Relationships: Roller Coaster Ride or Cross-Country Skiing?

In terms of a relationship, would you prefer a roller coaster ride or cross-country skiing?

Let me explain a little further:

Roller Coaster Ride

A relationship that has a lot of ups and downs, unpredictable,  loopdie loops, fast and slow, good and bad would be a roller coaster ride.  Full of passion and excitement.  When it is good, it is really good… yet when it is bad, it is really bad.

Or…

Cross Country Skiing

Something even, stable, consistent, predictable.  Not much ups and downs, pretty much even keel. Can tend to get boring.  Comfortable with the status quo, not much spontaneity.  Firmly set boundaries, clear expectations and an even set of emotions.

 

There can be pros and cons for both sides.   Me,  personally… I would take the roller coaster ride any day.  Even though I may complain about some of the things that come along with it, I definitely prefer that over something predictable, dull.  Yet there can be something said for consistency, boundaries and clear expectations.  What about some balance in the middle, somewhere between extreme ups and downs of the roller coaster relationship and the evenness of the cross-country skiing relationship?

I have experienced both.  I was too bored with the cross country skiing.  I wished for more excitement, more spontaneity, wished he would show more passion and excitement.. about anything.  My roller coaster relationship is full of excitement.  I love how he gets excited over the smallest things, just like I do.  Sometimes the ups and downs are what make it what it is.  A roller coaster wouldn’t be the same without the hills and loops.

 

 

Would love to hear thoughts of others…

 

 

 

 

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B&E Day

With Eric in school and working a job with a very inconsistent schedule, there are very few days where we get to spend the whole day together.  While this is very difficult for me to get used to, I am trying to make the most of every moment we do get to spend together.

This past Sunday was the first day we have had together for a while and I fully intended to make the most of it!  We slept in and woke up by greeting each other with a “good morning” and “Happy B&E Day!” – Translation… for those of you who need it… Bobbi and Eric Day!

This makes me smile… below is Eric’s Facebook post about B&E Day:

Eric Brown

Awesome day ahead of us its B&E Day hmmm should of thought this though on the name we dubbed today….don’t worry we’re not going to break into any houses we’re not crackheads crack is wack and we’re no fools we’re cool and stay in school
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See, we were both pretty excited about it!  We had plans to go to the Greek Fest in Norfolk.  Sunday was the last day for it and we had been looking forward to it all week.  We made our special coffee for the road and made our way to Norfolk.  The weather was beautiful.  Sunny and warm.  Of course the Greek Fest was crowded and we had to stand in line as soon as we got there, but we didn’t care.  While standing in line we were able to listen to some great live music and performances on the stage in the main tent.  And even better, the beer guy came around and we got Greek Beer to drink while we waited in line.
I had already studied the a la cart menu and knew exactly what I wanted.  When we finally made it to the front of the line, here is what we got:
Greek Salad – Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, Greek peppers, feta cheese and Kalamata olives with Greek vinaigrette.
Dolmathes – Tender grape leaves stuffed with a rice filling and bathed in a tangy lemon sauce.
Spanakopita – A delicious phyllo pie made with spinach and feta cheese which is wrapped and baked to perfection.
Rice Pilaf – Rice prepared with a blend of spices and butter.
Yani Beanas – Greek style green beans, simmered with tomatoes, onions and Greek spices.
Baklava – A rich sweet pastry made with layers of chopped walnuts, phyllo, butter and spices then baked to perfection and covered with a honey-syrup.
Chocolate Dip – Greek cake with cream center covered in chocolate.
 Here is Eric enjoying Mythos Greek Beer!
After stuffing ourselves with all the delicious food, we walked around some, got another Greek beer and sat down and enjoyed the entertainment of Greek music and dancing.
After we had our fill of the Greek Fest, took the scenic route to the Oceanfront and met Sarah and Max at Watermans for some Orange Crushes.  And to our surprise, we got there just in time for Happy Hour!  We sat outside on the deck overlooking the ocean and just enjoyed the company and the delicious drinks.  After a couple of hours we decided to walk down to the ocean.  Feel the sand on our toes and the salty ocean water on our feet.  By then it had started to cool off a lot.  If it had been warmer I would have jumped in the ocean, clothes and all.  But I will save that for another day 🙂
We parted ways with our company, fed the meter so we had more time at our parking spot and just decided to take a little walk down the strip.  We did some window shopping, talked and enjoyed the walk.  By this time we had spent pretty much all the money we had allotted for the day with only a few dollars left in my pocket which we were going to try to save and bring back home with us… but no such luck!  We found a pizza place that sold pizza by the slice, so we got two slices of cheese pizza which was extremely delicious.  While walking back to the car we found yet another pizza place that sold by the slice so we looked at each other, smiled and headed inside to get more pizza.  Spontaneous and fun.  We just sampled two different pizza places along the strip to see which one we liked the best.    Of course, neither of us were hungry as we had been eating and drinking all day, but it was just fun and a spur of the moment thing, so we did it.
We then headed home and snuggled on the couch with our girls to catch up on some of our DVR tv shows, fell asleep on the couch and went to bed.
It was just so nice to have a full day together.  It is so easy to take advantage of things like that and take them for granted.  Before when we had all weekend together, every weekend I love it.  But now that our time together is much less frequent, we both try to make a point to make the most of it, cherish the time we do have and not take it for granted.
Now I am looking forward to our next B&E Day!

