Monday, December 30, 2013

Motherhood & Other Thoughts

Before anyone freaks out. No, I am not pregnant. Just really thinking about the future is all.

I am really bad at this blog deal...


A Little Back Story

Lately, I have been really thinking about what my life would be like when I have a child of my own. To be completely honest, six or seven years ago I was pretty sure I didn't want to have children. I was too afraid of being a bad mother because I lack patience and rational behavior at times. I am also not a very affectionate person, as my parents were not either. Don't get me wrong...I love my parents, but there weren't many "I love yous" and hugs in my household growing up. I don't think I would change a thing though. I am pretty happy with the person I have become and I am very happy with my parents. Growing up, my dad wasn't one for going to school activities/shows/games. He was relatively quiet and impatient. He was also the funniest person I know. This is probably where I get all those qualities. My mom was someone who would freak out anytime I wanted to bring a friend over or stay all night with someone else. I would always have to let her know a week or more in advance if I was going to be staying with someone. I am kind of like that too, or just more understanding. I don't really like surprise visits from people and I am freaking out about how my house looks before someone comes over...so I have to plan around it. I have to clean every nook and cranny of my house to ensure it is clean enough for guests. Chip off the ol' block, eh? I found that, when I cook, it's like a tiny whirlwind came through the kitchen creating messes and a pile of dirty dishes. That's pretty much my dad. So, since I can see how I am like my parents, I often wonder what parts of me will be passed onto my child. Will they be positive traits, or something that I don't particularly like in myself?

Things To Consider

All too often I would fly into a fit of rage because my cat destroyed something that I owned. He clawed the curtains or the carpet...he peed on something, or he knocked something over. He actually, one time, pooped in one of my shoes. I would threaten to kick him out of the house or give him away to some other family. Sometimes, he would be downstairs peeing in some random place and immediately bolt off because he knew that he wasn't supposed to pee there. Unfortunately, he could only get to the very top of the stairs before he got tuckered out from running away...then he would just roll over and tuck his paws in. This is what I refer to as "otter paws". It's hard to stay mad at a fat, white, marshmallowy otter. In reality, I couldn't bare to kick my cat out of the house; kitties don't belong outside...neither do children. Face it, children can be pretty destructive. They jump on things, break things, draw on things, tear up furniture, destroy televisions (true story)...they are filthy and destructive little creatures. How many times have you heard about children taking markers to walls and furniture? You can tell yourself that it will never happen, but will that prevent it from happening? Or...you can be the parents that tie their children to something in hopes that they will not ever do anything that you don't want them to do.

Fun Scenarios!
(Based on True Events)

What does all this come down to? Well, let's think about every material thing we have in the house. Let's include our cars too. Say you are ready to have children, or you have children already. You have a 55 inch TV that's your pride and joy. You have a 4000 dollar, white Italian leather sectional that you saved up for. You drive a car that you baby like it is actually one of your children. Your 3 and a half year old decides to draw on your couch in permanent marker. Your 10 and 8 year old are playing in the house. It's getting a little rough and they are running around. One of them either throws something into the other's general direction and they fall into the TV...killing it. Your 2 year old has a sippy cup in the back seat of your car. She/he is throwing it about. The lid comes off and it spills grape juice out all over your seats. What do you do? ESPECIALLY with the 2 or 3 year old? These were all accidents, as the children didn't do any of these things to be malicious. Do you fly off the handle and beat them senseless for destroying your beloved material possessions? Do you scold them and put them in time out for being awful little brats? You'd be surprised that a lot of people would do just that and/or maybe something worse.I am not a mother yet, but I would like to think that I would be better than that at controlling my temper. I am sure there are mother's out there that thought they were going to be better at controlling their temper with their children, but struggle. Now, if my 2 year old accidentally spilled a drink whether it's their fault or accident...I don't see any reason to punish them. They are still learning motor skills and they are incredibly clumsy little things. A 3 year old doesn't really have a good concept of what's okay to draw on and what's not okay to draw on. Paper's white! Hey! This couch is white too! Same goes for walls. Toddlers love drawing on walls ESPECIALLY if they are white! I am someone who loves art, so I am pleading with parents everywhere DON'T SCOLD YOUR CHILD WHEN THEY DRAW ON WALLS, FLOORS, FURNITURE. Just try to navigate them to paper (it might take a while). Now, if they are 15 and drawing on walls...then that is a different story. I've heard some pretty intense horror stories about kids with markers. This is why I am going to paint all my walls brown with super high gloss paint...problem solved. The TV incident is kind of a unique one. There are a couple things I would consider. First, did I already get onto them about rough-housing? Was there another parent/grown-up involved (happens)? Have they ever faced actual consequences from rough housing before? If they weren't scolded before, a parent was involved, or they have never really faced actual consequences. Then, I would probably be light on the punishment. It was an accident, as they didn't mean to kill the beloved TV. I would set rules about where rough-housing can be done. Kids are incredibly full of energy and we all know they can't really go outside (weather permitting) every time they have all the energy. Might want to consider a room that they can be energetic in. After establishing that what they did wasn't good and that it's no longer permitted to rough-house in certain areas of the house, I would probably let them go with a light punishment. If they do it again...I'm cracking the whip. There will probably be an again. It's a parent's job to be consistent. Don't tell a child you will punish them and then not. Consistency is key and they will learn better from that. Kids are smart. If you tell them they cannot have a toy while you are shopping and they throw a ridiculous, embarrassing fit while you're in the store until you cave...THEY WILL LEARN.

