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Ruth Carter

Days 63/90 – Lunch with Sobriety Siblings

Day 63 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to have lunch with two of my sobriety siblings.

My Chips Live in a Dish

My Chips Live in a Dish

One of the key aspects of recovery is building a supportive community around you who will support you and hold you accountable. It’s also the part of my recovery that I tend to suck at, especially given that I am busy, introverted (yes, I’m way more introverted than most people realize), and struggle with low self-esteem. Part of focusing more on my priorities has also meant that I’m putting more energy into my recovery and hanging out with people.

Today was great – after a meeting, I got to hang out with two of my sobriety siblings and meet their dogs. (I’m not using their names to protect their anonymity.) It was relaxing and awesome just to catch up – so much different than networking meetings.

This summer has provided many reminders that I have people in recovery that I can call if I’m having a bad day and want to vent or just to talk with someone who “gets it.” It’s also really interesting to hear other people’s interpretations on what the 12 steps and the various lessons in the Big Book mean. Today, everyone at the table had 10+ years of recovery and all of us had a different perspectives on the program. All that mattered is that it’s one addict helping another, trudging the road together.

In case you missed it: Day 62 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I got to hang out with my friend and partner-in-crime Jeff.

Day 62/90 – Hanging Out with Jeff

Day 62 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to hang out with my friend and partner-in-crime Jeff Moriarty.

I love this photo of Jeff and me from an Ignite Phoenix #17 Speaker Bootcamp. Photo by Brandon Larkin. (Creative Commons License)

I love this photo of Jeff and me from an Ignite Phoenix #17 Speaker Bootcamp. Photo by Brandon Larkin. (Creative Commons License)

Jeff came over to hang out for a bit today. My dog, Rosie, loves him. She loses her mind and howls like crazy when she sees him at the door. Today was no exception. It’s so funny to watch. Today was extra special for her because he brought her a treat which she gobbled up instantly.

I think the rest of the visit will probably be really boring for you to hear about – we just sat on the couch catching up about life, work, our dogs, etc. It was wonderful to catch up in a no-stress, no-agenda environment, and to watch Rosie periodically walk over to Jeff and stick her nose up on the couch next to him to request/demand attention.

It’s always a delight to catch up with my friends. Being so busy, it’s hard to make scheduling fun with friends a priority, but I realize it is part of what makes me exceptionally happy.

In Case You Missed It: Day 61 of the 90 Days of Awesome – A Not-So-Awesome Day.

Day 61/90 – Not So Awesome Day

I’m glad I’m doing the 90 Days of Awesome, but if you haven’t noticed by now, not every day is stellar.  I had some awesome moments working with my clients today, but I’m also processing a lot of emotional issues too which is painful and draining.

Alone by Lee J Haywood from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Alone by Lee J Haywood from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

For me, being a trauma survivor means going to 12-step meetings, being in therapy, taking medication and constantly being aware of depression, anxiety, and escapist behavior. And when I’m not avoid my feelings through escapism, I actually have to feel them. That can be really uncomfortable and painful for me – emotionally and physically painful. We were processing my feelings in therapy today and at one point I was shaky, curled up on my therapist’s couch, and feeling like a lumberjack stomped on my sternum. Needless to say, I was pretty drained after that, but it’s part of the process.

When I got home tonight I saw a post on Facebook that my friends got some really bad news. My heart goes out to their family.

On top of all that, I haven’t been sleeping well lately for several reasons. Last night I was so pumped and energized after being on News Now that it took a while to wind down. Even though I got to bed late, my alarm went off at its usual early hour and it was back to the grind. Thank goodness for coffee.

So what’s my plan for the weekend? I hope to take it easy. I have some chores, errands, and a bit of work to do, but for the most part, I hope to keep things mellow.

In Case You Missed It: Day 60 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I got to be on Fox 10 Phoenix News Now!

Day 60/90 – Being on Fox 10 Phoenix

Day 60 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to be on Fox 10 Phoenix’s News Now!

Selfie in the Fox 10 Lobby!

Selfie in the Fox 10 Lobby!

Is this the beginning of my career as a talking head? I hope so!

I was walking Rosie around 5 o’clock tonight when my phone rang. It was my friend and partner-in-crime Jeff Moriarty. He’s the head of social media at Fox 10. He created News Now at Fox 10 – a live video show that appears on Fox 10’s YouTube channel and Facebook account. It’s pretty awesome. He asked me if I was interested and available in being on the show at 7 to talk about some legal news stories of the day.

