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Category Archives: the most amazing things are free

Break a World Record!

I’ve been a fan of World Records my entire life. After I set my first World Record with RecordSetter in 2009 I knew I had found something special and was hooked.

Saturday, April 28 was declared World Record Day by RecordSetter and I jumped at the chance to organize and host an event to mark the day. Events of all sizes were being planned around the world.

Since I work in radio and love music, my first thought about the event was that it had to be music related. I came up with, “Most People Playing Musical Instruments at Once in a Parking Lot.” Thankfully, I have cool co-workers and an employer that promotes an environment of wackiness so I knew pulling off an event like this on a Saturday morning wouldn’t be deemed “work.”

When World Record Day arrived, it was cold here. And windy. Colder and windier than it had been in a long while. (My flowers and trees were in bloom, but there were flurries in the air). Still, determined World Record breakers showed up with instruments in hand and smiles on their faces. We brought the registration booth inside and huddled in the lobby of the radio station. At 9:50 am, we headed outside to the parking lot. About 5 minutes later, confident we wouldn’t freeze or blow away, we made a lot of noise, attracted plenty of attention from passing motorists, and broke a World Record live on the radio. As far as I know, no lips or fingers got stuck to any of the metal instruments. From toddlers to senior citizens playing everything from spoons to a didgeridoo, we were an eclectic group. And by 10 am, we were all World Record Breakers. Not bad for a Saturday morning.

The RecordSetter team is amazing. They’re innovative, creative, and I think, a bit wacky. I like wacky. To me, it says fun, ambitious, and brave. All of the their World Record breaking awesomeness couldn’t be contained to the web, and late last year, RecordSetter released the RecordSetter Book of World Records. I’m very proud to be included in this book!

In September, I’ll be setting more World Records during the 4th annual World Record Week on my radio show. And, my mind is already racing with thoughts on how to celebrate World Record Day in an even bigger way in 2013. Trust me, you’ll instantly be a lot more awesome when you put “World Record Holder” after your name!

89.3 K-Rock Rocks RecordSetter World Record Day 2012 – YouTube.

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Get Some Sleep

For nearly 2 weeks, I avoided any extraneous computer use. This posed a problem because I keep in touch with friends online, my job requires near constant use of social media, and I just enjoy plain old internet surfing. I was trying to clear my head space in order to get some sleep.

I love to stay up late. I normally fall asleep with ease, have vivid dreams I enjoy remembering, and wake up feeling rested. Occasionally, it may take me a little longer to fall asleep, but I quickly make up for the lost sleep the next night. For the last 2 weeks, however, I’ve been fighting for a solid slumber. Even after sleeping, I awoke not feeling rested and not energized for the day.

I have a small bag of ideas on how to fall asleep stored in my head at all times. I’ve either come up with them on a restless night or collected them from other people. The ideas are normally reserved for other people’s sleeplessness. In the last 2 weeks, I’ve tried them all, plus more. Counting up and down, counting various animals and objects, breathing techniques, writing on my bedside table notepad, relaxing scents, not eating near bedtime, drinking extra water, reading, not reading, watching TV, not watching TV, visualizing a single colour… and the list goes on.

After only a few days of not getting rest, I noticed a significant decline in my short-term memory, problem solving ability, and quick thinking skills. I didn’t feel like myself. Tasks and activities that I usually did without much thought took focus and concentration. My emotional responses to situations and people seemed out of whack. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to live with long-term sleeplessness.

Then, came sleep. Sweet, blissful, deep, restful sleep. I awoke one morning feeling like I had slept for days. I felt my eyes more open, my hearing sharper, my head clearer. My sleepy haze had cleared.

My boyfriend and friends asked me what was keeping me up at night. For the first time in my life, I had no clear answer to give. I still don’t. My best guess is a case of the winter blahs coupled with too many ideas and thoughts rolling around in my head at night. I’m just overwhelmingly happy that my sleep pattern has returned to normal. I’ve always known that sleep is incredibly important to our well-being. But, I’ve never taken my sleep seriously. Perhaps, I’ve been taking my good sleep for granted. No more.

