The Holiday Feels and Lessons Learned

Merry Christmas 🎄

It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it is hard to miss. That feeling you get when you are feeling purely content, similar to those feelings we have around the holidays. Feelings of joy wonder and content. For myself when I practice acceptance, I get deep feelings of content. Acceptance of who I am, where I am in my life, the people around me and my mindset. I make progress with myself, my negative self-talk, my assumptions and great expectations only when I accept what is. I then have a strong sense that I am grounded and deep feelings of satisfaction follow.

I have to say, that for the majority of my life, I have not liked working on myself. I saw it as a nuisance. Deep reflection, exercising, meditating and eating healthy has always been a struggle. My go to reaction to change and uncomfortable situations is flight. I would rather not think about things. But as I am getting older, I am learning that to access these deep feelings of contentment and joy throughout the entire year, not just the holidays, is to practice acceptance. I learned to accept the trajectory of my growth, the pace of my life and to trust the people around me. Accepting the truly uncomfortable parts of our personalities and dealing with the ugly parts of others is also part of joy. The holidays can get messy, as our lives get messy as well. We get triggered everyday by people and situations that take us to places emotionally we don’t want to be. Embracing these uncomfortable feelings during the holidays and throughout the year is what leads to joy and contentment. This is the lesson that I learned this year. To grow truly is to step into a mindset that may make you feel uncomfortable for a bit.

The work that you do on yourself and the lessons you learn from your growth is compounded over time. The rewards from this work is felt over generations. Eventually you start understanding yourself and you get to a place where you see why a particular situation led you to that person, thing, place or whatever it is that is happening in the moment, good or bad. What I have learned is to listen to each moment. Without judgment and criticism. This is very difficult to do but is well worth practicing over time because nothing stays the same and the bad moments we think we are experiencing are actually not as bad as we make them out to be.

When you get those holiday feels, the joy, the contentment and you feel as if your life is at peace, cherish those feelings, put them in your pocket and use them for the low days that will inevitably come. Growth continues and evolves as you practice getting familiar with feeling uncomfortable and practice accessing feelings of joy and gratitude when you really need it. When I practice acceptance, and see situations in a rational way, I feel content. Acceptance is key. And remember, situations and people don’t always stay the same, there is always room for change and things do change, always!

Happy Holidays and keep moving and growing, because there will always be feelings of joy, just around the corner. I promise.

Rejection

I have always treated my friendships hot or cold. All or nothing. Ride or Die sort of relationships. I’m not too sure that has worked out for me well over the years. I know the saying that friends come and go, but unless there isn’t an actual barrier like distance, I don’t know why most of my relationships fizzle out. I wonder if maybe it is growth, poor connection, consistency or lack of vulnerability that contribute to the deterioration of my relationships. I have been also reflecting on my part and how I contribute to all of this and how over time my identity changes with the relationships I keep.

Relationships of any kind have a give and take nature. Reciprocity is a vital component of keeping the relationship going, this I have struggled to maintain most in my relationships, at work, at home and even with new potential friends. I am eager and willing to always put myself out there first. I go out of my way to please. Although people pleasing is a real thing, I won’t get into it in this article, the focus here is rejection. I have always been puzzled in instances when I haven’t been reciprocated the exact experience I provide for my relationships. I want the same dinners I offer, I want the same frequency of visits, texts or phone calls asking me about my day, but it never seems to pan out. This disappointment inevitably turns into frustration and the relationship suffers in the long term.

I have come to understand that the feeling of rejection I feel has nothing to do with other people. I simply don’t take care of my own needs properly to see red flags in others to then react appropriately to what I need out of a relationship. I have always had a difficult time sitting in my own emotions and naming my feelings. This is an important task for self awareness that I am starting to see I am lacking. What I am looking for externally in other people I can only provide for myself. I have to name what I want and how I feel first. This concept has helped me process some of the unpleasant feelings about my relationships in the past and present, particularly about the lack of reciprocity from others and feelings of rejection.

I cannot control other people, therefore situations will always arise that will disappoint me. This doesn’t mean that I have to be so black and white about the people in my life. If you focus on your needs first and use proper communication, how other people respond is not in your control. To better understand where your feelings of rejection come from, think back when you first had rejection in your life and process those feelings first. This will help build better foundations for any new relationships. If there was a time that you didn’t feel good about yourself or a relationship, when rejection hurt, sit in those feelings and then let them go. Don’t take those feelings with you to a new situation. Take care of your needs and communicate them to others, the rest is for you to enjoy! Enjoy your relationships and the people in your life.

