Monday, March 4, 2019

Life so far

“Do you miss it at all?”

That’s the question that we get every time we tell someone we moved from Arvada to Grand Junction. 

The answer is always the same, we smile and we say, “No.”

But the real answer is a little more complicated. 

We’ve been in Grand Junction almost a month now and had some time to adjust to our new surroundings. 

Neither of us had been to Grand Junction before we moved here, but that didn’t scare me. 

When I moved to Colorado I had never set foot on the ground here and yet, after flight attendant training, that’s where I found myself based.

I left Birmingham, Alabama….the only home I’d ever known, left my friends, my family, my apartment, my car and even my dog and set off for a new adventure.

At least moving to Grand Junction didn’t mean a cross-country trip. 

So here’s what I miss about Arvada:

I miss our friends. I miss my daughter’s school. I miss Costco. I miss our mini-farm. 

I miss teaching at The Freyja Project and my friends there. I miss poke bowls. 

I miss driving to work and not having to pay for parking. I miss the breweries.

That’s really the bulk of what I miss. Overall life here is great. 

We have a way better house that’s not off a busy road and is quiet inside. 

We have views for days and great walks around our neighborhood. It takes us 45 minutes to drive to the closest ski resort and costs $160 total for all of us to ski. 

No lift lines or traffic. 

Colorado National Monument is 25 minutes away and there’s never anyone crowding the trails or parking. 

I can take all the photos I want and not be bothered. I love having a soaking tub in my bathroom. 

I love having a closet that actually fits all my clothing. I found a yoga studio what has 25 people in class even at 9:15am on a Tuesday and everyone is friendly and parking is free. It takes 10 minutes to drive around town. My daughter’s school is easy to get in and out of...the staff and parents are nice and they all raise the flag together on Friday and say the pledge of allegiance on the lawn. The principal then wishes the kids happy birthday that have birthdays that week. 

I actually don’t mind having friends right now. Not having friends close means I don’t feel obligated to hang out with anyone during the weekday or on weekends. 

When I meet people I can be whoever I want. I have no reputation and nothing to live up to. 

I have places here in mind to run retreats and Daycations and not nearly the competition I had in Denver. 

Yesterday we drove to Fruita and went and swam at the community rec center. We got library cards. We bought a hot tub and new couches. People here are generally nicer. We’ve been able to reinvent ourselves here and start over with a new house, less clutter, new school and new routine. 

I never thought I’d be starting over at this point in our lives, but if you don’t take opportunities when the universe presents them to you then you can’t live up to your full potential. For years we said we wanted to move closer to the things we love - hiking, skiing, biking, Utah, National Parks, Telluride, Ouray, hot springs, a simple life. We talked about it and dreamed about it and imagined what that would look like but we thought that this was something we’d be doing 20-30 years from now. When the opportunity presented itself to move, it was like the universe was saying, “OK here’s what you’ve been asking for, now what are you willing to sacrifice for it?” We had to move, to give up some belongings, to sell our animals and some furniture. We had to say good-bye to our friends and some comforts like being close to an International Airport. We had to decide if all those things were worth trading in for an opportunity to live the life we always wanted. 

And we had to say yes.

You can’t be scared to do something just because it’s uncomfortable. If I had been scared to leave Alabama I’d never know all the people I know now. 

It’s hard to picture what my life would have been like had I stayed in the south. Where I would have worked, who I would have married or what friends or kids I might have had. 

I’ll never know that life because that’s not what I chose. And the same is true now. Chad and I and Charlotte will never know the life we would have had if we had stayed in Arvada. 

Where we would have ended up, what new friends we would have made or how Charlotte would have progressed in school. Maybe everything would have stayed the same but we all just grew older. 

Going to the same grocery store and restaurants and me flying the same schedule. Teaching at the same studio and Chad driving out to do the same work for his job. Over and over. 

Every day until we retired or died….whatever would have come first.

But we chose another path. 

The path of uncertainty and a little anxiety and worry. I hope I’m sitting at this computer 10-20 years from now and looking back on that choice and how it propelled us into a life that I can’t quite picture yet. 

All I know is, this gamble has paid off before and we’re risk takers...and we’re betting it will pay off again. 

As Chad always says, “you can’t win the lottery if you don’t play” and even if we don’t hit the jackpot(although it certainly feels like we have so far)
it beats the hell out of never playing this game
called life.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Using @Justworks_hr to #WorkFearlessly


One of my New Year's Resolutions has been to grow my retreat business. In order to be able to run more retreats in the future I have to look in to hiring employees. I've always been hesitant to hire employees and photographers, however, because I wasn't sure how to manage a payroll, benefits, time-off, and all the nitty gritty that goes with having a staff. When I learned about Justworks, I felt I had finally found the answers to all my small business questions. The plan pricing allows me to pick based on how many employees I have, so I'm not paying the price for 100 when I only have 2-4. The Basic plan includes Payroll, Compliance, and HR tools and includes unlimited contractor payments, unlimited vendor payments and more plus 24/7. Support is something I need to grow my business and I feel that from the moment I log on to their website. Since I use a lot of different vendors when putting together my retreats I can easily make all the domestic payments I need at no additional cost. Another feature I love is how I can pay remote employees, salaried, hourly, full-time and part-time. No matter who I hire or where they live I can take care of payments after they take care of their work for me!

I know so many yoga studio owners who spend the majority of their time working on payroll, writing checks, and getting frustrated when their teachers fail to pick up their checks or cash them on time. Justworks would be the perfect addition to their business plans so they could easily keep track of payments. These studio owners can even make payday extra special because Justworks sends out a "You got paid," email with the information their teachers have elected to receive. I know, as a yoga teacher myself, I would love the ability to get paid across multiple bank accounts and view my payment details on my electronic paystubs. I've been recommending Justworks to every studio owner I know who could benefit from taking advantage of this service!

It's easy to get started and #WorkFearlessly with Justworks. Just go to their website, watch the video on the home page and get started. You can even request a demo so there's no risk to try. My favorite part? The cute little robot icon that greets you when you sign on asking, "Can we get started on a benefits quote?" From the moment I visited the Justworks website I felt at ease and ready to use the resources provided to take my business to the next level.

Letting Justworks do the work for me while I focus on the other aspects of my business I enjoy!
I feel at ease knowing Justworks is working for me!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Havasuapi Reservations 2019

The official website for permits for Havasupai permits for 2019 has just released information on pricing for this year. Unlike previous years you can now only book 3 night 4 day stays at the campground. The pricing is $100 per person per night but on weekends and holidays that increases to $125. So an average weekday trip for one person will now be $300 which includes your campground stay, permit and fees. Also, only one name can now be on the reservation so anyone joining you must arrive with you to the Office of Tourism to obtain their wristband. There will be no phone reservations this year.

It is recommended you set up an account on the Havasupai permit website listed above that way when they become available on February 1st at 8am (Arizona time) you can easily pick your dates and purchase.

The increase from last year, and the mandatory 3 night stay will surely have some rethinking their travel plans. We really enjoyed the trip and are considering a return one but we also know we could put that money towards a trip to someplace we have never been before. The area is stunning and worth the journey, but there's also the cost to get to the reservation, the items needed for the backpacking trip and the time off work to consider.

If you've been before do you think it's worth the price? Or if you haven't been would this increase deter you from traveling to Havasuapi?