Perspective

9 Feb

Today I feel like a million freakin bucks. Maybe even a billion freakin bucks. Ya know that part in Snow White when she’s dancing around with those birds? Yeah, that feeling.

No I didn’t get a promotion or win the lottery or discover my great aunt Mildred twice removed is a quadrillionaire and wants to give me all the money she made inventing the Clapper. Really, I don’t have a specific reason, other than just being 100% thrilled with how I feel right now. The best part is that it’s not conditional happiness. Back in the day, which was a Wednesday, by the way (Anyone?? Anyone??) it used to be that I was floating along, consistently in a state of meh. Which is really not a great state to be in, in case you don’t know the feeling. Then, something actually sort of bad might happen (I use that term in a relative sense, because “bad” to me could be “no big freakin deal” for someone else) and I would completely melt down. Depression. Bingeing. Isolation. Lather, rinse, repeat. All because I missed the T or my favorite show was interrupted by the State of the Union. Little things. But depression has a way of making the little things into big things.

With the help of Prozac, which I will openly admit I took as recently as last year, I learned to find the balance in life (in time, I came to the realization that I no longer needed the medicine to find that balance and, in fact, felt much more balanced au natural.) That doesn’t mean that I don’t get upset about things, because my husband will be the first person to tell you that my loud, melodramatic Italian side comes out when something pisses me off. What it means is that I’ve learned what things to get upset about and what things to save my breath on.

Recently though, I found that I was letting other people and uncontrollable circumstances rock my boat a little too much. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say that someone in a position of power over me was getting my goat about things over which I had no control. Sitting back and watching bad things happen because of this person was really frustrating to me. So I did what I used to do during my ED days,which is bitch and moan about it and let it consume my thoughts. Yeah, not healthy, right?

Then, the other day, I ran across this quote that really changed my perspective on things:

Tacked up in my home office

Well, duh. When I saw that quote, it just cracked me over the head with the obviousness of the statement. Of course my bitching and moaning and complaining isn’t going to make another person act the way I want them to because why the hell would it? And has that ever worked for anyone? I seriously doubt it. So the switch came on in my head and I thought, “I have a pretty great life. Why should I spend a second of my time worrying about the way another person lives theirs?” And so I stopped. And it feels good. Birds singing around my head good. Million freakin bucks good.

Amazing what a little perspective can do.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

M

6 Feb

A few weeks ago, my high school friend, M, passed away.

I have not logged onto this blog in months–I figured that since I’d made a full recovery and no longer needed to focus my energies on a life I left behind, I should get on with it already and stop dwelling on the past. Today, after a friend mentioned my blog in passing, I logged on here out of curiosity. What I found is giving me the chills: the one and only comment waiting in my queue to approve was from M, saying how much he enjoyed reading my blog.

In full disclosure, M killed himself. He was only 24 years old. I don’t know why and I would not have the audacity to speculate on it. I haven’t been close with him since high school and only recently saw him again a few months before he committed suicide. We talked about our lives and he wanted to hear all about the book I’m writing and asked if I would send him something I’d written. Sadly, I never did.

To find out that he derived pleasure from reading this blog after mourning his death at the saddest funeral I’ve ever attended only a few short days ago, makes me want to cry and smile at the same time.

I’m so very sad that I never got the chance to know the person M became after high school–he was incredibly talented, intelligent and accomplished and, from what I hear, had the same witty, magnetizing personality I knew and loved back then. What makes me smile is receiving this tiny sign from M, telling me in his own way how important this little project actually is for someone suffering from an eating disorder, depression, anxiety or any other affliction that makes them feel less than perfect.

So, I’ve decided to continue with PB, to honor M’s name and his belief in doing what you love and helping your fellow human being. I hope I can be the type of person that would make him proud.

With love to all,

Melissa

Perfect Day

22 Feb

Sleeping in past 8 and waking up without a cat sleeping on my face, biting my toes or tearing apart the underside of my bed.¬†Going out to breakfast (my favorite meal to eat in a restaurant) on someone else’s tab. Being set free to wander around a bookstore all day and cart home as many books as can fit in a red wagon–Matilda style.


