and new form and I’m slowly increasing the amount of time on the new form and decreasing how long I run on the old form. The new form is way more effective and doesn’t put as much pressure on my joints.

Eric's been Taping my Arch - It definitely Helps with the Pain

Eric’s been Taping my Arch Too – It Definitely Helps with the Pain

Eric’s re-checked my posture both visually and by videotaping me again and tweaked my new form a few times. He said I needed to kick more with my hamstrings on the back side of each stride. It feels like I’m trying to kick myself in the butt with each step, but I’m sure it looks normal to anyone watching. When my arch started hurting, he told me to stop pointing my feet when I run. I’m not used to picking my feet up and I think they’re reaching for the ground a bit, plus I was a gymnast for 17 years so pointing my toes is natural. Relaxing my foot is helping give me more of a mid-foot strike, and decreasing the pain in my arch. And thank goodness for that because Eric’s been massaging the crap out of it, which is excruciatingly painful. When he works on it, I grip the pillow and utter “Jesus Christ” and “Fuck” through clenched teeth.

It’s so weird and mentally taxing to run – thinking about relaxing my foot on the front end and kicking my butt on the back side. I expect it will take years for my new running form to feel normal. It still hurts to run with the old form and new form but that will get better with time. I’m curious to see what this will do for my race time. My half marathon PR is 1:52 and that was with bad form and pain in both feet and shins. I’d love to see how much I improve with proper running posture.

Boycotting the 2014 Sochi Olympics & its Sponsors – Who’s Not Getting my Business

A few months ago I shared my outrage about the International Olympic Committee’s blatant (and cowardly) refusal to oppose Russia’s anti-gay laws and how none of the sponsors have spoken out against the bigoted laws. I love the Olympics but I’m boycotting the Games, so for the duration of the Sochi Winter Olympics and the Paralympics, I will not spend money on the Olympic  sponsors’ products whenever possible.

Here’s who won’t be getting my business during the Games:

Olympic Rings Vancouver by adrian8_8 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Olympic Rings Vancouver by adrian8_8 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Proctor & Gamble
This includes Olay moisturizer, Cover Girl cosmetics, Ivory soap, Pantene shampoo, Tampax tampons, Bounty paper towels, Charmin toilet paper, Mr. Clean magic eraser, Dawn dish soap, Cascade dishwasher soap, Tide laundry soap, Bounce dryer sheets, Febreze, Swiffer cloths, Duracell batteries, Venus razor blades, Oral-B toothbrushes, and Vicks Nyquil.

Coca-Cola
This includes Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Dasani water, Evian water, Fresca, Dr. Pepper, Powerade, Sprite, Monster Energy drinks, and Odwalla juice.

Samsung

Panasonic

McDonald’s

GE

Omega

Dow

Atos

Visa
This will be the hardest one because I use my credit card for almost every purchase. I’ll have to switch to cash unless it’s a situation where I have to use my card.

If any of these products are already in my home, using them is fair game. They’ve already gotten my money so not using them when they’ve already made their profit off me doesn’t hurt them. They just won’t be getting any new business from me during the Games.

I’m an advocate of putting your money where your mouth is. If you don’t approve of what a company is doing, don’t give them your business. Any of the above companies can redeem themselves and get off my shit list by openly opposing Russia’s anti-gay laws and/or plastering their ads at the Sochi Olympic Games with rainbows and same-sex couples.

Treating my Shin Splints and Plantar Fasciitis with ASTYM and Dry Needling

I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon every year from 2010 to 2013, and every time I did the race, I seemed to have more problems with shin splints and foot pain than the previous race – and yes, I follow a really good half marathon training program by Hal Higdon. My legs hurt so much during the 2013 race, I was pretty sure I ran the race with three stress fractures in my tibias (two in my left, one in my right).

After the 2013 half marathon I rested my legs for months, but I was in pain within weeks of trying to run again. I decided to suck it up and get professional help. I started with an informal evaluation at one of Runner’s Den’s weekly injury clinics. I described my pain to the doctor and he immediately referred me to Endurance Rehab for ASTYM®. And then he warned me – ASTYM hurts.

