New Zealand

Big News! First Publication and a Move!

At last! I am pleased to share the first publication from On Your Radar Media Company, "A Cycling Adventure: Otago Central Rail Trail." It is available as a downloadable PDF by clicking on the image below. It is also on Adventures of American Julie (http://americanjulie.com).

The Otago Central Rail Trail is a terrific, accessible adventure on the South Island of New Zealand. You can bike or walk, and this guide gives you all the information you need to plan your own adventure.

It will hopefully be the first of many On Your Radar Media Company cycling and other travel publications. Let me know what you think of the format and if you have any questions I did not answer.

I am also moving to midtown Sacramento in the beginning of March. I am very excited about my new space in a newish apartment complex. I still have 2 bedrooms so there is a guest room. I am two floors above The Rind wine bar and on the same block as Buckhorn Grill. I will share more once I made the move. It is a new chapter in my redesign.

Travel theme: Minimalist

Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something.
— Nicholas Burroughs
New Zealand fern
New Zealand fern

What is enough? Answering this question has been key to maintaining my redesign this year. In 2011 I sold or gave away almost everything I owned to move to New Zealand. The move became a sabbatical, but the act of pruning my possessions and my obligations was life changing.

When I returned in 2012 I started a consulting firm with one client and worked about 20 hours a week. Gradually one client became two and the assignments for each client multiplied. There have been months where I have worked almost 160 hours. The money is great and I can always find ways to spend it or save it. However, I want my life to be in better balance than it was when I was a non-profit executive director. This means taking time to work on my own projects like this blog and riding my bike. Plus I travel about 8 weeks a year.

This requires knowing what is enough. Enough work. Enough money. Enough yarn. Enough books. Enough travel.

As a consultant who has to track my hours carefully, I have a tendency to monetize all of my time. Knowing what I need to make each month to pay my bills helps to lessen the temptation to work more than necessary.

The real point of pruning life of belongings and obligations is to make room for the things that really matter to you. And what if your work is what gives you your spark? Then being clear on the essentials will help to focus on your career goals.

Every end of year I spend some time reviewing the year, making goals for the next year. And since 2011 I try to glean my unneeded possessions. It is always easier as you put away your Christmas gifts to toss the items that are worn out or give away the items you have not used all year.

I do not harbor any anxiety as I do this, in part because I have practiced letting go of my stuff. And because I know the answer to the question: what is enough?

This blog post inspired by: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/12/26/travel-theme-minimalist/

Merry Christmas to All

Fiordland Crested Penguin  on west coast of South Island, New Zealand One of the many highlights of 2014 is viewing Fiordland Crested penguins at the Wilderness Lodge at Lake Moeraki on my most recent visit to New Zealand. I am thankful for many things in my very rich life. I hope this season provides an opportunity to count your blessings. I am counting 15 Fiordland Crested penguins among mine!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It is December... It must be time to reflect.

After many hours sitting on a St Heliers bench gazing at Rangitoto, I sat on this bench on Rangitoto gazing at St Heliers. I have been on a writing hiatus. Unplanned. I thought I would write every day while I was in New Zealand. Everyday was filled with good friends and family, good food and coffee and big adventures. I did not have much time to reflect or write. So the next few weeks will be dedicated to blogging, writing and reflection.

This jandal sacrificed to balance this bench on Rangitoto is a great metaphor: What in my life needs adjusting for 2015?

I am availing myself of a few tools. Michael Hyatt has a new 3 video series and a downloadable pdf called 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. I also plan to walk the labyrinth at Davis United Methodist Church and meet with my pastor Kelly Love. I am also going to answer Chris Guillebeau's two questions:  What went well this year? What did not go well this year?

And then set goals for 2015. And review my goals for 2014. How well did I do?

I am going to get creative about where I do this reflecting since I do not want to part with Lulu anymore this year. Any good ideas for finding time and quiet place admidst the holiday chaos and work life? Please offer them here.

Poem on Rangitoto bench

Celebrating 52 with my Family in St Heliers

If on Christmas Day 2011, when I left New Zealand heart-a-breakin, you had told me that I would return in 3 years with all of my children (including a newish son-in-law), I would not have believed you. My bank account was busted. I had no idea what was ahead. Today is my birthday and Thanksgiving in the USA. We are celebrating all day! Sarah, Marcos and Tevis on the ferry to Rangitoto