New Year’s Resolutions

I had two New Year resolutions. The first was to stay in contact with people better (phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, coffee dates, etc.), and the second was to go see at least one show per week.

These are pretty simple, easy, and realistic resolutions right? It’s not like I wanted to lose 30 pounds by February, it’s not like I wanted to bike across Canada this year… wait.

But they’re proving slightly harder than I had thought. I always have a million excuses to not go to shows – I have to get up early/I’m too tired/I can’t afford it right now/it’s so far/it’s way too cold to go outside today. And I always have a thousand excuses to not contact someone – I don’t have time right now/I’m too hungry to carry on a thoughtful conversation/I was really keen on watching that movie again tonight instead of doing anything productive.

The result is that my resolutions are being successful but only in bursts. For example, I didn’t go to any shows last week, but this week I’m performing in 4. Last weekend I placed a phone call/visit to pretty much everyone I care about (sorry, anyone who didn’t get a call last week, better luck next week), and then I’ve done almost nothing this week. So, although very inconsistent, it’s getting done.

That counts, right?

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Biking, again

I went out with a friend who I haven’t seen in about a month. He asked me if I thought it was reasonable for him to ride 180 km in a day, from Toronto up to his cottage somewhere north of Toronto.
Um, sure. Why not? Except that 180 km is really far, and is more than I’ve ridden in a single day (but only 25km further). Still though, if you did it without gear and set out really early and had a place to stop to get massive amounts of food, it should be possible.
Naturally, I invited myself along for the ride. This sounds too good to pass up. An amazingly long day of bike riding, then a weekend at a cottage, and then an amazingly long bike ride back? This sounds like my kind of vacation. That’s not sarcasm, it really does sound like the ideal kind of vacation. In the summer, of course.
If only I could find a way to make money doing this, it would be my full time job.

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Podcamp Toronto

Come out to see Podcamp Toronto! It’s a fun-filled weekend where podcasters, bloggers, social media gurus, and generally amazing people get together to talk shop – join in!

And while you’re at it, why not vote for my session? My talk is called “Blogging Across Canada” – guess what it’s about?!?

But I need your help! Registered attendees (it’s free to register, by the way), get to vote for who they want to see, so get voting! 

Career counselling

I’m seeing a career counselor. It’s pretty awesome and I’m realizing quite a bit of stuff about myself – like what an awesome procrastinator I am. Yep, that came up.

She asked me to complete a personality test, and also an interest test, and analyzed the information gathered. Before I even started the tests, I was asked to select a gender.

Call me crazy, but should my gender really influence my career interests in 2014?

I mentioned to my mother that I was seeing a career counselor and she told me about the career aptitude tests she was made to take in grade school. In her day (let’s say sometime before the 80s), girls were handed a pink aptitude test, and boys were handed a blue aptitude test. Those with similar interests would receive different job recommendations based on their gender. So, for example, while boys would have a strong aptitude for being a doctor, a girl with similar aptitudes might get a nurse, or nurse’s assistant, as an ideal profession.

The results of my interests test was compared to the interests tests of successful and career-satisfied women in several fields, and then used to make a recommendation of a career that might interest me. So, for example, if my interests were similar to those of a female architect (who is very happy and fulfilled in her career), the program would recommend that I consider a career as an architect.

But what if I had selected that I was male (instead of female)? Instead of recommending that I try out a career as an advertising account manager, would it recommend that I be a business leader? An engineer? A male model?

And along those lines (this, folks, is what we call a tangent), what about the career paths not on the test? What if I want to be a phone sex operator, or an exotic dancer? Or a serial killer? Or the person who screws lids on the toothpaste tubes? Or a circus performer? Or a vagrant? Surely there are people out there with the personality, interests, and aptitude for those careers. I guess these tests are designed for main stream careers. Want to be a high-fashion model? Oh, sorry, the test doesn’t have that as an option. Have you considered accounting?

 

Experts

I was recently contacted by a guy interested in doing a similar bike ride in the summer of 2014. He was looking for advice on eating, packing, gear, routes, and general advice. The result was a 500 word email of pure ramblings about everything from practising setting up your tent and stove before you leave, to which route to take through northern Ontario. 
This makes the idea of publishing a book all the more palatable.
I was approached by another two cross-Canada cyclists about self-publishing a book-sized document about riding a bicycle across the country (or, really, any long distance). We want to gear the book specifically toward women, because many times along the trip, we three women (who all rode independently) were approached by people wondering why we would be so crazy as to embark on a trip on our own when it’s so dangerous!
We will tackle what to do to prepare for such a trip, what to expect at the beginning, middle, and end of the trip, and some fun stories from the road. Our trips were all slightly different, so I think the book will offer some nice insights and options, and some ideas for how to really make the trip your own. 
That’s the plan, anyway. I’ve realized that in order to do this I must actually start writing on a fairly consistent basis. Really, I have to form better habits. This is why I am writing this here – now that’s it’s public knowledge, I want people to shame me into writing more often. “What? You haven’t done anything all week? Were you doing something more important? Oh, just watching movies and reading a book, I see. Well, stop being a lazy person and get to work!” Folks, that’s what I’m looking for here. But for now, I’ve written a full blog post today! That’s got to earn me at least an hour of relaxation, right?