Mind Your Own Business

Recently I have been fortunate enough to be reminded that my spiritual journey has nothing to do with anyone else. I needed to hear these words, because I have a bad habit of judging others. I toggle back and forth from judgement and criticism to love and yearning for connection. These negative cycles don’t allow me to develop spiritually and heal any past wounds. These cycles are also very destructive to my relationships with others and myself. I was reminded recently that my journey of development and spiritual growth is mine and mine alone and to meet others where they are, for everyone has a unique path and timeline, that belongs only to them.

I have always been a person that lives in ideals. I hold on tightly to what I want, from people and my relationships and from myself. These hold me back from seeing reality as it is. My perception of the world is what is, and my negative judgments of the world color my world as such. I find it difficult not to impose my thoughts on the world. But I am learning, that it is necessary to make space between myself and others, to let them grow at their own pace. So that I see the world and other people for what and who they are. To allow others to grow at the pace they are most comfortable and also, that I am able to grow, at the pace I am most comfortable as well. 

Judgement comes from fear and shame. That fear and shame doesn’t allow you to see the world through the lens of love. Love is crucial for forgiveness and forgiveness is the only way out of a negative judgemental cycle. I needed to learn this concept to pursue my own path to happiness and find my way back to myself. My self development is my own journey that sometimes gets judged by myself and others. I continually forgive myself and my judgement of people around me, this is the only way to continue developing and progressing. 

As I release my judgement and my projections, I know I am able to move forward in my spiritual growth because my journey is unique to me and no one else can experience and live it other than myself alone. It is sometimes lonely and uncomfortable but very necessary for change. I encourage you to be brave in your exploration of your path without any judgement of yourself or others.  

Try to mind your own business, release gossip, judgement and focus on your own path and you will see that your spirit will flourish over time. 

Trust

For many years I grappled with the concept of trust. How do I trust myself, my decisions, my outlook on life, my perceived reality? How do I trust others? These questions loom over me constantly. I recently started unpacking my trust journey. I am acknowledging the defense mechanisms I have set up around myself that hinders my ability to trust. The protector part of me that stands in front of me, guides me, through discerning judgements, critical analysis of people and situations and feeds me a constant stream of negative fear. I have become aware of the importance of trust; it is a fundamental steppingstone for development and growth. And most importantly for true forgiveness.

Trust by definition is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. I have always been suspicious of anything that is too reliable or true. I am cynical of everyone. My trust was non-existent. If I can’t control it, it cannot be trusted. The protector in me kept me from trusting, so I controlled and judged. I craved for a better way of being and showing up in the world. I had to unpack trust. 

I know that humans are fallible and need space to make error. I didn’t allow anyone space to be human in my life. It just hurt too much. I am unforgiving because I don’t trust. How many times have I finalized and cut off a relationship simply out of fear, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment and fear of the unknown. Trust is love. I think I needed to learn that the trust I gave to myself was the love I gave to myself, and that was enough to expand outwards. Forgiveness and love are bred from trust. There was a lot of forgiving I needed to give to myself first.

I believe the walls we build around our hearts is the trust we are unable to extend to the world. Fear, painful events in our lives and chronic stress dampen trust over time. Trust is simply a leap of faith to try again and again despite the hurt we face over and over again. There is no real escape from the heartbreak we all ultimately face, and will continue to face, simply because humans are complex and fallible creatures. We are all capable of inflicting serious pain and when we decide to be distrustful, the suffering only multiplies. 

Over the years, I have built layers of judgement of myself and others that festered into cynicism and a negative outlook. I have internalized a lot of pain and practiced years of self-sabotage. Along with not trusting anyone I also did not trust myself. I didn’t trust that I was able to show up in the world in a positive way. That my life was important, that I am able to contribute in a meaningful way, that I had permission to fill space in the world. Today, I see how important trust is in creating the world that connects me with the rest of my community. To practice the life I truly want, I need trust whole heartedly and release any expectations. Despite what shows up in my life, I want to choose trust every day. As I embrace trust, the protector part of me settles down, becomes more still and walks by me, not in front of me, watching carefully, and no longer getting in the way of what is the potential of a beautiful and meaningful life. With trust I am able to form new relationships, new ways of being, seeing and living. 