Being set free in a mall (not the kind they have in New Hampshire) and getting to fill several red wagons–or maybe Suburbans–with clothes that cannot double as pajamas or be worn to a preschool classroom. Coming home exhausted and happy from a day of retail therapy to my wonderful husband who has cooked dinner and magically made our 10 ft pile of laundry disappear (I’m not talking ‘disappear’ like what we do with it when we have company over, either.) Eating several servings of bread pudding in bed while watching Pulp Fiction and not feeling guilty that I didn’t even think about working out. Waking up from my dream and realizing that the only part I actually did was eat bread pudding and not work out :)

What’s your perfect day look like?

Starting from scratch

10 Feb

Hey all!

It’s so nice to be back in the blogging world. I guess I didn’t realize how much I really miss it when I’m away. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to update you on my recent foray into cooking, so I’ll take this opportunity to let you know what I’ve been up to in the kitchen, as of late.

After we got married and finally got our lives organized, I decided it was time to become a little more domestic. While our various activities and commitments pull us in a lot of different directions and we can’t always sit down and eat together, I wanted to make more of an effort to cook something homemade for dinner every night, instead of blowing our money on eating out or getting quick, unhealthy alternatives.

During my time as a vegetarian (I became one senior year of high school and hopped back on the carnivore bandwagon last year) I started buying more organic foods, with an eye towards healthfulness. In college, I discovered that I have IBS (I’m convinced the horrible habits I developed through my eating disorder are what caused it) and I’ve found that the best “cure” for me is eating fresh, whole, unprocessed foods with as few additives as possible. Lately, our shopping cart is filled almost entirely with organic foods. Yes, it’s super expensive, but I’ve found that you can stretch your dollar very easily with one simple change: making food from scratch.

I think if you’re anything like me, this phrase can seem very daunting. I’m used to buying my granola from a box on the shelf, my veggie burgers from the freezer section and my pancake batter from Bisquick. But as I’ve gotten more comfortable being in the kitchen and making my recipes using the pre-made stuff, I realized I actually really enjoy cooking and the challenge that making something from scratch poses for me. I also like the challenge of going through the grocery store and seeing how many meals I can make while staying within a certain budget.

One rule I’ve learned: avoid the middle of the grocery store and you’ll save a ton of money and buy healthier foods that are essential to your diet. The stuff in the middle aisles is unnecessary and you’ll find that you can avoid it entirely after a while without missing any of it.

There have certainly been trials and errors with this part –I’ve learned that buying certain vegetables frozen is a better route for us to take and that I should check the fridge and cabinets before shopping so we don’t overbuy–but it’s a fun experience that is proving to save us money in the long run. Plus, it’s a hobby that I’m truly enjoying because it’s A) rewarding and B) a big EFF YOU to my eating disorder.

So, while I’m by no means a food blogger, I’m going to try to document my efforts to make new foods from scratch and see how it impacts our health and our budget along the way. Our crazy busy lives will definitely pose a certain challenge, but I’m excited to embark on a new adventure toward being healthier and saving some moolah.

My first order of business is to invest in some quality cooking/baking utensils that will make the sometimes very time consuming process of cooking food from scratch a little less so. I just got a bread maker from my mom that I’m pumped to use, but here’s what else is on my wish list:

1. A food processor

I can’t wait to make homemade hummus, guacamole, veggie burgers, tomato sauce, etc etc etc. Our blender just isn’t cuttin it (literally)

2. A pasta machine

I am so excited for this one. Pasta is so easy to make (though it is super time consuming) but I’d LOVE to make fresh pasta to go with homemade sauce. YUM!

3. A good set of knives

This was my fault for not registering for these when we got married. We have a knife set from Adam’s dad that got us by when I wasn’t really cooking much, but now that I am, we need some quality knives that are good for chopping, cutting bread, dismembering intruders, etc.

I’m sure I’ll think of more to add to my list as I begin to get a little better at this, but that’s all for now. Look for my next post where I attempt to make veggie burgers from scratch!

Peace, love & carbs,

Melissa

Word Nerd

9 Feb

So a whiiiile back when I last posted, I alluded to a little secret that I’ve been waiting to share with everyone (which is also the reason I’ve been MIA for several months). So here it is…drumroll please…..

I’m writing a book.

A novel, to be exact. Writing has always been my life’s passion and is something that I truly enjoy. After I won my first writing contest in 4th grade, I was hooked. I became part of a kids group that wrote stories Saturday mornings at my local library; I entered more contests and became a published author before I was 10. It was all very intoxicating for a kid.

