I have a fairly small but noteworthy collection of regular readers. And I think it doesn’t take a detective or even someone who knows me very well to tell that I was having a rough Christmas. It’s funny (but not ha-ha funny). I used to think that depression for me was seasonal — and that I’d actually be at my worst in the summers, because when weather is too warm I become lethargic and unmotivated. I’m realizing now that it’s just the ways my brain decides to work some days.
Of course, circumstances weren’t great around the holidays. I was bummed from receiving some pretty harsh criticism right before I left to go to my parents’, then my time there turned into a bit of a rough go as well. I spent the rest of the break trying to recover, while being bogged down with period cramps. It was rough, I tell you.
I’ve been on a bit of a role lately, despite being sick.
What I’ve learned is that I need to strike a balance between two unreasonable ends:
- I need to stop thinking that there’s a magical successful trick to just becoming happy and staying happy
- But I can’t let the fact that there is no “trick” stop me from making the most of my happy days, celebrating my good moods and taking it all in.
I think the Internet is obsessed with happy women, especially once you step down the vegan/fitness/healthy living rabbit hole. Everyone is all smiles and natural light and exclamation points and long paragraph captions about gratitude, “Namaste! :)”
I’m not saying I don’t buy it. But I am saying that it creates a lot of unreasonable pressure to live up to, and I don’t want to ever have to feel like I can’t express my blahs.
Quick story time: last week I got rejected for a job I really wanted. It was a news editor job for a marketing magazine. They didn’t hire anyone, because none of the candidates were qualified enough. Tears started rolling down my face and I couldn’t stop. The first thing I did was text my partner. I’m used to, in the past, having someone who would tell me, “Don’t be upset” or “It’s okay.” Instead he told me, “I can understand why you’re so upset. It meant a lot to you.” We talked a bit about why I was so upset, but soon I was focusing on the positive — what I was rejected for (lack of senior editorial experience) was nothing I could have changed! I did everything I could, and I came up a little short. I made a great connection with the EIC and publisher, and even followed up with them and confirmed that they really, really liked me. It’s been almost two weeks since the rejection and you know what? I feel great. I’ve been on a turnaround. I’m sure this won’t last forever, but I learned one thing from this:
Pushing down your sad feelings when you feel upset just puts it off. Letting them come to the surface and working through them will help you move on from them in a healthy way.
So, speaking of healthy, because I’ve been on this upward spiral, I’ve been more passionate than ever about taking care of myself. I’ve been trying to have more solid breakfasts lately (I average about three liquid breakfasts and four solid breakfasts a week now).
I’ve been a little curious about breakfast quinoa. I’m still not great at cooking quinoa, and it always turns out sticky, but this calls for slightly sticky quinoa. I also was very late to jump on the quinoa train (I found it tasted very harsh) and felt apprehensive about buying quinoa knowing that the harvesting practices are quite exploitative.
The quinoa I used was harvested in Canada, which feels a lot better.
This breakfast is sweet, sticky, fun and keeps you feeling fed. What more could you want?
Peanut butter breakfast quinoa parfait, makes 2 large parfaits
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp PB2*
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup granola
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- 4 tbsp coconut spread
- Coconut shavings, unsweetened
- Coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener
* — PB2 is powdered peanut butter that I often use for baking. It can be really difficult to find, so you can use regular peanut butter, but melt it so that it is fine and liquidy and mixes into the quinoa well.
- Cook the quinoa. Bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.
- Fluff the quinoa and add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and PB2. If it’s too dry to incorporate everything smoothly, add a bit of water.
- Let the quinoa cool slightly in a bowl so it’s warm, not hot.
- Warm the coconut spread so you can pour it easily.
- Layer the quinoa, granola, blueberries, goji berries (I soaked them first) and coconut spread to your liking. Drizzle with coconut nectar and coconut shavings.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings, followers! I hope everyone has a great day and keeps up the smiling when they can – but don’t be afraid to be sad. It’s good for you.