Let them be adventurous.
Let them be creative.
Let them be independent.
Let them learn. 

So, am I going to be a perfect mother? You're darn straight I am going to be, as my mother was to me! Am I going to follow all my own rules as described above? I hope so, but it's pretty certain that I will lose my cool at times. I am sure there will be a hundred different challenges along the way, but I am working at preparing myself for these situations and I hope that I handle them all in a way that my children will appreciate and learn from.

I look forward to comparing this blog entry with my real-life experience in the next 10 years. :)





Monday, November 18, 2013

Ramble and Rants

Okay,  so business trip. Best time to blog...right? This is going to be a boring one. Just a few quick things here and there.

First topic-I have never seen another town lose so many young people to drugs as I have seen in Connersville IN. Connersville Indiana is an isolated, small town in the southeastern Indiana. Geographically, it's gorgeous, but the people are awful. Before everyone goes into a fit of offendedness(word?) I will let you all know that NOT ALL OF YOU ARE AWFUL. Most those people will agree with me. The town is in a downward spiral. Sometimes I wonder if it's just me being away from it for so long, or if it's just that it keeps getting worse and worse. I was told by many that it's heading downwards. There are two types of awful people in Connersville. People who think they are Godly and above all (far from it) and then the people who are strung out/selling drugs. It's very sad...I hear a lot about possible crooked cops and other terrible things. It's depressing. The town has SO much potential. Sometimes I wish I had the money it would take to do a clean sweep of that town. It's historic. The houses on Central (Main) are beautiful, but have been neglected. Jobs are scarce too. I really think they need to market to call centers. NOT ISSUES AND ANSWERS!! They need to market to customer service centers. It's a fair location. Plus they extended their runway when Visteon/Ford was around. It's excellent. I know it's not  super easy to do, but I think that if Connersville cleans their town up and markets to that kind of business then they will prosper. Heck...they will at least be better off!

Now that I got that mess off my chest, I would like to talk about myself for a few. Things with me, as most know, have been a weird bumpy road. It's 10x better now than it was and things are really looking up! I am pretty excited about the decisions/choices I have made. I am lucky and thankful to have the job I have now. Things are really looking up for me. I hope it stays that way. I really have my health back on track too! I definitely wasn't doing so hot for the longest while. I am really thankful to have supportive family and friends while undergoing some lifestyle changes.

So, I am in Bloomington, IL. Miles from home. It's a very nice, small town. Low crime makes it pretty ideal. This is a town that Connersville could be...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Social Experiment #2

A lot of work has gone into this entry and it's STILL rushed. I had to summarize it the best I could...

I have spent a long time obsessing over the rules of being an introvert with social anxiety and the idea of a possible personality change. Is it actually possible? The answer, for me, is "no".  I am very introverted, so I need a lot of time to myself. Not only am I introverted, but I also suffer from social anxiety. This, no matter what they always tell you, is actually looked down on because people think you're rude, grumpy, or you have attitude problems. I have read countless research on introverts striving to become the ideal social chameleon and I came up with this plan; to try it myself. What better way to test this than on my coworkers after starting a new job. This was a perfect chance to actually see if I could do this. Now, for those of you who actually know/knew me, I am not the kind of person to host parties or approach people first...ever. So, I want you all to picture me being as friendly and sociable as possible without laughing hysterically. This is how I have been at work for the past six months with complete strangers. It has been PAINFUL. So, I kind of recorded some things here and there and this is going to be a simple synopsis of it all from the beginning to the end. Hopefully I can keep this simple. 