Buddha Day – A Special Kind Of Celebration

Friday May 24, 2013 is a very special day for those of the Buddhist faith.  Whether you are a Buddhist, or like me and just identify and believe in the loving compassion teachings of the Buddha, this is a day to acknowledge and celebrate.  Buddha Day, also known as Vesak, Vesakha or Wesak, is a celebration that encompasses the birth of the Buddha, his enlightenment Nirvana and his passing away, all on the same day.  This day falls on the full moon of the 5th month of the lunar calendar, varying dates each year.  This year it falls on May 24th.   Most Buddhist celebrations occur during the full moon.   This day is one of the most important observances and celebrations for Buddhists across the world.  Vesak offers Buddhists an opportunity to reflect on the life and teachings of the Buddha and also highlights the potential for inner peace and happiness that lies within us all as well as a day for Buddhists to reaffirm their commitment to living a moral and compassionate lifestyle.  As Eric reminds me, it is not how he died but it is a day to reflect on how he lived and the magnitude of his teachings, and that is the reason we celebrate.

“The significance of Vesak lies with the Buddha and his universal peace message to mankind.”
~Venerable Mahinda

Most Buddhist countries declare this day a Buddhist Holiday and a day to remember the significant events in Buddha’s life.  Many Buddhists acknowledge this event by visiting the Vihara, or Buddhist Monistary.  This could also simply mean a secluded place in which to walk, reflect and meditate if there is no Monistary close to visit.  During this visit to the Vihara, Buddhists would be dressed in white and bring flowers and incense or candles to pay respect to the Buddha.  These symbolic offerings are to be a reminder that just as the beautiful flowers wither and die and the candles soon burn out, so too is life subject to decay and destruction.  Many devout Buddhists would spend the day in the Vihara, from morning to night, taking a retreat from their daily schedule, meditating, chanting and participating in Dharma Talk or teachings of the Buddha.  In many Buddhist countries selling and consuming of meat and alcohol is prohibited during the week of Vesak and the government will even closes down all liquor shops and slaughter houses.   Birds, insects and animals are released by the thousands in a symbolic act of liberation, giving freedom to those in captivity and tortured against their will.  This is considered an act of generosity, symbolic of generating good karma. The act also symbolizes the Buddha’s compassion for all things.  While many sects of Buddhism typically calls for a vegetarian diet, there are also other sects which do not require this.  During this time Buddhists who are not vegetarian refrain from eating meat. Buddhists make a special effort to refrain from killing of any kind and are encouraged to eat only vegetarian food for the day.

To celebrate this day and the life and teachings of the Great Buddha, it is not necessary to go to a temple and participate in rituals if you can’t, don’t have access or would rather not.  Many would prefer a day or even a moment of solitary reflection.  It is not about the specifics in how one celebrates this day or the rituals performed, it is the simple act of recognizing  and expressing gratitude to the Buddha for the teachings he has given.  It is really all about personal preference and what is best for you as an individual.  Maybe some would prefer a simple ceremony in front of a small shrine at home, or maybe a brief reflection on the qualities and teachings of the Buddha along with meditation.

