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Day 51/90 – Crazy Week

Day of Awesome . . . Day of Awesome . . . what can I say about Day 51 of the 90 Days of Awesome?

I love my land seal of a dog.

I love my land seal of a dog.

It’s already been a crazy week, and it’s only Tuesday! I am so tired my eye is twitching – and I mean it’s been twitching since this morning.

I am having a crazy week at work. I’m glad I get to the office a few hours before everyone else because it’s the only time I can dedicate big blocks of time to a project without being interrupted by email and phone calls. I’m grateful that I have a docket full of cases to work on and I talked to prospective clients every day by phone and email. It is humbling to know that these people are looking to me to help them with their problems.

Despite all the awesome things I get to do at the office, the highlight of my day was sitting on the floor tonight and petting my basset hound. Her life is as simple, and I’m dedicated to making sure her life is awesome. She helps keep me grounded and focused on what really matters – which is the people and the relationships in my life. She takes such joy in the little things that it reminds me to appreciate simple pleasures as well.

In case you missed it: Day 50 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Hitting the Ground Running this Week.

Day 50/90 – Hitting the Ground Running

Day 50 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I hit the ground running this week.

This is the view from my desk. I'll be seeing it a lot this week.

This is the view from my desk. I’ll be seeing it a lot this week.

I knew I was going to have a busy week with client work – I mean really busy – even for me. If I didn’t have a spreadsheet of all my cases it would be hard to keep track of them all. By nine o’clock this morning I felt that if you weren’t on my to-do list this week, there’s a good chance you’re not going to get on it ‘til next week.

I’m pleased so many people want my help. This may be one of those weeks where I have to keep my door closed, put my cell phone where I can’t see or hear it, and can only schedule phone calls and let all others go to voicemail. It might be the only way I can give each project the attention it needs and to avoid other distractions.

I saw this awesome tweet today, inspired by the legendary Captain Jean-Luc Picard:

That’s going to be my week – working through my to-do list, one thing at a time.

I’ve also borrowed a tip from Jason Zook – I have a digital file of my daily to-dos that extends for weeks, but each day when I get to the office, I start by writing the list of what I want to accomplish before I leave for the day on a sticky note. (If I can’t fit my list on a sticky note, I’m trying to do too much.) There’s something about writing this list by hand that feels more organic and helps me find my focus to start the day.

Just gotta keep putting one foot in front of other.

In case you missed it: Day 49 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Simple Pleasures.

Day 49/90 – Simple Pleasures

Day 49 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I went for a bike ride and took a nap.

Rosie is my Role Model for Napping

Rosie is my Role Model for Napping

I treated myself to an awesome 14.5-mile bike ride this morning on the canal and through Papago Park. The weather was gorgeous. I need to make it a priority to get out and ride more often.

One of the things that made the weather so great was the previous day’s rain brought down the temperature. It also made part of the trail pretty muddy. I ride a mountain bike and those tires were covered with mud. The ground was so muddy at times that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to maintain speed and fall, so I walked part of the way home. When I got back on my bike, the centripetal force of my wheels flung bits of mud into the air. Did I mention I don’t have fenders? There’s nothing quite like taking a chunk of mud to the face. I was covered in sweat and mud by the time I got home.

After doing chores and running a few errands this afternoon, I was sleepy. I stretched out of my couch and grabbed an hour-long cat nap. When I bought my couch, I picked one with naps in mind – deeper cushions and soft velour-esque fabric. I’m sure there’s a rule that says insomniacs shouldn’t take naps, but screw that. I was really tired.

Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that make a day awesome. As Captain Kirk said, “The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.” I think that describes my weekends to a T – time for relaxation and recreation.

In case you missed it: Day 48 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I took some time for self-reflection.

Day 48/90 – Self-Reflection

Day 48 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I did some self-reflection about what’s important to me.

I need to get out and sweat more.

I need to get out and sweat more.

Today was somewhat of a pensive day. After a long week at work, I have almost nothing planned this weekend except for a few errands and a nap today. I generally don’t do well with too much unstructured time, so I started to get antsy after I woke up from my nap this afternoon. I know I needed the rest, but I also think I need to put more energy into my personal life. In general, I do a crappy job when it comes to making plans for the weekends and my social life in general. And to be honest, I need the weekend to recharge so I can’t be a weekend warrior, nor do I want to be; however, seeing my friends and doing things that make me happy and feel productive are important to me.

I watched the film Do More with Less, a documentary about the Pacific Crest Trail this afternoon. The filmmakers traveled the trail and talked to other hikers along the way about their journey. The priorities of these hikers are very simple: water, food, shelter, safety, and miles. I loved watching their adventure. Like them, I prefer to keep my life as simple as possible. Watching their journey also reminded me that it’s important to me to always be physically active.