Of course I said, “Yes!” and zipped home to take a shower, put on something presentable, and headed to the station where I met Kinsey Schofield. She’s awesome. She had me on to talk about James Woods’ defamation lawsuit against someone to tweeted that he’s a cocaine addict, the woman who was sentenced to 3 weeks in jail for contempt for her outburst during the James Holmes trial, and Hannah Anderson being deposed for the Jim DiMaggio wrongful death lawsuit. We had a lot of fun bantering back in forth about these stories:

During this interview I mentioned my YouTube channel where I talk about lots of legal issues and respond to questions from readers. I hope you enjoy it.

I had an awesome time being on News Now! I hope I get invited back.

In case you missed it: Day 59 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I took a quasi-mental health day.

Day 59/90 – Quasi-Mental Health Day

Day 59 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I took a quasi-mental health day.

This is how I looked after running 4 miles. I was covered with a film of sweat.

This is how I looked after running 4 miles. I was covered with a film of sweat.

I won’t deny that I’ve needed a break. I’ve been cranking hard on client work this summer. When I was a solo lawyer, my days were my own. I only went to my office when I had clients and otherwise I worked from home and my schedule was entirely my own. I had a day like that today.

I got up at my usual hour but instead of heading to the office, I headed out for a run. It felt so good to pound pavement in the middle of the week. After I finished breakfast and cleared email, I ran errands in the middle of the morning. The file server at work was fixed so I worked from the home office for most of the afternoon. It felt so good to break up the monotony of my every day routine. I need to remember to do that more often.

Having structure in my day creates security but it can also create a rut. I need to keep my energy moving by mixing things up periodically.

In case you missed it: Day 58 of the 90 Days of Awesome – My work played hooky on me.

Day 58/90 – Playing Hooky

Day 58 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to play hooky from work . . . sort of.

IP16 cropped

This is how playing hooky feels! Photo by Patrick McLeod from Ignite Phoenix 16 (Creative Commons License)

It’s probably more accurate to say work played hooky from me.

Today had a good start. I got to the office early and cranked on some client work, had a few networking meetings, . . . and then our file server went down.

No worries. As long as I have the internet I can get work done.

And then the internet went down.

I looked over at Rosie the basset hound and said, “Well, we’re out of here.” I loaded her up and headed for home. The internet was still working at home so I could still get some work done. It reminded me of how I worked when I was running my solo shop – I only went to my office a few days a week and I often got to leave by early afternoon when my work was done.

My therapist suggested that I need a vacation. I snickered sarcastically at that. He’s probably right. Rosie and I got out of dodge for a night last summer and it was immensely helpful for recharging my batteries. I think I might work from home tomorrow, have a more unstructured day, especially if the file server at work is still down. I can go for a run, do some errands, and work in pajamas if I feel like it. I think breaking up the monotony would be good for me.

I’ve actually been thinking about the concepts of time and how we as a society divide our time. How did we decide that we would have a 7-day week where we have a 5-day work week and a 2-day weekend? Why do we work 9am-5pm? I’m not sure this norm is necessarily the best thing for me. Don’t get me wrong – I need some structure to keep me on task, but it might be time to re-think my schedule a bit.

In case you missed it: Day 57 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I love when my work brings me joy.

Day 57/90 – Laughter at Work

Day 57 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to laugh at work.

When most people think about the practice of law, they probably don’t picture people laughing at their desks (except maybe the evil laugh). I’m lucky that I get a lot of joy from my work and sometimes my work is so much fun it makes me laugh. And part of my job is keeping up with contacts on social media, which tends to make me burst out laughing throughout the day. Here are two of today’s highlights:

1.  My friend, The Namby Pamby, tweeted:

I responded that he and I would be Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets if that were allowed.

2.  I’m working on a contract right now that might be the best contract I’ve ever written. (It could top the one where one party had to attest to the other that he is “a sexy bitch.”) I love it when my clients are thoughtful and creative with their contracts. This one is a licensing agreement for a unique project and my client is a down-to-earth, somewhat blunt entrepreneur and I’m trying to write in his voice rather than legalese. I asked him if he wanted any “Easter eggs” in his contract and he gave me some suggestions. I wish more clients asked me to write crazy awesome clauses in their contracts.

I love my work.

In case you missed it: Day 56 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I did my first underwater photo shoot!

