Volunteering at Lockn Music Festival

So a few weeks back I did something I have never done before.  I went to a large camping music festival.  I went to a music festival with 25K people…by myself.  I camped by myself for the first time. I volunteered.

I had a great time.

I do not regret it at all, and I am very thankful that I experienced it.  I am excited for next year festival season to do it again!

While I know that it takes volunteers and lots of people to put on events like music festivals, golf tournaments, swim meets etc.  I just never thought of myself volunteering at a music festival.  Just wasn’t on my radar.  Boy I wish I had figured this out years ago!  I missed out on some opportunities over the years because I thought I didn’t have the money or didn’t have someone to go with.  Little did  I know I could volunteer!

The festival itself, I had some highs and lows.  See, I had initially bought a ticket and had plans to go with a group.  That blew up the week before.  So even though I changed my expectations when I decided to volunteer, I wasn’t without baggage.

I thought volunteering would be great because I would be immediately immersed with others.  Make instant festival friends.  When in actuality I struggled with that. Looking back, besides some logistics of my volunteering, it probably had more to do with my “baggage”.  I wasn’t open to the new relationships, no matter what I think was, I wasn’t.  And that’s OK.  I was open to volunteering and experience that, which has in itself so much value!

I got lucky.  It was a four day festival.   The first time this festival had ever been put on.  It was a unique festival for many reasons- Great line up, close by and only two stages right next to each other, so no “competing” music acts.  I paid $300  (cost of a ticket) and worked 18hrs over 4 days, I got my money back.  Sounds great right?  Going in I was hoping I didn’t miss any of the “must see” bands on my list.  I get my schedule the Monday before the festival….I work ALL Day (7am-9pm) on Thursday and  (745-3) on Friday.  The only catch was….I still didn’t know what I would be doing.  Oh forgot to mention, as a volunteer we got into camp Wednesday night…before the general public.  How awesome is that? I got to be on the grounds and check everything out first!

So turns out Thursday I end up having to work the Box office. Talk about right up my alley!  Its pure customer service and logistics.  Hello!! That’s what I do every day.  Plus it was the first day of this festival and the first time for the festival.  Boy were things a little ‘hectic’.  But I went in with my take charge attitude and made myself valuable.  They day was crazy busy but I ran things like I have been doing it for years (not just hours).  And while there were some bands I missed on Thursday, none of them were bands I haven’t seen before or wouldn’t have opportunity to see again over the weekend.  It was crazy though, by 830 when I was about to get off, I realized I was a little stressed out from the day.  Like seriously, stressed from a volunteer shift???  Trust me that stress didn’t last long. I was off just in time to see Gov’t Mule, who was on my must see list.  I got off just in time to walk down the hill into the music.  Not even time to get a beer or scope it out.  I didn’t care, I was there for the music and a wonderful show is what I got.  It was perfect.

Then I got even luckier on Friday…. I worked the entrance ticket gate.  So after your car got searched, we were the ticket scanners.  The thing was, they didn’t have all the gates open, so they didn’t need all of us and I ended up just sitting around filling in and chit chatting.  It was like my reward for working so hard the day before!

The volunteer gods who made my first Festival volunteer experience spoiled me.   It’s going to be hard to be that lucky again.  But that’s ok.  It was meant to be that way this year.  It was EXACTLY what I needed and where I needed to be.

After Friday, I was done to enjoy 2 and half more days of music on my schedule with no responsibilities to anyone else.

It was a blast.  It was memorable.  Lockn‘ was great.  Can’t wait until next year!

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Highs and Lows of Life

While I am celebrating the high in my life right now I have two dear friends struggling with lows.  Reminds you how quickly things can change.

These lows my friends are dealing with One is a loss of a relationship and the other is a tragic death of a child.

The loss of the relationship, compares nothing to the friend who lost her child, but in our own little worlds they matter.  I love my friend.  She thought this guy was the one she would marry.  She now is putting up walls about guys and dating. I am trying to reminder her to stay hopeful.   She is hurting.  She is struggling to accept this loss.  As she was meeting with the boy today to put some closure on it, I wished her good luck and that I was thinking of her.  I also told her, GO WITH YOUR GUT, its always right.   She said, I am leaving it with God.  He will show me the way.  I said….That’s your GUT.  It is God’s way of showing you what is right for you.

Until this moment, I never really understood that.  I did understand that you need to go with your gut and that it is almost always right.  I learned that myself through my own challenges.  But I am not a religious person, but I am spiritual.  But until she said she was leaving it with God, was when I realized that God shows you the way, and that way is through your gut.  Through the feeling in your stomach that makes you calm.  You just have to be open to see it.  When you are full of anxiety and analyzing, worried, wanting, needing, you can’t fully see that gut feeling.  But if you stop and take a deep breath, that feeling will come to the surface and show you the way.

