Summer of Fun

I am determined to make this a summer filled with fun and excitement.  I plan to have new experiences, try things I have been wanting to, and do things I have always loved doing.  Whether I get to share these experiences with Eric, friends, or alone… I am determined to make it happen.  And when I get determined… you know what happens 🙂

beach, fun, people, summer, sunset

  • Rock Climbing
  • Roller Skating
  • Run the color vibe run – make it fun, and experience, a memory, not just a run – Completed this July 20, 2013.  I had an awesome time with two of my most favorite ladies in the entire world.  Hanging out in the parking lot at 8am drinking bloody Mary’s waiting for the run to start.   It was a super hot July day and we all three were drained by the end of the race but had an incredible time.  After the run we headed to the beach and jumped in the ocean, fully clothed, to cool off and wash some of the color off of us.  After splashing around in the ocean and acting like kids at heart, we walked back to Sarah’s place and had a picnic on her porch of salad, pasta and water.  We felt so dehydrated after the day that neither of us wanted any wine or alcohol.  After a day filled with fun, sun and excitement, I headed home for a much needed nap!
  • Lots of concerts and music, live and local.  Even cover bands – Wen to see Marilyn Manson with Sarah and Maxx.  Walked down to Papa’s pub by myself one night to catch a cover band.  Cover band was actually pretty good and played a lot of good music that I actually enjoyed.
  • Lots of beach days
  • More tree climbing
  • Girls weekend away
  • Get on a consistent work out schedule and get back into shape
  • Go to the winery with Sarah and Ashley
  • Make a visit to the Buddhist Meditation Center in either VB or Norfolk
  • Lots of weekend bloody mary brunches
  • Camping  – Eric and I went camping at First Landing State Park for our Summer Solstice Celebration and had an amazingly excellent time!  It was just about the perfect camping trip!
  • Try to get more comfortable going to bars alone like I used to do in Wichita – Doing better with this also.  Madd Hatter played at a new bar, Krossroads one night.  I headed out alone and got there early for happy hour.  Of course I ran into a ton of people I knew there so I wasn’t really alone, but I did go alone.  One night when I was without a car I walked down to Papa’s Pub alone to hear the cover band they had playing and have some drinks.  I spend the majority of the night alone, just enjoying myself.  Then eric came after class to meet up with me and drive me home.
  • Weekday trips to Busch Gardens
  • new tattoo
  • Watch the sunrise at the beach
  • Write more
  • Hiking and picnic at First Landing
  • Budget my money better so that I have funds to do the things I want to do
  • day drinking with my favorite people
  • Pick back up my “something new once a month” thing
  • Sing at karaoke
  • Find romance again
  • Find my new “chalet”
  • Reconnect with my strength and power again
  • Grow and strengthen the bonds I have created with some very special people I have met in the past year or so through time together, sharing experiences and memories, trust and love.
  • Open myself up to meeting new people
  • Spontaneous day trips.  Just get up and go
  • … fix my damn car… so I am free do to do all the things I want to do, without worrying about being broken down in the middle of nowhere. – Car is fixed!!
  • Weekend trip to WV to visit family – after car is fixed
  • Get back into meditation like I used to
  • Fight to keep Tuesday nights alive and exciting, no matter what

But MOST importantly, one of my biggest goals is to reconnect with the happy, easy going, fun, crazy, free spirit within me that I used to love so much.  She currently peaks her head out every once in a while, but I want her back consistently, for good. That means letting go of some of the stress and worry in my life.  The wants that I can’t have, the hopes that are hopeless.  It is hard to let go of things that I want so badly, but I am realizing that sometimes I have no choice, no control over the situation or the outcome.
I have a lot of thoughts in my head, a lot of conflict, a lot of decision making that needs to happen.  But none of that I am ready for just yet.  What I am ready for is to open up this box and let Bobbi out, full force!

The Instinct of Conformity

I just watched a movie from Redbox called Mental and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Here is a song from the movie that I wanted to share.  Instinctive Conformity by Sam Clark.