Day 56/90 – Underwater Photo Shoot

Day 56 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I did an underwater photo shoot!

One of Sara Santiago's underwater test shots from a few days ago - gorgeous! (Photo by Redline Designs Photography)

One of Sara Santiago’s underwater test shots from a few days ago – gorgeous! (Photo by Redline Designs Photography)

My friend and fellow model Sara organized a kick-ass photo event today. There were 5-6 photographers and 6-7 models. We had 3 set ups at a house – an indoor backdrop to do bodyscaping and silhouette work and then we dropped a drape across the middle of the pool to do underwater photography on both sides! It was so much fun!

I loved seeing how each photographer worked with models and all the models’ ideas for photos – especially under water. We had big billowy dresses, swirls of loose fabric, bathing suits, and nude work going on. I had as much fun watching as modeling.

Silhouette Image from my last Photo Shoot (Photo by S-A Studios)

Silhouette Image from my last Photo Shoot (Photo by S-A Studios)

Underwater work was really interesting. You have a lot more freedom of movement but you also have to fight the body’s natural buoyancy and you have to think about things like air bubbles. Some of the photographers had plastic cases around their cameras to keep them dry but it also made it challenging to determine what they were seeing and capturing.

I also did some bodyscaping and silhouette work with three different photographers. I can’t wait to see all the images for all the different photographers and models – so much beauty and diversity.

I’m really enjoying modeling and I hope I get the chance to do more. I find myself spending more time looking at others’ work for ideas for new poses. If I were a professional model, I would do yoga almost every day because having core strength and flexibility makes it so much easier to create beautiful shapes with your body. Every time you see a beautiful model, even when the pose looks natural, I bet he/she is standing or sitting in a way that no normal person would in their everyday life. There’s a lot of leaning and arching involved in creating the best shapes your body can make.

In case you missed it: Day 55 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Running with Gary Vaynerchuk!

Day 55/90 – Running with Gary Vaynerchuk

Day 55 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I went running with Gary Vaynerchuk!

This is an old picture but it embodies how I felt after riding 21 miles today.

This is how I feel after a good run.

And by that, I mean I went running while listening to is podcast on my iPod.

I’m still trying to figure out how running fit into my life in terms of my schedule. Yesterday, I took myself for a run/walk after walking Miss Rosie. I wanted to try out my new water bottle that straps to my hand to stay hydrated and test a new running route through Papago Park.

Love this guy!

Love this guy!

I started out thinking I would just walk my new route, but then I remembered that walking is boring so I started running.

My run/walk was a little over 4 miles and I did it with gorgeous surroundings and Gary Vaynerchuk’s #AskGaryVee podcast blasting in my ears. Every time he started a new question, I would switch from running to walking or vice versa. The timing was just about perfect in terms of not wearing myself out too fast. I love listening to him answer questions from entrepreneurs. He’s real, blunt, but loving with his delivery, and he gives good practical advice.

It took about an hour to do the whole route. I was so sweaty by the time I got home but I felt great. And my new water bottle is exactly what I was looking for regarding my hydration needs. It’s really comfortable.

In case you missed it: Day 54 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Just a Really Good Day.

Day 54/90 – Just a Good Day

Day 54 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? It was just a good day overall!

This is a photo from Ignite Phoenix #17 - yes I'm skipping. It embodies how I felt yesterday. (Photo by Joseph Abbruscato, used with permission)

This is a photo from Ignite Phoenix #17 – yes I’m skipping. It embodies how I felt yesterday. (Photo by Joseph Abbruscato, used with permission)

I had to think about what made yesterday awesome. There were so many good things to choose from. There was nothing especially extraordinary about the day but it had good flow and energy:

  • Went to the office – fourth time being the first person in where I didn’t set of the security alarm!
  • Cranked on client work – for many lawyers, summer is a slow time. I’ve had the opposite this year. I’m surprised that so many new and returning clients have asked me to do work for them.
  • Went to therapy – we’re all better people because I sit on my therapists couch every week.
  • Picked up a new water bottle at Runner’s Den – I wanted one that straps to my hand to help me stay hydrated during evening walks and runs.
  • Took Rosie with me to Fellowship Under the Stars – everyone loved her and it was a great meeting.

By the end of the day I was exhausted and I flopped into bed and purposely didn’t set an alarm.

In case you missed it: Day 53 of the 90 Days of Awesome – no cavities at the dentist!