I didn’t think much of it at the time. I used to be a gymnast. How bad could it be?

The next day, I called to make an appointment at Endurance Rehab and relayed the injury clinic doctor’s recommendation that I receive ASTYM and she warned me – You know it’s going to hurt a lot, right?

Ok now I started to worry a little bit if the receptionist was warning me. I did some research on YouTube to get an idea of what I was in for.

A few days later I met with my physical therapist, Eric, who did a full athletic history and evaluation. He said my shin pain was due to the fact that I had a lot of scar tissue my legs, which is why they didn’t get better with rest alone. His plan of action: break up the scar tissue with ASTYM, strengthen my leg muscles, and train me on a better running posture to prevent recurrence.

My calves after a session of ASTYM - early in the process

My Legs after ASTYM – Early in the Process

My ASTYM included both anterior tibialis muscles (front outside lower leg), my left posterior tibialis (front inside lower leg), both calves, and the bottoms of both feet. The video above must have been done on a person who didn’t have any injuries because Holy Fucking Shit ASTYM hurts! The first time Eric did ASTYM on me, it hurt so much I was shaking by the time he was halfway through. (He said I was the first person he’s seen have that reaction.) I never shook again, but it is not uncommon for me to cringe, grunt, scream, swear, and pound the table during ASTYM. I’ve pulled my foot away a few times, and each time Eric patiently holds out his hand until I give it back.

And did I mention the bruising? We’re all glad I did this during winter because if I wore a dress or shorts outside, everyone would wonder who’s beating me.

The good news is the pain gets better and the bruising decreases over time as the scar tissue breaks up. When he works on me, Eric uses ASTYM and manually massages my tibialis muscles. His hands are bright red from the pressure he’s putting on my muscles and except for a few small areas on my plantar fascia and my post tibialis, I’m pretty comfortable compared to when he first worked on me.

Dry Needling - 20 Needles in my Post Tibialis

Dry Needling – 20 Needles in my Post Tibialis

We also did some dry needling in my post tibialis during physical therapy. Dry needling uses the same gauge needles as acupuncture but they go all the way into the muscles. It’s based on the premise that the needles cause micro-trauma where they’re inserted which stimulates the healing process. There are people on both sides of whether dry needling is an effective treatment or only placebo. I don’t care. It seemed to help me.

It felt really intense when the needles were in my leg, especially when they were going in. I had an urge to point and flex my foot after the needles were in but I figured that would hurt a lot so I opted to do it with my non-needled foot instead.

I’m happy to share that my legs are on the mend and I’m starting to run again. I’ll write another post soon about the process of learning to run with a completely different running form.

Funny Signs at the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon

I had to miss running in the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona race this year due to leg injuries, but on the flip side, I had an awesome time cheering marathoners on with funny signs during the race.  I teamed up with Jeff and Dannie Moriarty for some serious fun near Mile 13.

We arrived at our spot a bit before the first marathoners would be running by so I gleefully took my sidewalk chalk to the marker at Mile 13 and wrote the following on the street.

Rock n Roll AZ Street ChalkIf You Did…

The Half…

You’d Be Done…

By Now!

Finish Strong

Oh I amuse myself! I chatted with a racer the next day and she said she when she saw my note she thought whoever wrote it was “pure evil.”

Now, I’m someone who actually likes being insulted when I run. Don’t ask me why, I just like it. My shirt from last year’s race said, “Masochist” across the front and “Run Bitch” on the back. I figured I’m not the only one who finds this endearing and helpful so I continued the “Run Bitch” tradition with one of my signs. Some people laughed said they liked it. The best reaction was, “How did you know my name is Bitch?”

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

I held this sign for most of the race until we started seeing more and more racers who were walking. I didn’t want them to think I thought less of them for not running the full route so I switched to my other sign.