Trust. 

Timing Is Everything

Have you ever felt like you just have bad timing? Or that time is just not on your side? 

If I had more time, or gone back in time to change some of my past decisions, I wonder how this would have affected the future that I have today. Or, if I could have just been in the right place at the right time, maybe my life could have been different. I like to dwell in the past, this is my weakness. Timing is everything. In my head I like to reorganize my past events, introduce a whole bunch of “what ifs” and create endless narrative around the different possible scenarios “that could have been”.

I do believe that there is a place and time for every stage in life. But what if you don’t have the opportunity to realize a life stage due to conflicting life obligations? Like travel due to family obligations, party the night away because of work or school obligations and maybe even explore different love relationships when young because of family expectations and restrictions and now you are married with kids.

There isn’t a way to skip any phase of life. If you are experiencing a void of some kind, a feeling of emptiness will creep on you and will sweep over you like a wave. A yearning will start building in the cracks of your soul. Exploring different parts of our identity and personality is just a part of our human condition. I know for my personality, there are still a lot of unexplored identities I would like to tease out, the question though I ask is… when? When is it a good time to explore? To change? To seek? I don’t think a good time for “being” exists. You just do life as it comes. Life is not a dress rehearsal. 

I met my husband in my twenties, almost a ten-year gap passed, and we found each other again at the same pub through mutual friends. We were at the right place at the right time, we reunited and two years later we were married. I guess the first time we got together it didn’t work because it was bad timing. But then I sometimes wonder what our life would be like if we did end up committing when we were young. Would we be the same people? Was it really bad timing? Or was the gap that we weren’t together just wasted time? 

I question the timing of my life because it is something that I cannot control, and this bothers me. I have to trust that whatever stage I am in my life, I am making the best decisions for myself with conviction and based on my value system. I have to use what resources and energy I have in the moment to make the most of my current situations, without judgment and criticism of my past decisions, and have no expectations of the future. Everything that I have conjured up in my life is an accumulation of my past. The trust and faith that I have in myself gets shaky when I feel like time is not on my side, or that I have wasted my time. My ego gets bruised and I feel like my value system needs to be revaluated.

I worry about having regrets. Then I get frustrated about worrying, and waste my time on regretting my past decisions. It is cyclical hell. When I get into this state, I try to forgive my past decisions and move on. This is the only thing I can do. Stay firm in my values and sit in gratitude. I remind myself that I am not my past, and that my worth doesn’t decrease from my past decisions. Even though I step into my fantasy world of “what ifs” for only just a minute to indulge myself, I know that too long in this state of mind, judgement engulfs me and so I create distance and step out of this space. I try to balance my expectations of what I am able to accomplish, with the time I have, and with the resources allowable to me at the time. I know I can’t do it all. Even though things don’t always work out in a timely fashion and not exactly how I want, there is still lots of new and exciting possibilities coming my way and dwelling on regrets or wasted time is not how I want to spend my days.

The time is now. 

Wherever you are. 

This is the right place and the right time to live your life. 

Today. 

Be you.

No regrets!

You Can’t Have It All

I wanted it all when I was younger, but now I know that I cannot have it all. The “all” I am talking about is anything really. The perfect house, the best relationships, the ideal job and the list is endless. When I was younger I was wildly ambitious, invincible, courageous, tenacious and fierce. This changed as I got older. Not to say that I am less of these traits but certainly different. As my priorities took form, I started to come terms with the idea that I cannot have it all. The ideal of everything, started to morph into the reality of everything instead. 

I choose to focus my energy on very specific values and principles, and where my focus goes my energy flows. My energy is what gets me to where I want to be in the future. I build my foundation of my life with the energy I create in the world. My emotions help me turn my energy into action then turning my beliefs into reality. I do not have an abundant amount of energy for all of the things in my life and I don’t subscribe to the idea that people have a limitless amount of energy. I know that there is only so much time in the day and so much tolerance from needless noise in life from external forces. If I want to accomplish certain goals I need to be frugal with my energy and time, that means that some people, situations, experiences and opportunities are going to be left behind. What is left behind is not a loss, it is simply a matter of math.