She’s The Best (Instinct Of Conformity)

She’s the best! Who would’ve guessed?
They want to own her so they can clone her
The Scientists just can’t resist
A girl like this who ain’t neuro-typical

She doesn’t know what she does to me
Born without the instinct of conformity
She ain’t normal just different shades of Mental
the fact that we met could not be accidental

And maybe she’s not the solution
But she’s the next step in human evolution

She’s the best! Who would’ve guessed?
I got impressed as she got undressed and she
Has something more or something less
I’m told she’s crazy, but I think she’s the best

Ohhhhhhh ohhhhhhh

She doesn’t know what she’s done to me
Born again I’m losing my conformity
She makes me feel funny in the tummy
Like Cinderella, Santa, Snow White and The Easter Bunny

And maybe she’s not the solution
But she’s the next step in human evolution

She’s the best! Who would’ve guessed?
I got impressed as she got undressed and she
Has something more or something less
I’m told she’s crazy, but I think she’s the best

Ohhhhhhh ohhhhhhh

I choose her first every time, I said
I choose her first every time, I said
I choose her first every time, I said
I choose her first every night, hey

Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group.

“Conformity—the natural instinct to passively yield to that vague something recognized as authority.”   ―     Mark Twain

First, as soon as the off beat, quirky character in the movie mentioned the instinct of conformity I was immediately more interested.  Then the song played in the background and I loved it.  It made me think of myself.  Now that I am older, I have learned to embrace my individuality, my quirky like behaviors, and the things that other people might consider “crazy”.   However when I was younger, I was always the odd ball.  The one people made fun of.  I marched by the beat of my own drum, and still do!  I didn’t let that instinct that most people have … called conformity, take over.

Enjoy the song, and the lyrics.  And no matter what, be who you truly are.  Never follow the crowd.  Be your own person and make your own rules.  The more true you are to yourself the more satisfied you will be with your life in the long run.

Animals in Hot Cars – Extremely Important to Read and Share

Anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to animals, I have very strong opinions and will not hesitate to speak my mind.   Now that the weather is starting to get warmer,  I want to make sure people know how imperative it is that you do not leave your dog, or any other animal (or child for that matter) in the car alone.  Even if it is your intention to just “run into the store” to pick up something quickly, you never know what can happen to delay you.  You may bet caught up in a long line, or price check problems, or a multitude of circumstances that could delay your return to your fur friend locked in the car.  For this reason, I say that no length of time is alright.

This following picture is what sparked the debate on facebook.  It was posted on a the page of a radio station, I believe, with the caption of “What do you think, would you do the same thing?”

I was so infuriated by some of the comments on this site about this picture.  People were saying how this person should be arrested for breaking and entering, trespassing and larceny.  Are you kidding me?  This person should be commended and thanked and thought of as a hero who potentially saved this dog’s live, not a criminal.

Sometimes I have a hard time remembering that not everyone thinks the same way I do, or has the same compassion towards other living beings as I do.  But to me, this should be common sense.  How is it not?  How can anyone think it was okay to leave their companion animal alone in a hot car, for any amount of time?… An animal who you love and share your home and life with.

It is also very important to know what to do, as a citizen and compassionate person, if you see an animal alone in a car on a hot day.  Please do not turn the other cheek and walk away.  Please do the right thing.  If you are not comfortable  enough to do what the person above did then call the authorities.  Do not leave the dog alone.  Wait until help arrives before leaving.

Here is a link to a great, informative article.  Also, below I have copied and quoted it as well.  I feel the information is too important to try to rewrite so I am coping it word for word.

http://www.peta.org/issues/companion-animals/dog-hot-car.aspx

Dogs in Hot Cars

Every year, dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car—even for “just a minute”—while they run an errand. Parked cars are deathtraps for dogs: On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads.

If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. Have the owner paged in the nearest buildings, or call local humane authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog. Don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.

If the authorities are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back up your assessment, take steps to remove the suffering animal from the car, and then wait for authorities to arrive.

Watch for heatstroke symptoms such as restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lack of coordination. If a dog shows any of these symptoms, get him or her out of the heat, preferably into an air-conditioned vehicle, and then to a veterinarian immediately. If you are unable to transport the dog yourself, take him or her into an air-conditioned building if possible and call animal control: Tell them it is an emergency.

Provide water to drink, and if possible spray the dog with a garden hose or immerse him or her in a tub of cool (but not iced) water for up to two minutes in order to lower the body temperature gradually. You can also place the dog in front of an electric fan. Applying cool, wet towels to the groin area, stomach, chest, and paws can also help. Be careful not to use ice or cold water, and don’t overcool the animal.