I’ve made a pledge to myself that I’ll protect my sleep. I’ll guard my rest because it’s the most important ingredient in making my day a great one. No more caffeine after my morning coffee, more time spent with my own thoughts before my head hits the pillow, no more thinking about things beyond my control when it’s time for sleep… just a few of the protective measures I’ve told myself before but never fully followed. I’m also going to book myself some pampering and relaxation at the spa. It can’t hurt!

Sleep well!

Be Inspired by Someone Else’s Creativity

I’ve been a lover of Etsy for years, but only recently tried making an Etsy Treasury. I warn you now, once you start,  you won’t want to stop creating these beautiful sets of products themed by colour, style, mood, texture, pattern and so on. My first Treasury list was made only 8 days ago when I needed inspiration for a handmade home decor idea. (Purple by Melanie Sampson on Etsy)

I grew up with a deep appreciation for handmade things. Both sets of my grandparents did incredible work with their own hands and I was always encouraged to be creative as a child. Now, I find myself drawn to items with a story. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by so many creative people in my life. I don’t think that’s happened by accident.

Most creative people I’ve met say they draw inspiration from others. I also seek and draw inspiration from creative family, friends, people in my community, and now, strangers on the internet.

After I created my first Etsy Treasury I received messages from artisans I featured, and these people no longer felt like strangers. Looking at, admiring, or purchasing a handmade item creates a connection. Letting other people and their work inspire you allows your own ideas to grow and continue the creative cycle.

Write a Glowing Reference for Someone

A dear friend of mine is in the process of opening a new business and I couldn’t be more excited for her! She has the education, skills, motivation, and gumption to be a successful entrepreneur. She also has a mountain of paperwork to get through. One chunk of that paperwork is a set of reference letters. I was proud to be asked to write one of those letters for her.

I’ll be honest, I left completing the letter until the night before – tonight. I had started writing the letter last week but each time I sat down to finish it I found myself rambling then questioning every line. I had so many wonderful thoughts about my friend going through my head I wasn’t sure how to fit them all into one letter.

This wasn’t my first reference letter writing experience. However, it was the first where I felt I knew the person as a co-worker and as a close friend. The personal understanding I felt led to a deeper sense of responsibility to get this letter just right.

After 6 days, several edits, many frustrated sighs, numerous pauses to give my dog belly rubs, and at least 8.5 plays of The Black Keys’ El Camino record, I finally finished the letter. After I e-mailed the letter to my friend I felt silly and guilty for having taken so long to write it. I should have realized sooner how fun it was to trace my relationship with this person whom I met as a co-worker, built a wonderful friendship with, and now maintain a friendship with even though we no longer work together.

Writing the letter reminded me of the experiences we had both professionally and personally that helped us build our friendship. I was reminded of how much I learned from her while we worked together. I was reminded of how fortunate I am to count such an outstanding person as my friend. Perhaps, we should write down the qualities we admire in our friends more often.

I know my friend will be successful in her business venture and I listed all the reasons why in my letter. The next time I’m asked to write a personal reference (and I hope there will be a next time) I won’t leave it until the last-minute. I’ll just remember how great it felt to put into words how amazing my friends are.

p.s.

Evidence that this guy just loves belly rubs!

Step 1: Try Something New… like a blog

Welcome to my Guide To Being Amazing. If you’re living at peak amazing capacity, you’re clearly from the future and have read all my forthcoming blog posts.

If you’re still trying to reach your peak level of amazing, welcome! I am also on a journey toward amazing. I have stumbled upon many amazing things between the time I was a newborn and now. Every day I continue to find new sources of amazing. My goal with this Guide To Being Amazing is to share these amazing things with you.

Let’s learn, try, and live amazing things together.

– Mel