I do a cost benefit analysis of the priorites/people in my life every so often. I look at my situations, relationships and where my future is going and decide what is worth my energy. You simply cannot dedicate yourself to everything and everyone without burning out. Have an honest look at the reality of the situaitons and people in your life, this is a good guide post to where your focus should go. Living in a fantasy world or having great expectations about your life and the people in it destroys your ability to set proper goals. 

In my life my expectations of people were blinding me to who they really were. This set me up for some serious heartache when my energy was wasted from my goodwill or trying to mend or justify arguments. I wanted people to be who I thought they were, not who they actually were. I didn’t give people the space to show me who they were before judging them and not accepting their real selves, in turn branding them with a new personality that fit better to mine. I wanted it all. The perfect relationships, the kind that fit only me. I remedied this by listening to people and hearing how they told on themselves, piecing together their true personalities. The more I listen, the better I am able to make room for others where they belong not where I think they should be.

I peeled off the expectations and the masks I put on others, and organically situations flowed. That meant a little more work on my part, to get closer to achieving healthier and more honest relationships.

My values dictate my way of life and my priorities path the roads I travel on. Just because there are roadblocks, diversions and other nonsense, doesn’t mean I have to quit at what I want to accomplish. Sometimes, I pivot, reorganize or simply rest to feel re-energized again. Just because one area of my life is bad doesn’t mean all is lost. There is good in some of my life and not so good in other parts. I decide where I want to improve, and where or when it is not worth my energy.

One area of my life worth my energy is my marriage but I had some serious expectations of what my married life would look like, how my in-laws would be, how many kids I would have, and where I would live. Nothing turned out like I thought it would, because I don’t have the energy for it all. I have to compromise. There are somethings in my life that are exactly what I wanted and others quite the opposite. The things that I am thrilled with have compounded even more joy from the contrast of the things I don’t have. Let the things that you feel you should have, be the way that they are. You don’t have it because your energy is somewhere else. If you don’t like where your energy is flowing, consider where your focus is growing, that is where your life is going.

Life is not a race it is a marathon. Every chapter in life has its own title, story, plot line and characters. Do not compare your unique chapters with anyone else. Life is different day to day, month to month, year to year and unique only to you. Allow what comes and keep the energy flowing where it needs to be, everything else will unfold.

“You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime
You’ll find
You get what you need”

– The Rolling Stones 

What is your Why?

Why exercise?… is what I ask myself every time I lace my running shoes or roll out my yoga mat. I ask myself this question, set an intention for my workout and my body responds with vibrant energy. My shoes at my front door are always smiling at me, my mat rolled up in my living room giving me a wink when I pass by, and my headphones always at the ready at any given moment of the day.

Why I exercise?

It is constant and reliable. 

It is the surety of a good feeling. It is a time for clarity, self reflection and detoxification. Setting an intention for every run or yoga practice keeps things fresh and alive. I like to think of the issues in my life and set an intention of kindness, compassion, clarity or whatever else I need before every exercise to clear the energy in my body, that these conflicts are creating. The movement alone purifies me, and once the run or yoga practice are done, I am cleansed and feel new. 

But on days that I have no energy and feel burnt out I ask…

Why I Exercise?

Because I can! That reason alone shifts my attitude and realigns my energy to a positive space. 

And when I look in the mirror I ask… 

Why I Exercise? 

My body is worth the care. My body deserves movement and proper nutrition. My body deserves respect. 

I have always been keenly aware of the way people treat me when I am a little overweight or when I know I am looking good. Body image is not my intention for exercising. Even though I know that working out can make you feel better about the way you look, I don’t want to put myself in a box. I don’t buy into a certain body shape or ideal. I want my intention for working out to come from a place that doesn’t include others opinions of my body, it is a personal journey for me. If others enjoy my results, that has nothing to do with my intent. 

On days that I feel bored or uninspired I ask…

Why I exercise?

To get high.

I love to feel alive. I used to love partying and drinking. Even though I don’t have alcohol in my life anymore, I still celebrate my life in other ways. The thrill of partying, music and people can sometimes be the same high experienced when exercising.

There are moments on my run when I stop and just take the world in, heart throbbing, hands sweating, legs burning and I think to myself there is nothing better than this pain right now, because I feel every second of it. My muscles loose and my energy high.