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

Dannie had an awesome Breaking Bad inspired sign for the race. I told her to hold onto it for next because if I run the full marathon, I’d want to see that.

Dannie Sign

Jeff had the best sign of the race.

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

The reactions ranged from shock, to laughter, to “holy shit,” to racers and spectators stopping to taking photos – even two police officers took photos. I liked his Zombie sign too, but nothing could top Jeff with his pants around his ankles.

Jeff zombie sign

One thing I learned this year was that if you put your name on your shirt – like the original Mouseketeers – people will cheer for you by name. I thought I was hanging up my running shoes after last year’s race, but now that rehab is going well, I’m thinking I’ll be back on the course next year. I may have to get another custom running shirt for the occasion.

If you thought our signs were funny, you should check out Jeff’s Harassing Marathon Runners Flickr album that includes all his signs from this year’s and last year’s races.

Minimalism Project: Closet Clean-Out 2014

Last year I made the commitment to being more of a minimalist and got rid of a lot of things that served no purpose in my life, which included a major closet clean-out. Now that the new year has started, that process has started again.

One of the first things I did on January 1st was go into my closet and flip every hanger so that the hooks were facing into the room rather than towards the wall.

Part of my Closet on January 2, 2014

Part of my Closet on January 2, 2014

As I wear each garment and it comes back from the wash, it will be hung on a hanger and placed back on the rod with the hook facing the wall. At a glance I can assess what I have and haven’t. At the end of the year, if there’s something that hasn’t been worn, I will probably never wear it again so I will get rid of it. Of course specialty items like my ski gear and evening gowns are exempt from this process but even they are subject to the wardrobe chopping block if they aren’t going to be used.

Same Section of my Closet on January 9, 2014

Same Section of my Closet on January 9, 2014

I’m a bit of a dork and definitely neurotic so I extended the project to include garments that are on the shelves of my closet like my jeans, sweaters, and workout gear. I created a checklist that listed each garment individually and taped it to the side of the shelves. Whenever I wear one of these items, I cross it off of my checklist.

The List on my Closet Wall - January 2nd and 9th, 2014

The List on my Closet Wall – January 2nd and 9th, 2014

As I hung the checklist I thought to myself, “Why do you have 3 pairs of yoga pants? Didn’t you get the REI yoga pants to replace the Nike ones because they were getting threadbare?” I grabbed the pen that lives in the closet off the shelf, crossed off the Nike pants, and tossed them into the donation pile.

I did a similar process last year to clean out my closet and at least 30 garments didn’t survive to 2014. I will be interesting to see what makes it through this year. I will have to remember that having nice things is meaningless if they serve no purpose and that a garment is not a substitute for a memory behind its acquisition.

Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Makes Sense (and I Hate Pot)

As of January 1, 2014, any person over age 21 can legally buy marijuana in Colorado from a licensed dispensary. It’s just like buying liquor at a liquor store. Looking at what Colorado is doing, I’m starting to think that this may be the right move for all states.

Marijuana by warrantedarrest from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Marijuana by warrantedarrest from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

From my observations, the medical marijuana system is corrupt. I believe that marijuana has positive benefits for certain patients; however when a state legalizes medicinal marijuana it seems like everyone who wants a marijuana card figures out which doctor to visit and what magic words they need to say to get a card. Then they use it as an excuse to be legally wasted all the time and possibly illegally share their legally obtained pot with others.

If we legalize pot, it will be distributed through legal channels and regulated to ensure that it’s safe. And the government can tax the shit out of it like they do cigarettes and with any luck that money will go to some good use. Hopefully this will reduce the demand for pot on the street and all the crime that goes along with the drug dealing will decrease. There will always be a black market for pot, just like there are still guys who illegally make moonshine; but I hope more people would choose to buy it from a licensed store if they choose to partake.

