July 31, 2009


A good friend recently asked a question that really resonated with me. He said, "Isn't it disappointing when you find out someone isn't who you originally thought they were?"

I think upon first look, this question would be more appropriate for relationships regarding boyfriends and girlfriends. However, in the wake of recent events (and without going into specifics), I have found this question relating more closely to my friendships. And beyond that, to just people in general. We all make certain assumptions about others and sometimes what we presume turns out to be true. But, more often in not in my life, the assumptions are not valid.

Perhaps I expect too much out of relationships and people in general? Nevertheless, I have recently been extremely frustrated regarding certain relationships. However, on the brighter side, I have been pleasantly surprised by others, which I had written off for some reason or another.

I guess the lesson for me in all of this is that nobody is perfect (including myself) and nobody is ever going to meet all of the expectations. However, there is also a time when relationships are no longer a benefit, and those should be let go. It's a hard decision, and even more difficult a task to act upon, but sometimes necessary. An aspect of Buddhism that I appreciate, and one that I relate to the aforementioned, is the concept of impermanence. In other words, life is constantly changing -- our thoughts, our cells, relationships, the landscape around us -- and instead of trying to freeze the present and hang onto it, impermanence suggests we learn to let go. Life is a process of constantly letting go and when we learn how to capably let go, we are truly free.

Coincidentally, the good friend who posed the initial question in this post was someone whom I sold short in the beginning of our relationship. Today, I'm thankful that he is in my life and is someone on whom I can depend.

July 30, 2009


The last few days, I've been in a bit of a funk. I can't pinpoint exactly the cause, but I do know that it's been negatively affecting me.

There are a few things going on in my life that have been bothering me, and taken separately, don't pose much of a concern. However, when I take the time to slow down and evaluate my life in its entirety (which I did on Sunday afternoon), these small things become much larger when compiled.

I will admit it seems a bit silly to feel the way I do in relativity -- two of my close friends lost their grandmothers in the last week and others are dealing with horrible jobs -- but I can't help how I feel. I feel especially guilty because I know that my current state of mind is brought upon as a result of my own behaviors. I took the day off yesterday because I had a terrible headache and truthfully couldn't fathom going to work in the state of mind I was in, and while at home started reading a book on change. Although I didn't read it cover to cover, I did take away a few key points, the most important of which was this:

"What is the price of not changing?"

I think too many times we (or at least I), in the wake of making a choice to change, focus on the price of change, whether it be an actual price tag or in the way of sacrifice. When instead, perhaps facing the realization of what course our lives may take if we don't make the change would be a more effective approach. After starting a few lists and really reflecting upon my current life path, I realized that not changing is going to cost me a lot -- financially, health-wise and emotionally.

And I'm not sure if all this reflection has to do with my age or my place in life right now (emotionally, financially, etc.), but I do know that I am ready to grab the bull by its proverbial horns and make a commitment to change a few aspects of my life. I think one of my favorite scientists said it best:

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
- Albert Einstein

They say that the first step to change is admitting you have a problem, and now that I have that under my belt, the hard work begins.

July 27, 2009


The events of the past weekend renewed my appreciation for live music, especially the non-traditional (or to me at least) types. After four days/nights of music events, with genres ranging from singer/songwriter types to heavy-metal, screaming to jazz, I am hooked. Coming from someone who tends to frequent a number of concerts each month, it may seem like an arbitrary statement. However, my typical shows usually require at least a $40 commitment per show (and more often than not, the charge is more).

Don't get me wrong, I will still enjoy seeing a great show at my "usual venues" such as Red Rocks or the Bluebird, but there's just something to be said about being able to enjoy new music, at a venue I don't normally frequent (read dive bars) for only $22 (for four days!). The bottom line is the Underground Music Showcase rocked and I can't wait for next year. Along those same lines, I concluded a great weekend by enjoying a few hours of jazz music last night at City Park Jazz, which is an event that takes place weekly at Denver's City Park. With just two more Sundays remaining, I recommend anyone in the Denver area to take advantage of this awesome (and free) event.

And how ironic then that after listening to Pandora for just 20 minutes this morning at work, I received a message stating that I had reached my "monthly free listening limit." A co-worker had warned me of this just a few weeks ago, but I had nonchalantly disregarded his warning, until this morning. As someone who must have background music to survive at work, the once-free Pandora now charging for services comes as a bit of an upset. After throwing a silent fit, I clicked on the "learn more" link and found out that the "monthly free listening limit" is 40 hours per month, which, for someone who constantly streams Pandora at work, this only last for a week.

I thought the whole premise of Pandora is that it's a free service, which is why I can't choose to play specific songs (it reminds of this from time to time when I'm searching for a song or artist) or skip too many songs in a row by rating them with a thumbs-down.

Upon further inspection, I have discovered this morning that I have the option of paying $.99 to continue listening for the rest of the month (5 days) or I could fork out $36 to upgrade to Pandora One, which includes unlimited listening for one year and no daily "skip" limit (aka thumbs-down), however an hourly "skip" limit still applies. Because I primarily utilize Pandora as more of a background music service and am not an avid skipper, I am definitely choosing the $.99 option.

I realize $.99 is a minute figure, I guess I'm just disappointed that one of my simple pleasures in life, free streaming music during the workday, is no longer an option (with Pandora anyway). However, with all the cheap musical entertainment I enjoyed this weekend, I suppose it all evens out in the end.

July 22, 2009


I have inadvertently stopped wearing a watch. For a "normal" person (read non-compulsive, non-obsessive), this may seem like a frivolous statement (and observation). However, for an organizer such as myself (see additional adjective in prior sentence), not wearing a watch is actually quite a big deal.