PETA offers leaflets that can be placed on vehicles to remind people never to leave unattended animals inside. For information on ordering PETA’s “Don’t Let Your Dog Get Hot Under the Collar” leaflet, please click here.

Simon Cowell stars in PETA’s public service announcement (PSA) informing viewers of the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars. You can help spread the message by contacting us at ActionTeam@peta.org or 757-622-7382 for information on how to get the PSA aired on your local television stations.”

Do the right thing if you see this.  Read this and please pass it on.  This is something everyone should read and understand.  It is a matter of life or death.

What is a Relationship Without Communication?

Communication seems like an idea that should be so easy, like common sense even.  However, that is so far from the truth.  Communication is a vital part of our everyday interaction with everyone we come into contact with.  And it is even more vital in terms of relationships with your partner or significant other, whether it be your husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend.

How many times in your relationship have you had a fight or an argument with your partner, only to realize when it was all said and done that it was only a simple little miscommunication? You misunderstood something he said, or took it the wrong way.  He took something you said out of context and didn’t truly understand your meaning behind it all.

It is so easy to have the perception that you and your partner are on the same page, but when it comes down to it the two of you are thinking and feeling something completely different.  How do you ensure that you are truly on the same page, and not just think that you are?

There are always those topics that you dread bringing up or getting into.  Sometimes those topics that are the hardest to talk about are the ones that you really NEED to talk about.

Communication is a skill that needs to be developed and strengthened.   This could be one of the major contributors  as to why so many relationships are failing.   People do not know how to communicate clearly.   Communication is dying.  miscommunication then leads to a misunderstanding, most often leading to hurt feelings.    When feelings and emotions are involved it can often develop into anger, defensiveness and justification.  Sometimes even leading to a break down in the relationship that could have been avoided if communication were stronger between the two involved.

Often times a conflict in beliefs or ideas can create a situation leading to miscommunication.  Each person is completely unique mentally and emotionally and unless we can help our partner to understand where we are coming from and why we are feeling the way we are, miscommunications are inevitable.  A lot of times it is not about the bit of information that was miscommunicated or misunderstood, sometimes it is about how the situation is handled.  Rather then get angry or frustrated about it, step back and try to understand it.  How the situation is handled can make all the difference.  Anger, yelling and cursing at the other person does no good, but only serves to make things worse.  Do not let your anger take over.  Another point to consider is that sometimes when it comes to a conflict in beliefs or ideas, you may just have to agree to disagree.  Be able to come to a compromise or agreement of some sort that works for the both of you.  It is not always possible or realistic for each person involved to get exactly what they hope for.  This is when compromise is important.

I believe that it is easy to neglect something like communication in a relationship, or begin to take someone for granted because you may think that our partner will “always” be around.  Sometimes you may neglect to focus on empathy or putting yourself in the other’s shoes.    When two people are in a loving and committed relationship i think it is important to always think of and consider the other’s feelings and thoughts in every situation.  Everything that you do and every decision that you make has the potential to effect the other, whether directly or indirectly, positively or negatively.  It is important to have an understanding of that and remember how important it is in helping to ward off conflict.

When there is a break in communication, a misunderstanding can cause a lot of problems and emotional upset.  For some people the first reaction after a misunderstanding is to just let it go, brush it under the rug and forget about it.   When you do this, these misunderstandings hardly ever get resolved and lead to even more upset, getting worse over time, which in turn can create feelings of resentment and a lack of connectedness.   No one wants to feel a disconnect from their partner.   This is something that needs to be addressed and cleared up so it does not grow and grow into something so big it gets out of hand.

So many problems are caused by a simple misunderstanding.  Problems that possibly grow into something bigger and bigger.  If only we could all communicate better and avoid these misunderstandings in the first place.  When i feel confused or upset about an issue, my first reaction is to try to understand it, to try to get more information about it so i can better understand what is going on.  Ask questions, reiterate what your partner is saying in your own words to make sure you understand what they are saying.  It’s not just about hearing what is being said, it is about actually listening and understanding the information.

