• Day 24/90 – Freedom

    Day 24 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? Seeing how much freedom I have in my life.

    I love how genuinely content I look in this picture. Photo by Julia Kolsrud
    I love how genuinely content I look in this picture. Photo by Julia Kolsrud.

    I don’t mean to sound like I’m bragging, but my life is basically made of awesome. When I think about the ultimate goal of my professional life, the first word that comes to mind is “freedom.” Looking back on today, I’m on track to achieve that. In the long run, I hope to have the freedom and financial means to basically do whatever I want, but for now, I am very content with the amount of freedom I have in my life. I get to:

    • Hand select my clients,
    • Charge whatever I want,
    • Wear whatever I want to work,
    • Set my own hours,
    • Decide whether I’m working from home or in the office each day,
    • Run errands in the middle of the day if I feel like it,
    • Bring my dog to work,
    • Write books,
    • Speak professionally,
    • Write blog posts about whatever I want, and
    • Do whatever I want with my free time.

    If that doesn’t count is awesome, I don’t know what does.

    It is my life perfect? God no. It’s far from that; but given how happy I am, I know I’m on the right path.

    In case you missed it: Day 23 of the 90 Days of Awesome – The Satisfaction of Helping People!

  • 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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