My other friend, she tragically lost her daughter in a car accident last night.  I don’t know any details and that is pure torture for me.  I know she is a mess. She is stronger than she realizes, she has been through a lot, but she is also everyone’s “mama” she cares deeply for everyone in her life.  While I love that about her, I do think that can be harmful for her health.  Caring too much sometimes causes you to be taken advantage of.  But anyways… she lost her daughter.  I can’t even imagine.  I haven’t had loss like that in my life.  Something close with the “loss” of my mother, but still doesn’t compare.  I am so sad for her. I just want to go swoop in and take care of everything because I know she can’t even function right now.  But having not dealt with death in my life and loss like that, I don’t know what’s best.  I guess I just need to sit back and wait… God will show me the right time and what she needs from me.

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Scream it from the Mountain

Hi All!  I got a promotion on Thursday!!! Super Excited.  Big Ego boost!  Much needed.  Totally unexpected and makes you really believe things happen for a reason. I have been a going through a WIDE range of emotions over the last few days.

I have been promoted to Sales Operations Manager of our Hospitality Division.   While I love change and needed change, with any change comes some fear and sadness.  I am super excited about the position.  A little scared, this is a huge challenge I am being put in.  I will be fine, but the next 90 days will probably be a little INSANE.  I am also being put into a fire.  There is a lot going on that isn’t quite right and I need to go in an implement processes and a lot of change with a group of people that are a little slower to accept change and innovation.  But those things I listed, are the exact reason I was given this position.  I have done this type thing before with great success for my company.

I am sad too.  The hospitality division is somewhat separated from our Residential furniture divisions (which of course makes sense). I am moving across the office so I will be alienated from my current co-workers. We have two “sides” to our building.  One where the Action happens (current location) and the West Wing.  And believe it or not, it really does separate us.  Strange how we all work in one building, one floor and not that big, but still how segregated we can be.   That  just means I will have to work harder to continue to cultivate the friendships and relationships I had.  I am also sad because I  am not working with some people that I used to work with, specifically two division presidents that are totally awesome! But at the same time these two presidents are probably more excited for me than I am!

It’s been killing me because I am not supposed to talk about it at work, as it hasn’t been announced, yet everyone knows.  AWKWARD.  Hopefully the announcement comes tomorrow.  Also I have to dive in starting Monday, not to mention I still haven’t even started handing off my current job!!

It has also been a huge ego boast for me too.  While I know I am good at my job, and pretty much liked around the office, especially by the ones who count 🙂  It was refreshing to be told by the President of our company that I was the only one for this job.  Apparently when they started considering this position and looked at the org chart… I was immediately his target.  I mean, I know he knows what I do, but at the same time I know he is disconnected from the day to day…he should be he is the President!  But it was really awesome hearing what he said in the meeting and then being re-enforced by my Manager and others.

I am also feeling very blessed.  This came at a point in my life where I was really craving some change.  I am someone who needs to be challenged, especially at work, and I also have been struggling financially (well at least to my standards).  I had been toying with looking else where, but not wanting to leave.  Glad that even though I may have applied elsewhere, that nothing came through and I was patient.  Everything happens for a reason.

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For the Love of…..Music

Let me put it out there:   I LOVE MUSIC.  I ESPECIALLY LOVE LIVE MUSIC.

Music is great for so many reasons.  Recently I have had the opportunity to catch a lot of live music.  Its been great.  I am excited for a concert that I am going to tonight. I’m off to see Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real (He is Willie Nelson’s Son)   Even if it is Sunday and I normally am such a bum on Sun eves.

Live music is great for many reasons.  My favorite reason is because it brings you to the present moment.  You get immersed in this great positive enthusiastic environment and more than anything else it I am able to let go of the outside world and focus on the music and how it makes me feel….normally how it makes me shake my booty!

Sometimes I drink at shows, sometimes I am pretty sober.  I am a big fan of actually watching the music and the musicians interact, and not for the “party” i.e. Drinking.  I like to remember a show.

The other cool thing about live music is the people you meet.  Everyone is so positive, friendly  and happy to be there.  I have made some great Festival Friends over the years.  And for a long time after college, concerts, football games and weddings was how all of us had “reunions” and got to see each other.

I also love just about all music…it really depends on my mood. My mood can change just because of the they music that I decide to listen too.  Of course there are artists and music genres that I lean towards more than others but even that depends on my mood.  I have really enjoyed my XM radio and Spotify.  Spotify is great because I can hear something on XM that I have never heard and then go look them up on Spotify and check out more.  I have expanded my music likes a lot due to Spotify.