Then I kind of abandoned the creative side of my writing for awhile, in favor of what I figured was more practical: writing nonfiction. I excelled at writing papers in my English classes and I became the editor of my high school paper, where I was bit by the Journalism bug.

I decided to pursue Journalism as my major because I figured by the time I graduated, books would be obsolete and I’d be out of a career. But , as it turned out, journalism is now the dying industry and books have had a resurgence in popularity due to the e-reader revolution started by the Kindle.

But that’s not the reason I’m finally pursuing my dream of being a novelist. I’m doing it because life is short and books take a long time to write. Well, that’s one of the reasons. The biggest reason is that I enjoy it and sometimes I think we don’t do enough of what we enjoy because of setbacks like money, time or practicality.

But, enough of being pragmatic or realistic. Those things aren’t what make dreams come true. You never hear the founder of a successful company say, “Yeah, I made it big by aiming to fail and setting low expectations.”

So I’m going into this endeavor with every fiber of my being believing that I will someday be successful. I don’t necessarily¬†mean successful by Jodi Picoult or John Grisham’s standards. I mean successful by my standards. I’m not aiming to win the race (although I’m not saying it’s out of the question) I just want to cross the finish line with a smile on my face.

I hope you’re as excited about my news as I am. I just finished the prologue and first chapter so things are progressing slowly but surely after the character/plot development phase. When I have some more actual writing to show for myself, I will update you from time to time on here.

But, for now, I’m making a concerted effort to get on here and update my blog at least once/week. I so appreciate any/all of you that still read Project Bare. It’s your feedback that keeps me going :)

xoxo

Melissa

Comfortable

4 Nov

When the cold weather rolls in, we all have a way of gravitating toward the things that make us feel comfortable. Cozy blankets, hot chocolate, carbs. It’s our way of hibernating for the winter. Ever since I got back from my honeymoon, I’ve been spending my almost all of my lunch breaks at a family-owned organic cafe where I always get a large soup and whatever baked good looks appealing to me that day. Mushroom barley soup and a corn muffin. Sweet potato lentil and an oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookie. Vegetarian beef stew and a pumpkin whoopie pie. The food there is to die for.

Why do I bring this up? Because before this, I always fought the urge to let myself be comfortable–if I was comfortable, it meant that I wasn’t working hard enough. If I enjoyed a meal, it meant that I’d pay for it the next day. If I skipped a workout to stay curled up under the blankets, I’d punish myself for it all day long. If I drank a cup of hot chocolate, it had to be a meal, not a treat.

Since the fall arrived, I’ve been drinking one cup of hot chocolate a day, eating my treats at lunch and hitting the snooze button to stay in bed with Adam when I should be hauling my butt to the gym.

And ya know what? It feels awesome to finally be comfortable.

Guess who’s back?

27 Oct

Hi everyone!

I am FINALLY returning from a long hiatus from Project Bare and it feels good to get back in the saddle again. I’ve been putting off coming back for so long–at first it was the wedding prep and the honeymoon and then after my life returned to normal, I started building up my return post too much in my mind and couldn’t force myself to sit down and just do it already.

So here it is–nothing crazy. Just me saying hello and updating you on the goings-on in my life since my last post in July.

Since then, I’ve had my big dream wedding–the most amazing day of my life, hands down– and am now married to Adam, the greatest person I’ve ever known. I am deliriously happy being his wife and I can’t help but smile every time I get to say that word! I will certainly post some pictures of my wedding day soon–I’m just waiting for more of the professional shots to come back, but so far, they came out wonderful. Thank you Stacey M!

In other news, I am still loving my job and can’t wait to share the hilarious happenings of my classroom on a daily basis. It gets pretty crazy in there with 18 wild 2 year olds (my co-teachers and I are going to our Halloween parade at school dressed as zookeepers) but I feel so blessed to be doing what I’m doing because–whodathunk?–it makes me ridiculously happy to being doing it!

I do have other big news (no, I’m not pregnant!) but it’s something that is very close to my heart and I want to wait for the right time to announce it. If you know me at all, you’ll know that this takes a great deal of restraint for me, because I love to spill the beans the second I make up my mind to do something. This one is pretty serious for me, so I want to treat it delicately :)

Anyway, I’m so glad to be back and, if I still have any readers, I’d really love to hear from you!

MM

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