I have always admired and appreciated the teachings of Buddhism.  However, it wasn’t until I met Eric that I personally started to participate in any rituals or celebrations.  Prior to knowing him, I would only partake in my  only my solitary teachings/readings and meditations and a occasional visit to Kalpa Bhadra Kadampa Buddhist Center in Wichita, KS where I first met my Buddhist Nun Kelsang Namdrol.    Imagine my delight when I met Eric and found out he is Buddhist.  I was able to introduce him to the Buddhist center I loved so much and it turned into an experience we could share together, rather than something I did in solitary on my own.  Eric and I begun to discuss some of our Buddhist ideals and rituals and he taught me about the different days of celebrations as well as sharing his own personal rituals and ways to celebrate and give respect to the teachings with me.  He is the one who taught me about Buddha Day and all other Buddhist holidays and from there i researched to find out more.

For Eric, he will acknowledge and pay respect to this tradition and lifestyle by refraining from eating meat for the whole month of the holiday, taking it a step further than just abstaining for the day before, the day of and the day after.  On Buddha Day, we will have a special meditation in front of our shrine and read some of Buddha’s teachings together from our book.  However, with our hectic schedules we will not actually have our traditional ritualistic celebration until Sunday.  This is carried over from Eric’s rituals prior to knowing me.  I am honored to have him share these rituals with me and let me be a part of it so we can celebrate together.  We will have our Buddha Day feast consisting of Sushi (vegetarian sushi for me) and miso soup and green tea.  Then we will have our ceremony of reading from our Buddhism books together and meditating in front of our shrine.   I am so thankful, grateful and appreciative that Eric has shared his religion, tradition and rituals with me and we have incorporated this as part of our lifestyle together.

Even if you are not Buddhist or have never studied any of Buddha’s teachings, everyone can learn a lot from the Great and Wise Buddha.  In today’s society we are killing each other, we are killing our planet in which we live.  In my opinion, there is a huge lack of compassion and consideration in everyday human life.    What can we learn from Buddha?  That non-violent living is the way to go.  That we need more peace, love and compassion to create the positive energy our society is lacking, and to help promote good Karma throughout our lives.  We need to expel hatred, greed and stupidity from our lifestyles.

“He who lives only for pleasures, and whose soul is not in harmony, who considers not the food he eats, is idle, and has not the power of virtue — such a man is moved by mara (evil one), is moved by selfish temptations, even as a weak tree is shaken by the wind.”  Buddha

Never Lose Your Smile

I came home from the gym tonight and felt the desire to write.  While showering I thought of topics I wanted to write about. Nothing really came to mind, for once.

This is something I wrote a couple of days ago and wanted to share.  Because no matter what kind of a day I have had or what I am going through in life, I have one amazing man who can always make smile… even when I don’t want to!

Things that have made me smile in the past two weeks

  • Randomly (and spontaneously) driving to the liquor store to get coffee liquor to put in our coffees.  I just mentioned some Kahlua would be good in it, and off we were to the store!  Then stopped for pizza.  Spiked coffee and pizza for dinner.
  • Waking up the Friday morning before my b-day and he tells me “happy birthday eve”.
  • Surprise birthday card in the glove box of his car.
  • All of the b day spoiling – beach picnic, favorite Mexican restaurant, eastern shore day trip and a full day together to be lazy and re-cooperate.
  • Mentioning in a text that I wanted to make coffee before work, but was running late and didn’t have time… then when I get home from work he greets me at the door with a cup of yummy spiked coffee!
  • Leaving for a b day beach picnic and he grabbed me sweatshirt, without me even asking, so I had it with us if it got cold.
  • Having the kitchen cleaned up and cat litter cleaned when I get home.
  • That he stops to pick up litter or other things needed.
  • Trimmed facial hair
  • When he put his arm around my waist while we were cooking in the kitchen.
  • How he put his arm around me while sitting on the couch.
  • Tuesday make up wine night on Monday.
  • Random note taped to the bathroom mirror, reminding me every day how much he loves me.

Sometimes the smallest gestures mean the most.  Why does it seem that we are always seeking more?  Why is it sometimes so hard to realize and accept the small gestures and stop looking for something bigger?

I am trying really hard to learn to make the most of each day, and keep it positive.  To work on my shortcomings and be more patient with his, to better our relationship.

  1. Sometimes that bad things aren’t really as bad as you make them out to be in your head.
  2. Never compare your relationship to another couple.
  3. Cherish each minute you get with your loved ones.
  4. Do not take each other for granted and always make sure they know how much you love them.
  5. Remember that no relationship is perfect, if you expect for it to be you will only end up disappointed.

