Friday!

South Bank flowers.

It’s Friday and Friday seems to be link round up day if you happen to have a blog. So lets try this out!

Thinking of signing up for this race. I’ve started running again in these “shoes”.

Working on this shawl with some yarn that I’ve had for several years.

Need to find some lamps for the bedroom and really like these, but not sure if I want to pay shipping. Most of our former lamps (all sold when we moved here) were less than $30 so this would be a big step up in spending on lighting for us. Although any decent lamp I’ve seen in Australia starts around AU$80-$100 and may not include a shade. Any clue what’s up with that? Anyone in Australia have store recommendations for home wares?

Looking at soap dish ideas on Etsy. Might make one? Possibly? Haven’t quite found one that I want to buy yet.

I’m a fan of simple earrings and covet these, these, and these on Scoutmob.

I’ve cut my hair before and I’m considering it again. This tutorial is spot on if you’re interesting in trying it yourself.

We’re going to a BBQ tomorrow and might see some koalas on Sunday. Enjoy your weekend!

None of these links are sponsored, it’s just stuff that I use myself or that I think are pretty/cool/useful/interesting.
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Baltimore Stop of the Art of Non-Conformity Book Tour

The Art of Non-Conformity and cookies!

Last night I attended Chris Guillebeau’s book tour. For those that don’t know about Chris, he’s the author of both the site and the book The Art of Non-Conformity.  His 97 day, 50 state, 10 Canadian province book tour is self funded.  When he’s not touring North America he’s traveling the world.   Chris’ goal is to visit all 192 countries by April 2013 when he turns 35. Why is he doing this? He’s living a remarkable life and encouraging others to live a remarkable life on their own terms as well.

This stop was a little bit different as it was hosted in a classroom at the University of Baltimore (afterward a small group adjoined to The Brewers Art, a local bar).  Thursday Bram helped to set this up and it was while talking to her that I realized just how much  I never want to work retail again.  So much so that I got really worked up and started crying.

I used to work for a national camera retail chain.  Like most retail stores that meant working weekends and certain holidays.  I was required to work Black Friday (in the US this it the day following Thanksgiving in November) which is a huge shopping day of madness with crazy sales. Employees were also required to work Christmas Eve, by which time I had always lost my voice from talking so much. Due to my required work schedule I was unable to see my family during the holidays for several years.  It was worse the year I worked as a manager. I became so stressed out I wasn’t sleeping well and I was not a nice person. When the chance came to work a 9-5 job I grabbed it with both hands.

My new job was a breath of fresh air.  Vacation between Xmas and New Years?  Not a problem, my bosses weren’t going to be in that week anyway. I was able to see my family, an 8 hour car drive away. Finally, I was able to make plans for dates more than two weeks in advance.  Weekends were mine to do whatever struck my fancy.The last two years working in an office has allowed me to mellow out again.  It also involved enough free time to explore the internet and find people like Chris.

Since college I have flirted with the idea of starting my own photography business.  Fear and insecurity has always gotten in my way. Last night I was introduced to several people, followers of Chris’ blog, who are living life on their own terms.  Doing work that they love. I met Jill Fellman, who provided cookies and water, who is a fitness instructor and has started her own company selling organic cookies that she bakes. I also met Liz and Ryan from elizabethryanphotography.com . What some amazing, generous people. And Happy.  The happiness was radiating from the 1,000,000 watt smiles on both Liz and Ryan. These are people who love what they do and where they are in life. Liz, Ryan, and Jill were kind enough to answer my questions about starting a business and the other various concerns I’ve had for a while.

Coincidentally, someone I knew from college showed up at the bar last night, just as things were winding down with the AONC group. A mutual friend had told me that this guy worked in town and I should look him up.  Well surprise! It turns out that he’s a lawyer in Baltimore.  He also volunteers with a local artist support group (can’t remember the name right now, will update later) by providing free legal advice to struggling artists.  Upon mentioning that I’m an artist, he asked me what do I need to know?!  Hello!  Big sign from the universe here!

Last night I couldn’t sleep.  Too many thoughts were going through my head, keeping me awake.  I finally fell asleep this morning, and while I’ve been in a fog for most of the day, the fear that I previously experienced when thinking about starting a business has all but disappeared.  There is still a little bit of fear.  But there is more excitement.

Thank you Chris, Thursday, Jill, Ryan, Liz, and all the others that showed up last night. (Jeff, I didn’t have a chance to talk to you last night, but you said some stuff that resonated with me.  Thanks for getting up there and sharing your story with us.)

New Goals

So my goal for the first part of 2010 was to finish the Broad Street Run on May 2.  I did this in 2 hours and 51 seconds.  I started my training in February using a run/walk training plan that I found in Born to Run (a great book about running, link to authors web site, will discuss more about this in another post).  I’ve cut back on my mileage since the race, and I’m trying to figure out what to do now.  There’s a duathlon in July I might try, 3 mile run, 17 mile bike, 3 mile run.  However, this lower mileage goal is not an excuse to slack off on the mileage/speed work.  I put in some hard work getting to the 10 miles and don’t want to lose all of it. The Philadelphia ING 1/2 Marathon looks very interesting for the fall.  

 I also want to work on my upper body strength without joining a gym.  I’ll be re-starting the 100 push ups routine.  I’ve tried this in the past, but no more that a two weeks at a time.  The pull up bar I bought for x-mas isn’t being used right now, since I’m not currently able to do even 1 pull up (not that I’ve ever been able to do a pull up).  I want to fix that as well… I’ll start by doing a modified pull up by putting my head under my desk hands on top and pulling my way up from there. 

photo taken by the sometime-in-the-future Mr. ExtraGrunty

I was so happy to see Mr. ExtraGrunty and friends at mile 5!  I look like a complete dork in my running gear, but it works for me. 🙂