Let’s get happy!

Hi everybody!

Sorry I haven’t been posting in over a week. I meant to but then life got busy and kept me from writing a post. Hope all of you are doing well!

 

Life can’t be all sunshine and rainbows every day – that’s a truth we’ve all learned. But that doesn’t mean we have to silently accept this. Recovery from an ED, stress in university and life in general can put a damper on my life. I have, however, found some ways of self-therapy. Let’s get started!

Running

I just love the colour of these shoes!

While I do know that some of my earlier motivation to run came from my ED it has changed. I’m no longer dragging myself out when I’m exhausted. When I do, it’s not mainly because of the physical effect – though it sure is a nice benefit – but because of it being a great way to relax, sort out my thoughts, find inspiration and new ideas. Running simply makes me feel good.  And can I just say I love wearing running gear?

Baking

Not the prettiest of all ovens but it’s getting the job done just fine.

I love to bake. Ever have, ever will. My earliest memories go back to the days of cutting out simple sugar cookies – and fighting for the best cookie cutters with my sister – during Christmas time. Decorating them with way too much icing and colourful sprinkles was necessary.

What’s not to love about freshly baked cookies? Tasting the dough might be my favourite part of baking, though.

Whether it be cookies, muffins or bars: The oven will get even more play during the the colder months. Nothing like the intoxicating aroma of freshly-baked goods to brighten my mood. It undoubtedly is the part of my therapy my friends (and the occasional prof in uni 😉 ) enjoy the most.  Nussecken, anyone?

Making myself feel special.

One of my favourite fragrances of all times.

I usually save perfume for special occasions but some days I just apply some to show myself appreciation. In addition with wearing pretty dresses it makes me feel special and … what can I say? I’m a woman.

Chocolate.

Mmmh! Can’t say no to good chocolate,

While it certainly can’t bring world peace or solve every of my problems chocolate is the best first aid for days I’m feeling down on. Yes, I might feel a tad guilty after eating it at times but noticing how it can lighten up my mood eases my anxiety at the same time.

Family and Friends.

A walk with a friend can brighten my day in no time.

Most important and certainly some of the best therapists one could ever find. Accepting me the way I am, forgiving me more often than I’d deserve, offering to come over with chocolate when things are getting complicated. While going home spontaneously isn’t always an option during the semester I love being able to count on my friends. I’m so glad to know them!

Handmade by the best pen-pal ever.

How could I not like people giving me gifts such as this cute little guy? Thanks, Caren!

Let me know: What are your favourite ways to brighten your day?

What’s your favourite fragrance?

Random: Which bands, singers and songs have you been liking lately? I’m getting bored with my playlist and would love to hear your recommendations.

[Not] fallen off the face of the world

Hi there,

 

I’m sorry for not having posted in what feels like ages! The reason for this is as boring as true: Life’s been a bit stressful but I will be back with another post later this week – hopefully Thursday! I’m certainly missing blogging already.

Image

 

Hope you’re enjoying Fall and life in general!

 

Miss Polkadot

The hostess with the most [anxieties]

I’m filled with gratitude for all of your lovely and understanding comments also sharing your own experiences on my last post! Thank you so much once again!

Who doesn’t love having guests? The joy of being the hostess, cooking up delicious foods for your guests and having a fun time? Bring on the guests for a girls’ night or a cooking date at my place. A longer stay, however? Sadly, that’s something bringing up lots of anxiety for me.

Let me give you an example: My cousin visited me for a few days last week – being one of the reasons why I ended up not posting earlier. While everybody else might have looked forward to a nice laid back time spent catching up on each other’s lives and simply having fun, I couldn’t stop worrying.

Seeing as she visited during the week there wasn’t much on offer regarding exciting events – not even a guided tour to explore the city. The one exhibition I had deemed interesting was closed and the weather didn’t exactly offer up for outdoor fun. Cue panic in my head. Why, you ask? It’s because I always want to be the perfect host offering a perfect stay for my guests. We ended up going shopping for a bit, chatting, going to the theatre and for runs. Even though it was fun I felt I should have had much more planned. Unfortunately,  the pressure I had on myself was visible to my cousin to say the least. No, it wasn’t completely awful but could have been more enjoyable had I been able to let go of the worries and relax.

I hope you don’t mind the random pictures in this post. My cousin doesn’t know about the blog so I can’t publish any from her stay.

Afterwards, I was angry of myself for not simply relishing in the short time with my cousin whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time. But instead I kept thinking of myself as “not enough fun”, too boring and not the kind of company you’d like to be around. Add to this the recipe I’d quickly picked out for us to prepare for lunch together being a fail – ouch! So ironically my wish for perfection ended up in quite the opposite. Sadly, this happens more often than I’d like to admit. I’m a constant over thinker, at best wanting to plan every minute of a guest’s stay.