The other cool thing about technology and music these days are all the Streams that are posted online of shows.  There is a great site called panicstream.net, archive.org .  These are great sites to get access to live music.  And the best thing….it is all FREE.  Even better than Pandora and Spotify.  

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Friendships

As I get older I realize that my friendships are all important.  But for different reasons.  Each friend fills a different need for my life.

I would like to think that I have 3 close friends.   Friends that we can go long extended periods of time without talking and pick up like no time has passed.  These friends each bring a different purpose to my life but overall are happy, healthy and positive ladies and we have no drama when we are around each other, I have known 2 of them for over 15 yrs,  I can go equally to each of them for good strong advice and they are also great friends that can just laugh and relax with.   I think it is great that I only have 3 of these close friends.  I don’t need lots and lots of friends to be happy, I personally think as I get older, the fewer Classic friends you have is better for you, because honestly it is a lot of work to cultivate and nurture relationships that you have with “Classic” friends. 

I used to have 4 but then one night I realized that the relationship with this one friend, wasn’t giving me what I needed to be happy and the friendship changed forever.  That moment was one of the times that I realized that friends fill different needs and have different places in our lives.  Just because I know this friend is selfish doesn’t mean that I can’t hang out with her in a social environment, but It does mean that she isn’t one that can be there when I really need her.  She is now one falls into one of my “social” friends.  It does make me sad that this one night changed everything, because recently I saw her and my patience and desire to be around her was very different than it had ever been before.  I mean we have been friends for over 15 yrs!!  And while I do still care deeply for her and want the best for her, I just don’t have the desire to share myself the same way as I used to.  

But just as I say that its good to only have a few “Classic” friends, doesn’t mean you don’t need lots of other friends.  Below is a list of types of friends that I have found that I need in my life.  

  • Work friends- Friends you know and hang out with only because you work together.  If you don’t work at the same place you may not keep this friendship.
  • Going out friends- Social friends.  Friends that are always up for doing something.
  • Workout buddies-  These are the ones you see at the gym.  You might hang out outside the gym, or at gym functions, but haven’t made it into one of the more important categories like Camping, Music or Going out buddies. 
  • Camping Buddies-  Friends that like to hike, camp, sporty, outdoorsy. These friendships tend to be closer, because there is more time spent together in excursions.
  • Music buddies- Friends that will go see concerts and do festivals.  These friends have been the hardest for me to find. 
  • local buddies- These are the friends you meet or know because you live in the same town. Once one of you move away… you probably won’t keep in touch more than FB.  These friends usually fall in one of the other categories at some level as well.  

These all fill those different needs in my life.  And none of these categories are exclusive but they do place a different value on the friendship and what you share.  Sometimes “classic” friends start in one of these categories and then moves into another or become a “classic”.

Right now I am trying to cultivate more of these friends.  I am not from the area that I am living in so I don’t have natural known you all my life friend/acquaintances, and all my “Classics” are out of town.  So it is important that I try and cultivate some of these relationships.  But boy it can be hard sometimes, but I think that is really my own fault- my own introvert personality that sometimes shuts me out from cultivating these friendships when I should.

But that is one of the things I am working on!!! Trying to get out of my comfort zone.  And honestly I am usually glad when I do.  I have this great Social friend, that started out because we work together, but honestly, I wouldn’t put her in the work friend category.  We don’t talk about work when we are out. We have built a true genuine relationship outside of work and I think it is great.  Actually when it comes to work stuff, we really tend to clash sometimes!  As I get to know her more and we do more things, I really hope this friendship continues to grow. I think she has the potential to be a classic friend, but only time will tell.  I mean one thing would be….if we stopped working together would we still be friends?  I think so.  If I moved away would we still be more than just Facebook friends…I don’t know yet…the verdict is out on that. 

Recently I have been cultivating Relationships with some of the ladies at work that are about 10-15 yrs older than me.  Now I know as adults age tends to matter less and less, but still sometimes there is that barrier, especially when you are in a work environment.  As I get to know these ladies more and more, its great to find that we have things in common.  But the difference in these relationships, is that they are more casual.  These are the friends that we occasionally grab lunch or happy hour, but we don’t plan trips, or hikes or other things that aren’t convenient to seeing each other “Right around work”.  But even though that may be the case, these ladies still bring a lot of value to my life.  I hope that these ladies would still be my “network” if any of us were not to work together, but that’s just it, at this point, they would probably be just acquaintances and we wouldn’t necessarily keep in touch.  I would like to think differently, but at this point I don’t think it would be more than that. But because of these ladies, I have been given some empowering moments over the last few months.