It all began a few weeks ago when I replaced my watch with a bracelet. Then, last week at camp, I decided to forgo my watch in lieu of obtaining tan lines. Which brings me to last night. While at the Rockies game (they lost, which now brings the tally of games I have attended this year to 4 losses and 1 win. perhaps I should stay away from Coors Field?), I realized that not only was I not wearing a watch, but that I a) had no idea where my watch is even located and b) didn't really miss it.

Now, before I get into what a great benefit it's been not wearing a watch, I should first disclose the basis of my constant watch-wearing. I blame it on the Catholic Church, or more specifically St. Paul's Catholic Church in Belle Fourche, S.D. As a child, it was customary (actually, mandatory according to church doctrine) to attend mass weekly. Coming from a family where all the clocks were set five minutes ahead, you would assume that mine was always on time for Sunday mass. Wrong. And it wasn't that we were habitually tardy, it just happens to be that my memories of our lateness are perpetually stuck in my memory. Which is where my contemporary obsessiveness for being on-time (actually, usually at least ten minutes early) stems. All I can recall from those mornings was everyone (or so it seemed at the time) looking up annoyingly from their prayer to catch whomever it was that was disrupting mass. And on the days it was my family, I could not have been more embarrassed.

And so, although it may not been that big a deal to most, those memories have melded me into the time-keeping maniac I am today. Or should I say was? I have to admit, the past few weeks have really been a nice break. And honestly, between the clocks that consistently surround me on a daily basis (car, cellphone, etc.), it's not as if I have lost track of time, but it does feel great not to be tied down by a watch.

Although I wouldn't' go so far as to say I have now adopted a completely nonchalant attitude, I'm definitely easing up a bit on myself and others, which has proved beneficial in a number of aspects. I'm also not discarding my watch permanently, it's comforting to know I can do without it, which is a theory I'm trying to extend into other areas of my life. Perhaps I'll let my watch (and my obsessive planning) be lost for a while longer.

July 20, 2009


Last week marked another great week at leadership camp. In fact, I would say this year's experience surpassed the awesomeness of last year's in a number of arenas.

First of all, as my second year as camp counselor, I knew what to anticipate in the way of activities, schedules, etc., which made the week more relaxing for me. Secondly, we had a really amazing group of kids this year. Not to say that last year's campers weren't great, but something about this year's group really impressed me. A lot of this could be attributed to the fact that my small group and my cabin mates were incredible (my small group took second place in the transmission building contest and first in the volleyball tourney!). Finally, this year I really noticed a lot of growth in many of the campers as the week progressed. I witnessed one camper who would hardly speak on the first night present a hilarious speech on the last night of camp, of which I will always refer to as the "blasty-blast" speech. It's always an amazing experience to see an individual come out of their shell in such an extraordinary way, especially in the time frame of just one week.

I am grateful that my job allows me to spend a week getting to know these amazing kids, as well as the other counselors. Looking forward to next year.

July 10, 2009

unexpected bliss

I love the days when I find myself smiling for no particular reason. The days when everything just falls into place and life is truly good. Today is one of those days. I am thankful for the people and the opportunities in my life that have made it what it is today -- truly wonderful.

Next week I'm at electricity camp. Leaving Sunday for Steamboat Springs, where I will be a camp counselor until Friday morning. I'm looking forward to the time away from the office, but am saddened by the fact that my friend Lacey (and ex-fellow counselor) will not be there. Alas, Lacey is far, far from Colorado, spending the next six months in Europe as part of the 4-H exchange program. I'm living vicariously through her, and invite you all to do the same by sharing in her adventures through her BLOG.

Because I will have limited access to the interwebs while at camp, postings will resume upon my return to Denver. Have a great weekend and week everyone! Peace & Love.

The photo above is one I shot while traveling through Wyoming a few weeks ago. So peaceful.

July 8, 2009


As I sit at my desk and look around, there is one word that comes to mind to adequately describe what surrounds me -- disarray. I am concurrently working on two publications, gathering information for the big project of refurbishing our magazine (of which the most burdensome task will be convincing the designer that the pub needs a face life -- and believe me, it does), preparing for electricity camp next week and working on my portfolio for my Certified Cooperative Communicator program.

The vastness of the current list of projects is really not atypical from a traditional day at work, the state of my desk is what is altered. As someone who is usually VERY organized, the chaos that surrounds me is making my head spin.

The few minutes it's going to take me to organize my desk is not intimidating in the least. The scary part is how the current state of my work space is so indicative of my life right now. Between my travels in Wyoming and South Dakota a few weeks ago, hitting two deer ( and the subsequent insurance/collision shop, etc. dealings), the hectic 4th of July weekend and approaching week at camp, I have been putting off everything in my life that isn't directly related to the aforementioned events, which consequently resulted in a minor panic attack last night.

Adding to the current situation are the fact that I haven't set aside time to journal since I returned from Costa Rica and last month I only ran twice. Twice! For someone who frequents the gym at least four times a week, running twice in a month is not typical behavior. And my body feels it, as does my mind. I was also frivolous in my spending last month, which resulted in me having to borrow from my savings to pay for staple items such as groceries and household items. Not good.

Today my head is back on straight and, after spending some quality time with me last night, I realize that although being busy is a state I enjoy, it also allows me to lose my connection with myself, and that is an environment I don't like to occupy. So, beginning today -- more mindful actions and time for myself because at the end of the day, it's really just me, myself and I. And if I don't keep that group happy, nothing else will matter. Now on to task number one -- time to clean my desk.