Not wanting to end this on a negative note I can share some good experiences with semi-spontaneity from the weekend :). I had a special visitor over to just watch a movie. “Special” meaning I again wanted everything to be perfect but hadn’t decided on a movie yet and forgotten to buy snacks. What can I say? Instead of panicking like I usually do I just let it happen. It was a huge success quickly picking a fun movie we both enjoyed and I found a nice bar of chocolate hidden in one of my cupboards of for us to nibble on. Worrying about us not being able to keep talking after the movie turned out to be unnecessary, too. In fact, we had one of the most interesting and even deeper talks in a while – and it probably was my first time not trying to impress him. Maybe it was because I had learned from the preceding stay of my cousin. More of these great experiences in spontaneity for me, please.

Do you enjoy having guests over a for a longer stay? Or can anybody identify with feeling anxieties when it comes to hosting guests?

Are you good at spontaneity or need a plan?

What do you like to do with friends or family coming for a short visit? Advice is very welcome seeing as I’d love to host people more often – to challenge myself but also because, really,  how much fun is life without guests?!

Inspiration versus Imitation

You can’t please everyone. The fact that this holds true in the blog world, too,  was shown to me when I received a comment by an anonymous reader recently. He asked whether I had set out to create a blog that was – I quote – a “BAAADDD” imitation of Amanda’s. At first I felt sad and offended. My mind – which is used to me overthinking in anyway – kept churning this for hours. But at the end of the day I was calmed down and had found positivity in this.

Why? Because the commenter inspired me to think about the thin line between inspiration and imitation.Talking to Amanda who assured me she didn’t feel offended by my blog – thanks for this, Amanda!

 Adapted version of the Pumpkin Coconut Rice from Peachy Palate – one of my favourite sources of recipes.

I know for sure I didn’t intend for my blog to be a – bad or else – copy of Amanda’s or anybody else’s. What I can say, though, is that her blog is truly inspiring to me – as are others. She’s a talented writer and I enjoy that her posts are touching deep, thought-provoking topics rather than being shallow. Whenever I write something I intend for it to be something I’d enjoy reading – be it an article, a letter – yes, I do still write them – or a blog post. So that’s why it might seem like I was trying to imitate the one or the other person’s style while I don’t mean to. I’m sorry if I offended anyone with my blog. Please let me know if you feel this way!

Finally got to enjoy one of my favourite Fall desserts again: Single-serving Apple Crumble adapted from Liz’ blog. My picture doesn’t do it justice.

I don’t mindfully try to imitate a certain writer’s style but rather develop my own style taking inspiration from here and there along the way. Be it an article in the newspaper, a book I read, the language of somebody I talked to or a blogger. While I think I’ve – more or less – found my own style in my mother tongue it’s like starting completely anew in English. My German style of writing and speaking has been in development ever since I was a little girl.  I couldn’t tell you how many writers and other people – starting from my parents – must have influenced me even if I wanted to. It’s entirely different in English, though, as I’m not regularly reading English newspapers and – unfortunately – am only getting the chance to talk to English speaking people every so often. Therefore I get my inspiration mostly from the blogs I read.

Crumbling once more with a creation of my own: A savoury vegetable casserole topped with vegan cheesy crumbles.

Fitting in with the theme of inspiration versus imitation the pictures in this post show dishes I had lately. One “imitated” as in following somebody else’s recipe, on inspired as I adapted it and one being my own creation. Sorry for the overall bad photography – I’m still learning.

Inspiration from others isn’t limited to the way I write or speak like. It can be found in every part of daily life. Whether it’s in terms of clothes – I’ve been known to address people on the stress asking where they got a certain piece of clothing from –, food or general way of life. As for the latter I don’t aspire to be like any famous person. The most inspiring person in my life? My mum – always has been, always will be.

Where do you get inspiration from – be it in terms of writing, food or else wise? Have you ever felt like touching the line between inspiration and imitation?

Who/what is your biggest inspiration in life?

Overwhelmed by choice[s]?

Thank you for your great comments on my last posts! It is relieving to know I’m not the only one experiencing things a certain way. I will admit, though, that I was hesitating about publishing my last post because the topic seemed too … simple.

Whether or not to do something is never an easy decision to make for me. Be it deciding which posts to publish, simply choosing my wardrobe in the morning – should I really combine this dress with the red belt?  –  or deciding on which field of studies to apply on after finishing school.