And let me make one thing clear – I am not a proponent for the use of marijuana in general. I hate the way it smells. I hate the way people act when they’re wasted. I chose not to be around most people when they’re drunk or high. If I ever live somewhere where marijuana is legal, I won’t allow it in my home. Yes, I am the anti-pothead who is saying it’s better to legalize it for all adults than to legalize medicinal marijuana.

Marijuana Joint by Torben Bjorn Hansen from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Marijuana Joint by Torben Bjorn Hansen from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Don’t tell me that marijuana should be illegal because it’s bad for you. There are a lot of things that are bad for us that are perfectly legal – like smoking cigarettes, drinking excessively, and being overweight. If we made everything that’s unhealthy illegal, we’d all be in jail.

Here is my concern for states that are considering legalizing marijuana – you have to figure out how this will work with the DUI laws. Driving while impaired by any amount of any substance is illegal in Arizona. I hope there are drug tests that are sensitive enough to tell when a person is likely currently impaired by pot. The drug test for marijuana for employment can show if you’ve used it in the last 30 days. I don’t want people getting DUIs when they haven’t used in a week but today they’re just a bad driver. Colorado’s law set a limit for how much THC you can have in your blood. If you go over that limit, the presumption is that you’re too impaired to drive.

Medical marijuana is legal in Arizona but some people are pushing for an amendment to the state constitution that would make using marijuana legal for adults and regulate its distribution.

What do you think – should marijuana be legalized? If so, what are your concerns? If you’ve been to Colorado and you’ve legally purchased pot, I’d love it if you’d share your experience in the comments below too.

The Undeniable Plans for 2014

I recently asked my readers what they wanted me to write about and someone suggested I share my 2014 plans. That gave me reason to pause, because in 2012 I was focused on getting the law firm off the ground and last year I spent the beginning of 2013 getting ready to speak at SXSW. This year I don’t have a big event or activity taking up all my time. I think I get to just live for year. But of course I have plans for how I’d like to spend my time.

My legs after  a session of ASTYM.

My legs after a session of ASTYM.

1. Get Healthy. Years of gymnastics and running has resulted in a buildup of scar tissue in my lower legs. I finished my last half marathon with so much pain that I thought I had three stress fractures. Instead of training for the 2014 race, I’m in physical therapy. They’re breaking up the scar tissue with ASTYM and dry needling, building up my strength, and working on my running posture. They said I should be good to go to run a 10K in March.

2. Separate Work from my Personal Life.  Carter Law Firm got a brick and mortar office in December 2013. To go along with that, I want to work on keeping work at the office and not work once I’m home for the day. This includes not working on the weekends and getting all my blogs written during the week. (When I was writing books last year I’d work on the books during the week and blogs on the weekend.) I got used to working all the time and it’s time make more time for fun.

More Adventures = More Handstands

More Adventures = More Handstands

3. Go on More Adventures.  Going to law school really got me out of the habit of having a life on the weekend and it’s too easy to fill the weekend with work stuff, so this year I want to make it a point to do more new things during my down time. There are so many wonderful places and events in Arizona I’ve never experienced. I’ll be using Roadside America and community calendars for inspiration but I’ll be starting the year by doing the Polar Plunge in Tempe. And I definitely want to see Bisbee this year and take advantage of the night in Sedona I won during Indie Week.

4. Continue to be a Minimalist.  I made a huge donation run to Goodwill a few weeks ago. My backseat and trunk were packed with stuff I don’t use anymore. Since then, I’ve already started the next pile of stuff to be donated. I will continue to be mindful of what I do and don’t use and periodically do a sweep of the house to get rid of things that don’t add value to my life. Next year will also start with the reversal of all my closet hangers. Every garment will have to earn its right to stay in my wardrobe again.

5. Release my Next Book.  The American Bar Association is publishing my next book – The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers. It’s expected to be released in February 2014. I’m excited for it to be released and I hope it will open more doors for me to do more professional speaking.

Those are basically my plans on top my standard events, activities, and goals of having fun and being productive. I hope your 2013 is winding down on a high note and that you have an awesome year in 2014. I’ll keep you in the loop about my adventures.