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Adventures

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.

Undeniable Recap of 2010

2010 was an eventful year for me.  As I was driving from Phoenix to my parents’ place in Sonoma, CA, I started reflecting on the highlights of the year.

  1. My Sister’s Wedding. This was hands-down the best day of the year.  I consider myself to be my sister’s little sister and her big brother so watching her get married to such a wonderful man was a very big deal.  I watched Morena marry the love of her life, Rick,  in a wedding that the two of them designed with hand-selected music and readings.  My sister, who is also a law student (super smart, editor of her law review), was stunning.  It was wonderful to meet her in-laws (who are awesome!) and reconnect with friends.  It was everything a wedding is supposed to be.
  2. Sponsor A Law Kid. I am often a person who has creative ideas but who is too afraid to put them into action.  I have to thank Kade Dworkin and Meet My Followers to inspiring this idea and the social media community for encouraging me in this endeavor.  When I posted the first #SALK blog, I thought, “I’m either a genius or crazy.”  I also thought about the advice I received from Sam Glover who said to think about the worst thing that could happen.  For #SALK, the worst thing that could happen was nothing.  To date, #SALK has sold 28 days and funded over $1000 of next semester’s education.

    Photo by Jeff Moriarty

  3. Jester’Z Improv Acting Class. I am a person who thrives in structure.  Most of my flashmobs and pranks are fairly planned out in advance.  This class put my classmates and I had no idea what was going to happen on stage or what scenario we would be asked to play out.  Taking this acting class pushed me think faster on my feet and to enjoy the simplicity of play.  It also gave me a reprieve from reality for three hours every week.  My friend, Jeff Moriarty, shot a snippet of my final showcase.  Per the audience’s suggestion, my classmate Linzi and I were supposed to be “pumped lawyers.”  Most of the audience did not know that I was in law school.  I love how happy I look in this video.
  4. Rock n Roll Half Marathon. I ran my first half marathon in 2010.  It was 2 hours and 9 minutes of masochistic fun.  It was hard, but I’m glad I did it, and I’m doing it again next year.
  5. Finding My Legal Niche. I solidified my decision to specialize in intellectual property and internet law this last year.  I’ve enjoyed so many of my classes in this area: Intellectual Property, Cyberspace Law, High Tech Licensing, Copyright, Trademark Law, and Privacy.  I’m looking forward to working with entrepreneurs through ASU’s Innovation Advancement Program next semester.

I had many firsts in 2010:

  • First internship at a big law firm
  • First internship with an in-house legal department
  • First half marathon
  • First trip to Ohio
  • First California roll (eww)
  • First guest appearance on a podcast
  • First painted toenails
  • First paintball game
  • First talk on a legal topic at a conference
  • First trip to the Firefly Room in the Phoenix Art Museum

I am excited for what’s to come in 2011.

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Best Birthday Present

I have a birthday coming up this month.  I’ve never been one to make a big deal out of my birthday, but I do like to do something special to celebrate.  When it comes to presents, I tend to prefer experiences and adventures over physical stuff.  Possessions are, for the most part, tools.  When I ask for stuff it’s either something I need or something I’d like but I wouldn’t pay for myself.

This past week I reflected back on my best birthday present ever.  It was the Saturday before I turned fifteen.    I had just gotten home from gymnastics practice.  My usual Saturday afternoon routine was to do my homework.  On that day, my parents had other plans.

Mom:  Go put on jeans and a t-shirt.
Me:  Why?
Mom:  Just do it.

It was a sunny California day and too hot for pants.  But I humored her and got changed.

Mom:  Get in the car.
Me:  Why?
Mom:  Just do it.

So now I was uncomfortably dressed and being kidnapped.  As we drove out of town, I was severely confused about what was going on.  I was very confused when we arrived at our little local airport.  We went into the airport’s main office and Mom went into the back office, leaving Dad and me in the lobby.

Me:  What are we doing here?  Am I going skydiving?
Dad:  No!  Your mother bought you a flying lesson.

I spent the next hour learning the basics of flying a Cessna airplane.  It was an incredible feeling to have the controls in my hands.  I’ve had other unique adventures including bungee jumping, flying a helicopter, white water rafting, shooting M-16s, taking road trips, hot air ballooning,  and skydiving.  Some of the big adventures on my lifetime to-do list are going to Easter Island, doing a handstand on Antarctica, and completing the coast-to-coast hike across England.

From all my adventures, I’ve learned that having possessions is nice, but the things that really matter are my experiences and the connections I have with other people.  I’m excited to see what the next year will bring.

New Adventure – New Bike

As part of my goal of being more active this summer, I bought a bike last week.  Debbie at Tempe Bicycle was wonderful with me.  When I walked into the shop and she asked what kind of bike I was looking for, I said, “Simple.”  I haven’t owned a bike in about fifteen years.  I just wanted something that I could easily ride to the store, the farmer’s market, the library, and along the canal.

Critical Mass SF July
Image by judemat via Flickr

We started with a “cruiser” bike.  It was cute, but riding it made me feel like Miss Gulch from the Wizard of Oz.  The handlebars were too wide set for my petite frame.  When I walked into the store, I didn’t think the brake style mattered, but I soon realized that hand brakes were a necessity.

The next bike I tried was a 21-speed mountain bike.  When she first showed it to me, I thought, “What do I need 21  speeds for?”  It was a good bike, but too fancy for me needs.

Then Debbie’s eyes lit up and said, “I’ve got the bike for you” and she rolled out another mountain bike.  It reminded me of Say Yes to the Dress when the consultant has an epiphany about what dress would be perfect for her bride.  It was a white 7-speed Haro Heartland bike, with a wide cushy seat for my bony butt.  I took it for a ride around the parking lot and I was in heaven.  When I came back into the shop Debbie asked what I thought, and I said, “I never thought I’d fall in love with a white bike.”  For some reason, I predicted my bike would be purple.

Tempe Bicycle and Debbie made sure I had everything I needed in terms of a good lock, wiring my seat to my frame so it can’t be easily stolen, a cord to lock my front tire to the back tire, and a good helmet.  I know drivers in Phoenix don’t see runners and rollerbladers.  I don’t expect them to notice me on my bike.

I’ve been on two bike rides so far – one to the store and one to church – almost 20 miles in all.  I’ve noticed that riding makes me feel like I’m more connected to my community and neighborhood.  Instead of being in my enclosed, music-filled car, I get to see, feel, hear, and smell my surroundings.  I notice the little things like whether a property owner keeps their vegetation cut back so it’s not encroaching on the sidewalk (note to owners: please trim your plants), what A-frame signs are in my path announcing yard sales, and what streets have a designated bike lane (thank you 15th Ave.).

I hope my bike becomes a primary mode of transportation for me.  Besides making me feel like I’m doing something good for myself physically, I’ve experienced an unexpected sensation of freedom when I’m riding.  I feel like it’s my break from the rat race and a respite from my cell phone and laptop.

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