Communication can be such a subjective thing, being more about perception than actual fact.  I was in a training on communication in the past and the presenter had a couple of exercises for us that i found pretty interesting.  In one exercise she gave us all a blank sheet of paper.  She asked us all to close our eyes and follow her directions.  Her directions were simple;  1) fold the paper in half. 2) fold it in half again 3) now tear off the right corner 4) flip it over and tear off the other corner.  That was all there was to it.  Simple, easy directions.  However when we all opened our eyes we found that everyone’s paper looked different.  Some people had holes in the center, some on the edges.  Even though everyone was following the same directions, their perception of it was different.  Another aspect was the detail.  Some of the information was not detailed enough to get the full picture.  We did not know to fold the paper in half lengthwise or which corner to tear off.  If there had been more detail, there would have been less miscommunication.  This is just an example of how communication can vary, and putting it into a visual example was truly very interesting.

I found some tips on About.com on successful communication skills.

“Conflict in a relationship is virtually inevitable. In itself, conflict isn’t a problem; how it’s handled, however, can bring people together or tear them apart. Poor communication skills, disagreements and misunderstandings can be a source of anger and distance, or a springboard to a stronger relationship and happier future. Next time you’re dealing with conflict, keep these tips on effective communication skills in mind and you can create a more positive outcome.”

 Stay Focused: Sometimes it’s tempting to bring up past seemingly related conflicts when dealing with current ones. Unfortunately, this often clouds the issue and makes finding mutual understanding and a solution to the current issueless likely, and makes the whole discussion more taxing and even confusing. Try not to bring up past hurts or other topics. Stay focused on the present, your feelings, understanding one another and finding a solution.

Listen Carefully: People often think they’re listening, but are really thinking about what they’re going to say next when the other person stops talking. Truly effective communication goes both ways. While it might be difficult, try really listening to what your partner is saying. Don’t interrupt. Don’t get defensive. Just hear them and reflect back what they’re saying so they know you’ve heard. Then you’ll understand them better and they’ll be more willing to listen to you.

Try To See Their Point of View:In a conflict, most of us primarily want to feel heard and understood. We talk a lot about our point of view to get the other person to see things our way. Ironically, if we all do this all the time, there’s little focus on the other person’s point of view, and nobody feels understood. Try to really see the other side, and then you can better explain yours. (If you don’t ‘get it’, ask more questions until you do.) Others will more likely be willing to listen if they feel heard.

Respond to Criticism with Empathy:When someone comes at you with criticism, it’s easy to feel that they’re wrong, and get defensive. While criticism is hard to hear, and often exaggerated or colored by the other person’s emotions, it’s important to listen for the other person’s pain and respond with empathy for their feelings. Also, look for what’s true in what they’re saying; that can be valuable information for you.

Own What’s Yours:Realize that personal responsibility is a strength, not a weakness. Effective communication involves admitting when you’re wrong. If you both share some responsibility in a conflict (which is usually the case), look for and admit to what’s yours. It diffuses the situation, sets a good example, and shows maturity. It also often inspires the other person to respond in kind, leading you both closer to mutual understanding and a solution.

Use “I” Messages: Rather than saying things like, “You really messed up here,” begin statements with “I”, and make them about yourself and your feelings, like, “I feel frustrated when this happens.” It’s less accusatory, sparks less defensiveness, and helps the other person understand your point of view rather than feeling attacked.

Look for CompromiseInstead of trying to ‘win’ the argument, look for solutions that meet everybody’s needs. Either through compromise, or a new solution that gives you both what you want most, this focus is much more effective than one person getting what they want at the other’s expense. Healthy communication involves finding a resolution that both sides can be happy with.

Take a Time-Out:Sometimes tempers get heated and it’s just too difficult to continue a discussion without it becoming an argument or a fight. If you feel yourself or your partner starting to get too angry to be constructive, or showing some destructive communication patterns, it’s okay to take a break from the discussion until you both cool off. Sometimes good communication means knowing when to take a break.

Don’t Give Up:While taking a break from the discussion is sometimes a good idea, always come back to it. If you both approach the situation with a constructive attitude, mutual respect, and a willingness to see the other’s point of view or at least find a solution, you can make progress toward the goal of a resolution to the conflict. Unless it’s time to give up on the relationship, don’t give up on communication.

Ask For Help If You Need It:If one or both of you has trouble staying respectful during conflict, or if you’ve tried resolving conflict with your partner on your own and the situation just doesn’t seem to be improving, you might benefit from a few sessions with a therapist. Couples counseling or family therapy can provide help with altercations and teach skills to resolve future conflict. If your partner doesn’t want to go, you can still often benefit from going alone.

I know it’s lengthy, but it is very good information.  I hope it helps out with some potential conflict any of you may find yourself in.