My body both crying to stop, and yearning for more. 

Pleasure and pain, all in one. 

This is my why. 

Why do you Exercise? 

3 Ways To Deal: When Life Is Unfair

When I experience unfairness or injustice my body feels it instantly. My fight/flight mode kicks in, anger and fear bubble like a volcano. I stew with anxiety, and if left unchecked I feel depressed for some time, until I soak in a proper dose of reality and some exercise. 

Fairness is subjective. Life is not fair because it is not supposed to be. Life is competitive short and painful. I think it is important to come terms with this, and not perpetuate the suffering by dwelling and complaining. Complaining about the unfairness of life is pouring salt on a wound. Here are some things I like to do when a door is slammed in my face, or a promotion sails by my office desk, or when I simply cannot take the injustice anymore of anything in my life. 

  • Exercise 

When that anger or rage fills my body the best thing I do for myself is get up and move. Sometimes unfairness hits you when you are burnt out and it seems counterintuitive to move, but it is important to do so to remove yourself of all the stress hormones raging through your body. Go for a run, a walk, bike ride or simply move around your house. When you perceive injustice or unfairness your body responds with anger and fear, get some fresh air and move to get rid of the toxins. A change of scenery and movement helps your body and mind relax. 

  • Create a Goal and Achieve It

Competition is something we all live with. Comparing our lives with others is just part of living in society. Now with social media it is more prevalent than ever before. Most of our unfair views come from our expectations that we should have what everyone else has. But we don’t know how others have achieved their perceived success. Luck over hard work has a lot to do with success, and that is something no one is able to control. When I create a goal, big or small and actually achieve it, this helps me achieve a sense of control over my life. I try to be in competition with the only person I should be, with myself. Your life should not be in competition with anyone else but yourself, the most important task is developing your own self worth so that your perception of fairness is not so obtuse that complaining dominates your life. Success is handed out unfairly, so setting your own personal goals that are attainable are important to satisfy your self esteem and live a fulfilled life.

  • Practice Gratitude

When you can’t get the things you want, appreciate the things you have. There have been many moments in my life when I thought that I would just quit because things seemed so unfair. But then I stopped and thought about all the things that I have accumulated getting to that point, and only when I stopped and looked back I realized how much richness I have in my life. When you feel like you need or want something other than what you presently have, you will always see life as unfair. Chasing success, material things and status is addictive. Constantly looking forward, never looking back is a vicious cycle creating a scarce mind set and unsatisfied life. Maybe my life isn’t exactly the way I want it but it also isn’t exactly the way I don’t want it. Life is subjective and fairness is subjective. What I have, someone else would kill for, so it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are so many surprises that come out of not getting what you want, these sometimes can turn out to be the biggest blessings of your life.  Be grateful because you never know what is coming next.

Life is complex, with many obstacles, and nothing is for certain. Life wasn’t meant to be fair, but it definitely is beautiful and worth it. By accepting the realities of your own life and looking at unfair moments as opportunities to grow and learn your body and mind will interact in a healthier way.

Don’t resist change.

The only way out is through. 

“The only thing that makes life unfair

is the delusion that it should be fair.”

– Steve Maraboli 

Gaslights, Light The Way

It is undeniable the damage a gaslighter can do if you get too close to their fire. Reality to me is something that is uncontested truth. I like facts, words and the concreteness of things. To some, reality is merely an illusion that is simply energy, a perisistent illusion. I think of reality as something that is real and existent as opposed to something that is imaginery, it is the totality of a system, known and unknown. Physcial objects, tangible and real things make up reality. I like to play with the “what-ifs” and the “what could be” once in a while, but I certainly am not blind to the “what-is” in my life.

But what happens when someone tries to undermine your entire perception of reality? 

Throughout my life I have met all sorts of people, from different backgrounds from my travels and even in my own city through school, work and different love relationships. The personalities that have helped solidify my own perception of myself the most where the… gaslighters. 

Gaslighters communicate in way that leave you feeling dazed, and make you question if there is something wrong with you.

Gaslighting is basically underming your reality. It is about power and control. Some basic tactics are minimizing your thoughts and feelings, deflecting and shifting blame, denying wrongdoing, using compassion as a weapon and twisting and reframing conversations. It is the behaviour not the person that I don’t tolerate. I believe that everyone can do better. I am not perfect myself and have caught myself torching others with these tactics. Awareness is key.