The Disclaimer

First off, I would like to apologize to everyone who is probably going to read this and be a little upset with me. I was technically faking a lot of my personality for a while. However, I did not fake my interests entirely, nor did I do all of this successfully. I did have days where I found it very hard to carry on with the facade. I faked confidence, social approachability, and many other similar aspects. This past month has been a struggle for me, as I was having a hard time coping with the traits of my forced outgoing extroversion.

The Idea

I read a couple textbooks, how-tos, and other works from various Psychologists/Sociologists. I once had an Anthropology professor who explained to me that the greatest guinea pig for a social experiment is yourself. That man also did peyote with some southern natives, but I still found him strangely inspirational. To me extroverts were more desirable. Their stereotypical outgoing, and overly confident personalities made them ideal candidates for success. Being extroverted means that you're someone who is energized by being around people rather than by yourself. The other traits are just common perspectives of being one. I thought it would be a great idea to try this myself. I figured it would help me build better relationships and increase my chances towards moving up within the company. What could it hurt?

The Beginning

 The beginning was pretty rough. I had to build a large friend base in a short period of time, so that I may look the part. I was not (still not) socially equipped. I lack the grace to carry on meaningless conversations. Something that I noticed from other extroverts with overbearing personalities...they are inevitable space invaders. They are likely to touch you (HATE being touched) and they are likely to touch your belongings and lack any kind of personal boundary. The ones I know rarely took any kind of consideration before breaching the personal barrier. Your happy place is no more. For me to become that person, I would have to invade the space of others, but at the same time get them to want to be my friend. I mostly came off as annoying which in turn...annoyed myself. It took me a while to develop a strategy on how to FORCE people to like me, be my friend, and then convince them that I am this wonderful, outgoing person. Also, I realized that the dumber you act...the more people like you! For some reason (I totally am) people find me intimidating and unapproachable. If I am ditsy and approachable...I'm good.

After about a month and a half I had developed multiple friendships. They didn't really seem very meaningful or well developed. I had to put more motivation into the friendships that seemed really pointless to me. It was hard for me to understand small-talk. I had to compliment people on silly things, talk about the weather, and talk about our favorite places to shop for clothes. A trend that I noticed, with my new friends, is that they usually talk poorly about each other and attempt to get me to join in. A lot of the times it was about people who they hung out with daily. Did they have the same conflicting feeling I was experiencing? Did they just hang out with anyone whether they liked them or not? How did they cope with this situation? Was switching from friend to friend just to talk poorly about the other one helping them cope with their large friend base? This wasn't just extroverts, but Introverts alike. However, the introverts were a little more subtle about it and pretended to be joking when they mentioned other people.

The Plateau and the Fall

There was a while when I was doing pretty good with this. I was still struggling at wearing an outward personality. I was displaying MY personality inside out - get that into your head. Those of you who know me will probably think that's a little crazy, but I actually did this. I think that some people started to feel this was a little overbearing. Extroverts can be overbearing, but I was killing it. I was actually FORCING people to be my friend whether I felt I needed their friendship or not. I tried inviting them when I went out and to lunch. Anything I could do to build those relationships. I added them to my facebook and I made my twitter unprotected. Anything... That is insanely powerful; building a following of people. I was going on several different friend dates daily! With my new found friendships came their desire to hang out with me and I felt "obligated" to do so. After all, I was the one who forced the friendship on them. I was running out of boring, meaningless things to talk about. I was running out of a strategy and it was beginning to feel uncomfortable. I was stressing about friendships that meant so little to me. I was stressing because I was hanging out with people ALL THE TIME. While any human being can naturally "fake"  this outgoing, friendly extroverted person (most people do), I could only do it for so long. Being around people all the time was making it harder for me to keep up with a persona that I didn't feel comfortable with.

The last month was pretty bad...I had too many personal things going on and couldn't keep my composure. Have you ever watched one of those movies where they try to reinvent someone and at the end it all falls apart and they revert back to themselves? That is literally what happened. I made conversations way too awkward and I got annoying. I was craving meaningful conversations. I would talk about anything, non-stop. NOTHING would satisfy this want/need to discuss something passionately and in-depth. I couldn't handle it...I snapped. So, here I am today. I am a little disgruntled and really fed up with people because the cold, hard realization that I am who I was just sunk in. I am an introverted person with extreme social anxiety. One of the only things I gathered from this was that people like to talk about nothing. When you try to talk about something meaningful...they change the subject or just completely ignore the notion. Extroverts will try to relate to everyone in some way. What better way to relate to someone. The square root of nothing IS nothing.