And one of my biggest hurdles… learning that I can’t control anything other than myself and how I react to situations.  No matter what I say, how I ask or what I do, I cannot expect someone else to act or think the way I would or the way I want them to.  Learn to let go.. let go of the control, expectations and disappointment.

So now, what I want to do is ….

Smile.  Dance in the rain.  Stomp in the puddles.  Jump in the ocean.  Ride a rollercoaster.  Smile, laugh, dance and let my spirit shine.

Promotions, Birthdays, Struggles and A New Start

Right now, I am drinking delicious coffee from my Nespresso machine that my mom got me for Christmas last year.   Oh how I love the deliciousness!  I had ran out of the coffee pods a couple of months ago and haven’t been able to have any in a while.  The pods are quite expensive.  So when mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I told her “More Nespresso Pods!”  Only tonight I am enjoying the secret ingredient of Kahlua!  And eating some leftover chocolate birthday cake.  Is it bad that I went out and bought myself a birthday cake?  And that I am fully planning on eating the entire thing all by myself?  🙂

Last week was bad and good… for many reasons.  With my birthday coming up, I found myself dealing with some mental struggles.  The worst part of the week was the troubles in my relationship.  Troubles so bad, in my mind, that I almost gave it all up.  I was left feeling unsatisfied, and losing hope that anything would change or get better.  However, we decided to put all of that aside and step away from the battered emotions we were both left with.  We would both spend some time thinking and regroup once our emotions weren’t so raw and the open wounds weren’t so exposed.  Our plan was to just celebrate!  Enjoy my birthday and make the most of our time together.  Time that we are not fortunate enough to have as much of together as we used to.

My birthday was wonderful! I got up Saturday and started drinking my traditional birthday mimosas, watched a movie and did my nails.  Eric got home from class and planned a birthday picnic on the beach.  It was a beautiful spring day to have a picnic! Oh yea, and I finally got to wear the new dress that Eric got me for an early birthday present!  We hung out on the beach for quite a long time then headed to my favorite Mexican restaurant, Ole, for drinks and dinner.  Jumbo mango margarita for me!  At some point Eric snuck and let our server know it was my birthday so they brought out the traditional sombrero to put on my head, sang me happy birthday an Spanish, and presented us with two tequila shots in these adorable cactus shot glasses!  What a fun night.  I am sure that my face turned as red as my hear, and the sombrero.  Before the end of the night, the owner brought us over two more tequila shots, on the house.

Sunday we got up early and headed to the Eastern Shore.  We had a date for a kayak ride and winery tour at Holly Grove Winery.  Definitely a day full of activities to add to our “something new every month” list.  We had a great time kayaking the waters, enjoying how peaceful and beautiful it was.  And enjoying our time together.  Before headed back home, we stopped in Cape Charles to eat at a fun little irish pub we like.  Monday, I had the day off.  We pretty much spent the entire day lounging around on the couch, recovering from a long weekend of fun, celebration, activities and excitement.

Another exciting part of my week – bittersweet – was that my supervisor let me know that he had gotten a new job and would be moving to DC.  The good news is that they offered me the promotion into his position!  I excitedly accepted!  I am proud of myself for being offered a promotion after only six months at the organization.  A promotion that means more work and more responsibility but I feel very confident and am up for the challenge!

For now, I am going to be working very hard to impress with this new promotion.  All is good on that front and I am excited to see what the future brings.  On the personal front – I still have some things to think about, some decisions to make and some conversations to have… when the time is right.

Rejoice in whatever life gives you.  Do not crave otherwise.  Know that whatever you have been given is for your own highest good.

The world spins without your help, people do what they do, and your life will run its course one way or the other.  Sometimes your plans don’t work out.  You can decide not to get upset, anxious, or angry about things over which you have no power.  You can choose to do your job and live your life with integrity, compassion, mindful observance, and a healthy sense of humor.

Maybe I had been looking at things all wrong.  Maybe I had been expecting too much.  Those are still thoughts I am contemplating.  Until things become more clear, I have decided that the best way to look at the struggles is to realize that I am blessed to have what I do.  And maybe I need to be more grateful and less demanding?  The best way to look at things, for the moment, is that we have been given another chance.  An opportunity to make a new start and to make the most of each and every moment.