Saturday, December 28, 2013

AIDS/LifeCycle 2014

And so it begins. 

I just put a repeating item called 'ALC training' on my calendar, for every Sunday from January 12th to May 17th. I've already taken the week of June 1st-7th off from work. Bill and I have already chatted about how I'm getting home from LA.

This is how one goes into the year knowing that the next 6 months will equal a lot of things. Hard work, time outside, singing show tunes with teammates. Sun screen, electrolytes, flat tires, the indignity of that one last hill that goes up and into the Presidio after the Golden Gate bridge. 90 miles done and one $&^%^&*%* hill to go. 

These things all feel routine, and known. It feels interesting going into AIDS/LifeCycle the second year because I know what to expect. What I'm grappling with this year is how to ask. How to ask you folks to support me again. And what I'm coming up with is how this event changed me. For example, Bill just told me he had never seen me give a dollar to a homeless person until after the ride last year. 

Generosity is a practice. Doing the ride last year helped me realize that I like doing things for others. Granted, I don't always feel like it. But I can practice and see how it feels.

So here we are at the end of the year and I'm going to ask you to practice generosity and see how it feels. Can you donate?

One thing to note about donating to ALC now is that it can help with your 2013 taxes. It will also give me a baseline of support for that last trudge up to the bridge. Knowing maybe I have raised $1500 for people who need medicine because they are sick. My total goal is $6,000. Last year I raised this and more. Right now I am at $496.

My fundraising plan for the year is this:

• If you donate $300 total by June 1st, I'll send you a drawing. (6) monthly donations of $50 will get you there by June.

• February 14th Have a Heart event at Mom's Body Shop.

On Valentine's day, you can get a $25 heart tattoo from Mom's Body Shop on Haight Street and all profits will go towards my ride. Last year, Mom's raised $1200 for ALC!! If you are in San Francisco, consider marking your calendar for this. There are a variety of hearts to choose from, and it is for a great cause.

See mine:

• In May, May, Dr Sketchy's 'Cute Girls on Bicycles' Annual event will be a fundraiser for ALC. Last year we raised over $600 with tips, giveaways and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

I'm riding for those who can't, for those who are sick, need care and deserve dignity. I'm riding for my teammate, Jonathan Baker, who took his life last month. We don't know why. I ride for Freddie Mercury who died of AIDS in 1991. He was an inspiration and I only hope that my light shines as bright as his. I ride so that the beneficiaries of these funds can bring hope and awareness, and possibly a cure.

Thank you for your generosity,

Click here to donate:

Thursday, December 05, 2013

NoNewClothing 2014?

An interesting chat with my therapist last night left me considering something. I started out talking about NoSugarNovember, and how I still feel like an addict and so I'm not going back to sugar. It feels like I still get plenty of it, because I'm still eating grains and plenty of foods contain sugar. For instance, we had Chinese food on Thanksgiving and I felt pretty jittery after that.

I was also talking about how B and I want to go to Thailand and Vietnam next year, and I've committed to ALC and a short tour of the Sierras. And how am I going to afford all of these things and also keep saving money per Mr. Money Mustache? Her take on it is that the experience of going to Thailand and Vietnam are worth putting off new custom shoes and any new clothing. And she mentioned a friend of hers who decided to not buy anything new for a year.

This is appealing for a lot of reasons. I feel like an addict when it comes to clothing. I do things that aren't quite right for my budget and sometimes I can't seem to help myself. I make excuses. I get depressed once I've done the thing because it effects everything afterwards. I justify it. It just doesn't feel clean and honest.

So a year without means it would be long enough to hopefully break the addiction.

When she first mentioned it I felt bummed out, because living without the creativity makes me feel sad. Style is important to me. But we talked about ways to put it into a creative context, like buying second hand and making allowances for making new things, and it changes it to a challenge. Also going on this trip is worth it. This also reminds me of The Uniform Project, which I really respected.

There are a lot of reasons to consider it.

I want AIDS/LifeCycle to cost less this year, I bought a lot of things this year that might be a little too big now, but I can alter them to fit.

It would be hard to not order any custom stuff, I have plans for new shoes. But I could make do with what I already have.

Pushing myself to be creative, rather than just consume, is very appealing. It's going Against the Stream.

This would be living within the boundaries of YNAB and Mr. Money Mustache, and this is something that I really want to do.

Am I ready? It's such a short time to 2014! Can I do it? Would you do it???