The Ending and Off-Topic Ramblings

Have introverted people successfully became socially comfortable extroverts? Probably, but it's definitely not for me.  I would not recommend trying it, as it forces you to be everything that you avoid. If you enjoy going out in public often and you enjoy hanging out with people everyday...well, then you're probably not a real introvert anyway.

Did everyone get caught up in the act? No, I did have a couple people I work with that I pretty much didn't act differently to. They were a breath of fresh air. I do I have a friend, there, that I have known for a couple years too.

To tell you the truth...I want people to see this as what it is; a social experiment.

To kind of elaborate on the things that were the hardest for me...

Empathy - It is REALLY hard for me to relate to people without similar interests. Sometimes I even struggle at relating to THOSE people. It's hard for me to feel "happy" or "sad"  for people I don't know very well. And again, even if I do know them well...I still have trouble. I can be incredibly sarcastic and apathetic at times, so it was frustrating for me to try and act like I really cared about something.

Small-Talk - I may have overused this, but how can people be socially content talking about unimportant ridiculous things?! We all talk about random uninteresting things, but why do people talk about it ALL the time? Is it the fact they are trying to relate?

My Outspokenness - A lot of extroverts really care about how everybody sees them. That is why they are chameleon-like. They like to remain non-confrontational and don't want to hurt people's feelings or be seen in a bad light. To be fair, a lot of introverts feel this way too. I like to voice my opinion PROUDLY without considering those I might offend. I'm actually working on that...


The Truth and Other Off-Topic Ramblings

There are many other things I could share that would make me be seen in a negative light. Does all of this make me a bad person? No, I don't think that I am actually a bad person. I am a REALISTIC person. I promise that many other people feel this way and will find ways to deny it. They are the ones who are actually putting on a facade. They have just learned how to cope with it. Most, if not all, human beings are incredibly selfish and manipulative creatures. The selfless things people do aren't always acts of kindness, but a means to get what they want. Do people actually do nice things? Sure! ALL the time, but they tend to do nice things to them to make THEMSELVES feel better or they brag about it and make other people see them as a great person. A lot of people crave recognition. It puts them out there and helps them feel more important than other people. When socializing, it was sometimes a battle to see who we needed to feel the most sorry for or who we envied the most. I learned a lot more about the ugliness of people and ya know...I'm not so bad.

So, here it is...

This is not the formal layout yet, but a start to something bigger. I omitted a lot of things, but I will integrate it when I formally publish this on a more scientific level. Please excuse the grammar and the typos!














Thursday, February 17, 2011

Booyah!




Michelle,

Thank you for contacting us regarding KEEBLER® MAGIC MIDDLES®. It's always great to hear from consumers who are trying to find our products because it lets us know how much you enjoy them. We were excited to hear that this product brings back childhood memories.

We understand that you enjoyed this product but unfortunately stores only want to stock the fastest moving products. If the stores start to discontinue an item, we find we cannot produce the smaller volumes the business demands. It is always difficult for us to make the decision to discontinue a product, as we know it is always someone's favorite. At this time, there are no plans to reintroduce it.

We know that it will be hard to find a replacement, but we are always developing new products so we are sure that you will soon find another favorite! We suggest trying Famous Amos® Sandwich Cookies Chocolate and are sending you a coupon to use towards the purchase. Please allow 7-10 business days for delivery.

Please be assured that your wish to have this product back on store shelves has been shared with the appropriate department. We appreciate your interest and loyalty to our brands and trust that we will continue to meet your needs for many years to come.



Sincerely,


Natalie Felix
Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs

Monday, January 24, 2011

I really sent Keebler a message...


Dear Elves at the Keebler tree/hideout....

When I was a child, and a very small one at that, I remember a cookie I used to love and it took me years to find out what this cookie was. It was a Magic Middle. Usually I don't stalk and harass companies to get a product out of them, but I am begging you! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring back the Magic Middle! Look, I know that something crazy could have happened...there could have been a flood or a fire and the recipe was lost forever, but if it was not I would appreciate at least a limited time production of the Magic Middle. Now I am going to try and ask Hostess to bring back the strawberry twinkies. Thank you for your time :)