Indecisiveness has been hindering me from many chances life offered. Whether is was the summer camp I applied for too late one summer resulting in me still not having been to Italy yet. Or the dress I couldn’t decide buying on right away and which was sold out in every shop when I finally did. However small some of these opportunities were, my grievance about missing them seemed disproportionally large to others. I can’t blame them, though, because my anger deep within wasn’t about the single things but about my failure in making the “right” decision. About being overwhelmed by the choices given, thinking about every tiny consequence possibly resulting for far too long.

Polkadots are a standby I happily choose when it comes to the question of what to wear.

While others are jumping at opportunities, having fun and living life, I am stuck in place pondering the pros and cons of a certain decision. What I might miss out on if I attend a fellow student’s party and in the end missing out not only on the one event in question.  Rather passing a chance on getting more involved with the whole class. This is not to say I had no friends in university or elsewhere or didn’t get along with my fellow students. But I can’t say I wouldn’t enjoy getting to know the latter a bit better.

Being in recovery from an ED involves yet another huge decision to make every day: What to eat. Every person in my life – from family to friends, my therapist and others – thinks eating as a part of recovery should be amazing. “You’re allowed to eat your heart out and not watch your diet – I wish I could do that!”, is what I get to hear more often than I’d like to. If only it was that easy.

A recent recipe success: Cheesy Brussel & Apple Barley Risotto from Peachy Palate.

Because really, it’s exactly this freedom offering up too much room for decision. It starts at breakfast at doesn’t end until the last snack at night. While restriction meant cutting out certain foods hence hindering me from trying new recipes now it’s the sheer overflow of delicious looking recipes making me unable to decide. The final result? I’m still sticking mostly to old standby dishes and “favourites” – unsure how much of these are true favourites or only “safe” bets ED makes me stick to. I thought it was logical to be overwhelmed by the large selection of recipes cookbooks and blogs offerend me. But as of late, I find myself wondering whether being overwhelmed isn’t a decision I – or the ED part of me – knowingly make(s).

Most often, I plan on trying a certain new recipe at lunch and then deviate from the plan ending up unsatisfied with either an uninspired veggie mish-mash instead or a dozen small snacks. Why? Well, let’s have a look at today:  I worked from 12 to 6 with no break meaning that I was ravenous by the time I came home. Out of the window went the plan of the curry I had meant to try. In came the random bits and bites of everything that seemed semi-appealing. Highly dissatisfying to say the least.

Fruity & creamy

Far from dissatisfying snack of frozen Alpro Soya peach dessert. Ice cream wins me over every time.

All the while I kept excusing myself. I didn’t feel like standing over the stove for hours whipping up an elaborated dish after a long shift at work  or Oh, well, seeing as it’s 6.30 PM already I can just have a snack now since I’ll have dinner soon in anyway. Hence missing out once on an opportunity to try new foods and recipes once again.

But I don’t want to allow myself these lame excuses anymore. After all, there are many people having far busier schedules than me yet still eating properly. All I need is to plan and structure my days better. Because food – and life in general – isn’t waiting for me. It’s about me seizing the opportunities and living life.

Do you find yourself struggling with decisions or do you have an easy time choosing between options?

Whether you have/had an ED or not: Is it difficult for you to decide on what to eat at times? Do you find yourself in food ruts or constantly try new recipes?

Are there any tips you have for food planning on busy days? Do you plan meals in advance for the week?

I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences and tips!

Yay for today!

If September 2nd, 2012 was a person, I’d like to give it a big hug and say thanks for it having happened.

What made today special? Some time ago admitting the answer to this would have made me feel uneasy: Nothing.  Yes, I had a few hours of class in university.  Chatted with some friends. Had a pleasant talk with my boss. Ran a few errands and treated myself to my favourite but expensive non-dairy milk – Provamel hazelnut, if you’re curious. See what I mean with saying “nothing”? None of these things was “special” or an achievement.

Take a rest and smell the flower(s).

Still, I didn’t stress myself about it. Not too long ago, I would have been angry with myself for not making more of the day. Not checking off points on my to-do-list. Today, though, I was able to simply enjoy the day. Prepare delicious food and eat it with pleasure. This post by the lovely Amanda might have helped me realize that I don’t need to achieve anything to “deserve” good food or treat yourself in another way. Seeing it like that, my achievement for today would have been allowing myself to feel good while achieving nothing.

This little birdy told me to … call my sister who gave me this necklace a while ago – just because, no achievements needed.

Whatever tomorrow is going to be like, I’ll remind myself that the simplest of days can be joyful. On that note, I’m off to bed with a good book. Is there any better way to end a simple day?

How was your day? Do you like simple days or always need a busy schedule to feel good?