New Music/Camping Friends.  I love live music and I am really trying to find friends that love live music too! This one has been my biggest struggle.  But I think I may have found one or two.  The more I put it out there how much I love music and the concerts, I am seeing these ladies come out of the woodwork.  One is a friend that I have actually known for a very long time.  We have had mutual friends and only really hung out with mutual friends and so we haven’t really gotten to know each other, or else maybe we would have realized this earlier!!  I am super excited to have found this out and go on this adventure of getting to know her better and spending time at concerts and Festivals. (Turns out she loves camping too!).  So this is one friendship I am excited to cultivate and will go out of my way to work on.  I will keep you posted 🙂  Oh another cool thing about this lady- She is single too!  So I have another single lady to run with!  Anyone say Wingwoman?!

And a special bonus that came my way today was my Crossfit coach.  She is pretty awesome but I don’t know her that well outside the gym.  But she likes music too and invited me along to see a concert for a band that I actually have been wanting to see for a while!  Hopefully I will be able to make it.  It’s kind of bad timing, but I think it is going to be worth one of those times where I go out of my routine and make it happen!  I think It will be well worth it.  A chance to cultivate that friendship. 

I am feeling very blessed right now.  Over the last year I have had a classic friend change to a social friend, but in the mean time I have picked up so many more friends to fill so many different needs in my life.   But by realizing that friends have different places in my life has really opened up my mind when it comes to trying to cultivate these friendships.  Because of these new found relationships I am feeling very happy and positive.   If you put the positive out the positive comes back and that is truly what I am experience right now in my life as I try to cultivate these relationships. 

 

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Sunday funday

As I post this it is currently Sunday Funday!  Yea….not so much I actually work my part time job on Sundays.  So while I do generally enjoy it and it’s pretty easy.  But its just annoying.  Annoying sometimes to have to get up and go to work. Annoying that I don’t make enough  money in my demanding full time job that I have to work part time. But then I remind myself, that without the extra money I wouldn’t be able to do the adventures that I do and I know there are people far worse off than me and I am blessed to have this job and extra spending money.  So I have this ongoing monologue in my head but by the time I get there it all goes away and I am glad to be on my “routine”.  It is the first day of fall too, very pretty out and so much better things to do than be here at work…. I think to its only bad when there is something else going on, or if I am tired.  Plus I haven’t worked my part time job 2 weeks so that always makes it difficult to go back!  

I am a big routine person.  I am trying to be more spontaneous, but I struggle with it.  I will be honest.  It doesn’t come easy.  But I almost always am glad after I have been spontaneous, so it makes it easier each time.

So in the last few weeks I have come to the realization that I am an introvert.  People around me laugh at me when I tell them that, and only a few really get it.  I think the few that get it is because they know me and the real definition of introversion.  I think that is something that is misunderstood. Below are a few links to help understand introversion more.  

I know I identify with the fact that I like to write, I enjoy being around people and being social, but it also wipes me out and I need recharge time.  I know that I really am not a big fan of networking and small talk.   Below points….Spot on for me.

  • Very self-aware
  • Thoughtful
  • Enjoys understanding details
  • Interested in self-knowledge and self-understanding
  • Quiet and reserved in large groups or around unfamiliar people (but this doesn’t mean I am shy!  See next one )
  • More sociable and gregarious around people they know well.  (I think this is why people don’t think I am introvert because this is what the stereotypical extrovert is know as.)

Something else I stumbled across when I was “googling” introversion, was that Virgo‘s tend to be an introverted sign.  I thought that was pretty cool too.  They are a negative sign (not in the traditional definition of negative, but more having to do with opposites), and that really hit home.  Especially when I read other signs and their introversion/extroversion level and considered other people in my life that I know and how I would define them.

Identifying with being an Introvert was very empowering for me.  It helped me understand myself even more.  Now I am not necessarily a fan of labeling people or myself, and I don’t necessarily think that there is a one size fits all for anything.  But Identifying the characteristics opened up a lot of knowledge and empowerment about why I am the way I am and do the things I do and struggle with the things I struggle with.  

The more you understand something the easier it is to kick its ass!  So the more I know about myself the easier it is to be awesome!  20130922-125615.jpg

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Keep it simple…. and Laugh a lot

So today was a long day at work.  Kinda brain dead and not much thoughts for writing.  Actually more like too many and I can’t figure out what to focus on long enough.  So I am just going to decompress with some laughter.  And I am going to update my iphone to IOS7!!!

All these and more can be found on my Pintrest page.

http://www.pinterest.com/liwood30/giggle/ 

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