Changes

I quit my job.

It wasn’t a quick decision. I wasn’t mad at my boss. I didn’t throw chairs or anything.

I just knew it was time to move on. Actually, I’d known that for quite a while, but I needed to feel like I was standing on solid ground when I made that big of a decision, and it took a while.

I want to work for myself. I want to be in charge of my own days. I am an extremely productive person when I’m doing what I love. The past few months I’ve been squeezing what I love into a few hours after my day job, and that’s made me a person I don’t like. I don’t sleep well. I’m cranky. I have headaches all the time.

Now I’ll have time to craft, to learn how to properly market my business. To work for other publications and earn what I deserve. And in a few weeks I will take a training course for Nia, which is an exercise class I’ve been taking for a while now. It takes me back to my dance background a little, which is fun. And most importantly it helps me let go of all the stresses in my life. It’s a wonderful thing. You should try it!

Am I scared? Um, yes. The first few months could be pretty rough. But I have done this before, and I have done this well. I just never looked at it as a full-time career, and now it’s all I can imagine doing. Funny how things work out.

I will miss my co-workers like crazy. I’ll miss the constant stream of new people I’ve met through my reporting job, and the way it pushes me to be more social and ask more questions. But this is the right thing to do. I know that now.

I’ll be at Juice through the end of the month. Then I’ll take a deep breath, walk into my home office, and start over.

Just thinking about it makes me smile.

Ode to ripe strawberries

I was so happy to find at last weekend’s farmers market that we’ve entered into that very short period of time when homegrown strawberries are ripe. They’re still a little tart, but the color alone is worth a few oohs and ahhs.

Last year I found a vendor, a berry farm, that sells jam in addition to fresh berries, and they have the most incredible strawberry jam you’ve ever tasted. Just look at how red it is.

I need to be alone with my toast now.

Butter says…

Some of you may recognize this guy from another blog.

He’s my friend Julie’s dog, Butter. Isn’t he cute? I think he was saying, “let me out of here so I can go back to my window and look for the mailman.”

Butter has it out for the mailman. Luckily he liked us. We gave lots of belly rubs.

Off to Chicago

I won’t be posting for a few days as I’ll be in Chicago visiting my sister and some other friends. I really haven’t been to the city since high school, and being this close I find that ridiculous! Airports and airport hotels where one is stranded overnight don’t count.

So, check back in a few days and hopefully I’ll have some new photos and stories to tell.

Goodbye to the Rocky Mountain News

It goes without saying that this past year has been a tough one to work for a newspaper. We already knew that the Internet had changed our business model for good, and not in a positive way (yet), but when the economy took a nosedive, it sped up the inevitable changes that a lot of us weren’t ready for. And what I mean by that is you’re never ready for someone to say that your job or your entire paper, will disappear.

That’s what happened to the staff at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver last week. A talented staff that put out an incredibly good paper. I applied to work there once, back in 2004. I gave a terrible interview, and the job wouldn’t have been right for me. But I did end up working for Scripps, their parent company. They laid me off, too, in 2005.

There’s a compelling part in the Rocky’s goodbye video, when one of their reporters says that even when they were getting bad news from the company, several people in the room were reaching for their notebooks to write it all down. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. If you’ve worked in a newsroom, you know that even though the papers are different and the towns are different, the people are always the same. There are the curmudgeons, the workaholics, the guy who always wears Hawaiian shirts. As much as you hate someone for slashing your beloved prose, you cry together when you hear bad news. The bottom line is that we want to work, we want to do what we love. And we don’t want to be unemployed for any amount of time while the industry figures itself out. These are times when it’s hard to keep your chin up.

All I can really say is that I hope the newsrooms of the future, with whatever technology they employ, can open their doors again and let us all tell the stories we were meant to tell.

Curtains

I recently got to help design a living room for our local home and garden show. It was a blast and the room looked fabulous, thanks to the furnishings of a local modern furniture store. But afterwards I felt kind of sad that my own home doesn’t have as much decoration as I would like. As renters we don’t feel firmly planted in the house so we don’t invest as much time and money in it as we might otherwise. But this is where I wake up everyday, and I want to love it for as long as I’m there.

So, I think one of the best and easiest ways to perk up the house is to make some curtains. I have a couple patterns from a Readymade article, and basic sewing skills. Does anyone else have a reliable pattern or fabric suggestions? Post a link!

Wishes for 2009

I was struggling to verbalize what I wanted for this new year, and I think I finally figured it out. I want to do more things that I can get excited about. I have been so busy, or stressed, or depressed about the economy and how that affects things I want to do. I think I had really forgotten by the end of last year a lot of things I love. Or I had forgotten to enjoy them. And I am really starting to realize that when you set yourself up to be happy, when you open the door to things you’re passionate about, those things tend to come in.

My business just gets my heart racing. I have remember that in all of the accounting and marketing and designing logos and such there is this artistry that is the whole reason I got started. I need to go back and live in that excited idea stage again.

Travel. That is something that has always made me love this life a little harder. And now I’m all jazzed about my (minimal) photography skills and how I can capture those trips. Last year’s summer trip was amazing, but it was so packed and stressful, and I have gotten soooo uptight about flying, I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I should have. Last night we sat down and planned out a year’s worth of possible trips, and it reminded me of those years, in college especially, when I couldn’t breathe unless I traveled constantly.

Money. Let’s face it, you cannot create happiness when you are weighed down by bad financial decisions and debt. I continue to make progress on that front, and I am tickled to think of where that will get me with future goals.

Love. It’s about the little things, isn’t it?

Exercise. I am tired, tired, tired of feeling like I can’t get in shape and stay there because of this or that time crunch, inconvenience, ailment. Brianne and I have joined the Y, which has multiple locations, free classes and a pool (!) so I can get my plumpy ass in shape. My next goal is to evaluate my schedule and find out how I can work out – yoga, nia, swimming, whatever without it causing me extreme stress, which always results in me giving up on it. Take this week, for example. When I realized what I had to do each day, there was almost no time whatsoever to actually get to the gym and work out. That’s not OK. I have to make some time. Finally conquering that would change so many things for me. I want to run the Bolder Boulder 10K in May. I want to do a day of Ragbrai with my dad. I want to pitch my size 12 jeans. Seriously.

Then there is the stuff, the literal stuff, that fills my life. I was shopping online for fabric the other day and just getting giddy over these adorable patterns. It made me think of my mom’s shopping rule: If you love it you have to buy it, and if you don’t, you can’t. I think I’ve spent a lot of time and money trying to collect things I supposedly needed instead of things I wanted. If it makes you feel good, in a genuine way, not a temporary way, that’s a good thing, right?

So, in short, I think I just want to be happier, more enthused, more smiley. I do, as always, want to wear a smaller size, but I’m more concerned with finding a positive way to do that. Sanity first, elliptical second.

It won’t be easy. Bad news comes in overwhelming waves these days. But I think we’re doing okay. In fact I think it’s that feeling of almost being swallowed by it that makes you want to give it the finger and live happier despite it.

Oh my

I love my dogs, but this cracks me up.