I was a gymnast for 17 years and I have yet to find a hobby that fills the void left by that sport. I’ve tried swimming, fencing, going to the gym, hiking, biking, and running. And it may be that there will be no one thing that will be a suitable replacement, but it doesn’t change the fact that I need to stay active. I am happier, calmer, and more focused when I get out and sweat on a regular basis. One of the challenges of living in the desert is there are few hours of the day when it is cool enough to work out outside. There is a half marathon coming up in November. I think I might use that as motivation to be more active this summer.

Tonight, I took a short walk around my complex as the storm was rolling in. Even though it was warmer outside then my air-conditioned condo, I loved being out in the fresh air. I need to do that more often.

In case you missed it: Day 47 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Coffee helps me Human.

Day 47/90 – Coffee

Day 47 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? Coffee!

All my mugs for coffee are big.

All my mugs for coffee are big.

Some of you may not be aware of this, but I generally don’t sleep well. There are times I have terrible insomnia. Even when I get good sleep, it’s usually not great sleep. And even when I get to bed late or am up and down throughout the night, the alarm still goes off at 5:15 AM the next day.

Needless to say, coffee is my friend. My day does not start without coffee. Coffee helps me human. I’m not a huge fan of the flavor of coffee (at least until I add cream and sugar), but I enjoy the effect and the feeling of having a warm mug in my hands. (When I travel, especially when I travel with friends, and I know there’s going to be time delay between waking up and getting coffee, I have a caffeine pill to tide me over. Yes, I know I’m addicted to caffeine, and I’m perfectly ok with that.)

Earlier this year, my cardiologist put me on it GERD medication. It’s a pill I have to take first thing in the morning and then I’m not supposed to eat or drink anything for 20 minutes. So it’s a bit painful to go through the first 20 minutes of the morning without my caffeine friend. One of the advantages of having insomnia, is sometimes I wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning, and I will shuffle to the kitchen to take my GERD medication so I can have a cup of coffee first thing when my alarm goes off.

I had a pretty good week, but also and exhausting week – couple of late nights and lots of client work. I was still exhausted when my alarm woke me up today. It was definitely going to be a 2 cups day, and by 2, I really mean 4 because I have a big mug. I had my first mug of coffee at home and refilled my mug before heading to the office.

Sometimes I’m so tired in the morning, I take my coffee with me when I walked Rosie in the neighborhood. I think one of my neighbors gets a little jealous when he sees me sipping on my coffee while his is still brewing in his condo.

In case you missed it: Day 46 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Helping Clients Resolve Problems.

Day 46/90 – Resolution for Clients

Day 46 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I helped my clients get the desired outcome to their situations.

Scales of Justice at Lewis and Clark Law School

Scales of Justice at Lewis and Clark Law School

Practicing law isn’t as black-and-white as many people think it is. There are always more details and contributing factors in every situation, and you can never predict how a case is going to end. I wish there were more guarantees in this industry, but I doubt that’s going to happen.

It’s been a good week for my clients and me. I am close to wrapping up a few files, and so far it looks like my clients are going to get the outcomes they were hoping for. It makes me so happy to see my clients happy. Sometimes I have to be the person that tells them that they can’t do what they want or that they will not get the resolution they desire, but that hasn’t happened too much this week.

I have a few cases that are winding down on a high note, and I’m jazzed about some of the cases I’m working on. I was a little bummed when I had to leave the office today, but I know I need to get some rest so I can hit the ground running again tomorrow.

In case you missed it: Day 45 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Oden’s Happy Hour!

Day 45/90 – Oden’s Happy Hour

Day 45 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to see a lot of my friends at Oden’s Happy Hour.

Hanging with Oden - Love this Lady!

Hanging with Oden – Love this Lady!

Oden is one of my closest friends in Phoenix. We’re both organizers for Ignite Phoenix and co-founders for Improv AZ. She’s genetically awesome . . . like me!

Oden decided she wanted to see her friends, so she declared a happy hour! She gave us a date and time and we all showed up at Angels Trumpet Ale House. I love these casual chill no-agenda gatherings – just good friends and good conversation.

It seems like all of my friends and I are so busy that we have to schedule fun or it won’t happen. I’m so glad she organized this – it was wonderful to catch up with her and so many of my other friends.

In case you missed it: Day 44 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Hanging with the Cool Kids at Startup Grind Phoenix.