Gaslighters have shown me my light.

In the past I  have entertained opinions about my character and put them on to wear but they never fit. The negative realities and the perceptions that were not my own were itchy, uncomfortable and never sat well with me. I am not against constructive criticism but there is a fine line. My judgments and perceptions are my own to express no matter what the other person feels. If this is challenged to the point that I have lost my opinions and feelings and adopted the other persons perceptions this is no longer a true representation of my world. 

When my husband and I decided to change and grow and pursue a healthy life including going booze free, I thought we would receive only postive feedback. To my surprise that wasn’t the case, and not only did we receive negative feedback, but we found ourselves isolated for a while from people we thought we could trust and support us.

For a time I was confused but then I realized that I have a voice and I have the right to express it. I was able to carry my truth of my reality only when I wasn’t afraid to lose people that didn’t allow me to grow in my life and I let them go. 

Let the gaslighters carry their perception of you by themselves, you don’t need to burden yourself with other peoples opinions of you. I am glad I ditched those torches. That was not my baggage.

I think that if you make a commitment to your reality, and what you think your future should look like, this is more important than how others perceive you. I now understand that no matter how hard you try to please others, or try to explain your perspective and feelings, it is not worth losing your power and your sense of self.

You own your right to make space in the world and show up in a way that celebrates who you are. Raw, unfiltered and real. Too many times I have let my self-image, my persistence to please and my fear, take my voice away. Now I see, that even if I generate positive energy, make myself healthier or try to contribute for the good, there will always be opposition and that reality has nothing to do with me. It takes a gaslighter sometimes to show you the light, to help you solidify your own truth and give you strength to never allow anyone to dim your light again.

Hold that torch high.

Keep shining.

Keep moving. 

You Got This!

Sugar My Frenemy

Since I was a kid I loved sugar. I watched my grandma bake apple struddle pies, and as soon as they would land on her kitchen table to cool, I would pick at the pie and eat tiny forbidden pieces. The soft, delicious warm pieces, where my first real memories of the feeling and taste  of sweet sugar. As I got older, sugar has always been something that gave me a quick energy boost and feelings of warm familiar comfort. 

It isn’t easy to deny sugar. As it is in most of my kitchen items, ketchup, most sauces, honey for my tea, cereal, and so many more. But when I seek sugar, I definitely do it deliberately. Now when I think of it, after not drinking for 5 years, I have realized I rely on sugar for energy more than I think. As I get older, and have more on my life plate, my energy is dwindling and need more to sustain me throughout the week. I reach for items to put in my body that will keep me going. This is not necessarily a bad or good thing. I am aware of it happening. 

Some days my healthy diet just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes, I have long work weeks or something throws me off my game and I need an energy boost. In my earlier days, getting more energy out of me was going to the bar and having a drink. The sugar alone in the drink gave me my second or third wind for the day. Now, a cookie, a piece of chocolate and even tons of honey is my elixir, some days are worse than others.

Everything in moderation I have heard over and over. But sometimes, moderation isn’t enough to get me through to the end of the day without having more than one cookie or piece of chocolate, but I don’t beat myself up about it. What I do, is keep in mind my awareness of my relationship with sugar. Just like when I reached for a second or third drink to give me a boost of energy, I am aware I am doing the same with food now. 

Habits are funny like that. If you are not careful, the same habit creeps up on you in a different way. Just like the same type of person may keep showing up in your life, until you acknowledge it. I try to acknowledge my patterns of sugar intake with how much stress I am experiencing in the week, the month or even in the day. This helps me be aware of what might come next. This awareness slows down my sugar ride by creating some distance between my thoughts and my actions. I’m not too hard on myself about my relationship with my friend sugar, I know it is here to stay and I welcome it in my life but I am also not naĂŻve about my patterns and habits with it. I try to create an inclusive and non judgemental space for sugar in my life so that I am not so harsh on myself when it shows up in my life a little more than I would like for a small period of time. I breath, take a bite, enjoy and get on with my life. 

“You can be miserable before you have a cookie, and you can be miserable after you eat a cookie, but you can’t be miserable while you are eating a cookie.” – Ina Garten