Day 44/90 – Hanging with the Cool Kids at Startup Grind

Day 44 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to go to the Startup Grind Phoenix barbecue with my fellow entrepreneurs.

This is what happens when you tell me to label myself.

This is what happens when you tell me to label myself.

Phoenix has an awesome startup community – lots of enthusiastic, smart, and creative people. We are lucky to have so many events and co-working spaces that bring us together. Tonight I got to hang out at Infusionsoft for Startup Grind Phoenix’s monthly event. We had a barbecue, games, and a raffle – very chill, very fun.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m quite the introvert so usually big events like this are overwhelming, but I had a wonderful time. I got to catch up with people I’d met at other events and meet some incredible new people too. The general vibe of the community is “We take our work seriously, but not ourselves.” I loved it.

Have you been to Infusionsoft’s building? It looks like a converted warehouse with super high ceilings, and open layout, and AstroTurf in the middle. I think it reminds me of my gymnastics days where I trained in a gym that used to be a warehouse. I wish they would bring in a trampoline for a day and invite me over.

In case you missed it: Day 43 of the 90 Days of Awesome – One Lawyer Helping Another.

Day 43/90 – One Lawyer Helping Another

Day 43 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to help a fellow lawyer who is thinking about going solo.

Image courtesy of Scramble

Image courtesy of Scramble

I get a handful of calls and emails every year from lawyers who are thinking about opening their own practice. They often want to know what it takes to get started, how to set rates, and what marketing tactics work for getting clients. I was petrified when I made the decision to open my own firm right out of law school and I was so grateful to everyone who will help me along the way. Talking with lawyers who are thinking about going solo gives me the chance to pay it forward.

This summer I’ve had the unique experience of being able to meet with a few East Coast lawyers who are considering transplanting to Phoenix and opening up shop as solos for the first time. Today I had one of those experiences; I had breakfast with Bryan and his wife. He is considering giving up big firm life for the freedom of a solo practice, while moving across the country. We met at Scramble where we had an awesome conversation about practicing law in Arizona, working with the startup community, how long it takes to turn a profit, and living in Phoenix in general. Bryan seemed impressed by everything I’ve accomplished in the three years I’ve been practicing law, which I found ironic given that he has been practicing law more than ten years longer than me.

I think it’s funny when people from major cities ask me if I feel safe in Phoenix. There may be certain neighborhoods I won’t walk around in after dark by myself, however I’ve never felt truly unsafe in Phoenix. People who are new to the valley also ask me about how often I see scorpions. For the record, I have seen one scorpion since I’m moved here eleven years ago, and it was on Camelback Mountain.

In other awesome news: Rosie appears to be on the mend. We had a follow-up visit to the vet today. It looks like my baby girl has a UTI. I was so relieved when she finally started eating again tonight.

In case you missed it: Day 42 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Everyone should know Aaron Swartz’s story and his contributions to the internet.

Day 42/90 – Learning about Aaron Swartz

Day 42 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to learn more about Aaron Swartz, his life, his work, and his legal battle.

Boston Wiki Meetup by Sage Ross

Boston Wiki Meetup by Sage Ross from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

As a social media attorney, I’m aware of Aaron Swartz’s impact on the online community, but I didn’t know much about who he was as a person or the depth or breadth of his impact on the internet until I saw The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz today.

Aaron was an incredible person – a true genius. I think a lot of people don’t realize how amazing he was. He was one of the founders of Reddit. He was a key figure in the fight against SOPA. He believed that information is power, and that access to information should not be restricted. Aaron called out Congress for trying to pass laws that would restrict access to information and who could have a voice on the internet, when one of the best things about the internet is anyone can create a platform to share their views.

Aaron was willing to make himself a target in order to make a point and to show where there are problems. I have so much respect for that type of bravery. He was arrested and charged with violating the outdated Computer Fraud and Abuse Act when he hacked the system at MIT to download academic articles. I suspect when he decided to do this, he never expected it to result in the threat of jail or $1 million in fines. Aaron killed himself prior to this case’s conclusion and subsequently, the U.S. Legislature has proposed a revision of this law called Aaron’s Law.

If you haven’t seen this film, I recommend you make it a priority to see this. Aaron’s story brings to light serious issues related to our access to information. Even though I’m an advocate for copyright rights, I’m also an advocate for access to information and education. Knowledge should not be limited to the rich.

In other awesome news, Rosie is on the mend. Her ear drops are making her much more comfortable and she’s starting to eat more, though she’s more interested in my food than hers. Hopefully we’ll have her lab test results tomorrow and we’ll know what to do to make her better.

In case you missed it: Day 41 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Rosie goes to the Vet.