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Stopping the Negativity

November 24, 2011

Why didn’t I read the recipe first? What was I thinking?

I’m sitting here, staring at this:

cream cheese, cheesecake ingredients

Two packs of cream cheese. Three eggs. A prepared crust.

I’m simply staring at these ingredients (and not using them) because I barely read the recipe before planning to make this cheesecake, and didn’t realize that the cream cheese and eggs need to be room temperature before cooking.

Have I mentioned that as I’m writing this, it’s 12:03 a.m. on Thanksgiving? Once the eggs and cream cheese are room temperature, then I need to make the cheesecake filling. Then it has to cook for an hour and a half. After that, it needs to cool before I can put it in the fridge.

Needless to say, I’ve got a long night ahead of me. The good news is that I can stop complaining about not having any time to write a blog post, considering I’m pretty much open for the next two hours. Normally, I could use TV as an excuse, but infomercials aren’t my thing.

Although, I’m seriously considering purchasing PajamaJeans. Genius! They are pajamas. And jeans. All in one. They’re only $39.95 and you get a free grey crewneck t-shirt with purchase! And according to the infomercial, they look like they were made by a European designer. Those Europeans really know their stuff.

As the infomercial says, “You’re busy. You have a lot going on. You want to look great. And you deserve to be comfortable. Who has time to find just the right outfit? Get it all done and look great, doing it in PajamaJeans.”

Sold.

You may be wondering why I am cooking so late. Well, it’s because I have a serious procrastination problem. I had pretty much all day to make this damn cheesecake, but other things were more important – Harry Potter, primarily. Remember when I told you about how I am culturally inept and only this year discovered Harry Potter? I am now on the final book – it only took me four months.

That’s four months of my life I won’t be getting back, people. But I now know what Muggles, Quidditch, Polyjuice Potion and horcruxes are. I mean, that’s all really important information. It’s gonna get me really far.

Please hold. I suspect the eggs and cream cheese are room temperature by now.

I was correct. The cheesecake is now in the oven. Tastes pretty good too. Yes, you heard me right. I just tasted a cheesecake filling that includes uncooked eggs. If I die of salmonella we all know why.

making cheesecake, KitchenAid mixer

Mixing my ingredients. This is just an excuse to show you my fabulous red KitchenAid mixer.

Here's the cheesecake before cooking. Yum.

Where was I?

Oh. Nowhere very interesting. I suspect I should move along to the point of today’s post.

So it’s Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving, guys. I hope you are having a wonderful day with your family. I hope that you eat so much you want to puke. And then I hope the minute the pukey feeling subsides, you eat dessert, followed by leftovers a few hours later, because calories don’t count on Thanksgiving.

You heard it here first. Eat up.

If you are reading other blog posts today, I’m sure you’ll see a lot of people talking about what they are thankful for. Not this girl.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for many things. I have so much in my life – my family, friends, career, health, this blog, ice cream, love. There isn’t much more I could ask for.

But what I really want to talk about is negativity. I’ve noticed that this is the time of the year where negativity starts to creep into my mind, like a virus. While everyone else is seemingly swimming in holiday happiness, I get a little down. Correction: I get myself a little down.

There’s this negative track that runs in my head on repeat:

I hate the cold. I miss summer and the lake. The holidays still don’t feel the same without my ex fiancé. I’m never going to have this perfect life that everyone else seems to have. I’m not sure where things with Chef are going. Is being happy with the way things are enough? I’ve gained three pounds while I should be losing weight for Hawaii. I’m going to die alone. I’m never going to have children to buy presents for. My cheesecake always cracks. I look terrible in that picture. I haven’t been reading/commenting on other blogs enough. Hell, I haven’t been writing this blog enough. I have no idea what to get anyone for Christmas. I’m too broke for Christmas. My house is a mess. I miss so many parts of my old life.

Like many people, I’m my own biggest critic. I find myself focusing on the negative, and not being very kind to myself. I can’t remember the last time I looked at a picture of myself and didn’t criticize something. When did I stop looking at pictures as the memory captured and instead start looking at them so judgmentally?

Why am I beating myself up so much?

This time of the year is hard for a lot of people. Memories can haunt you. And with so much pressure to be perfect, it’s easy to feel like you simply don’t measure up. And family doesn’t always help the situation. Old arguments can resurface, and uncomfortable questions asked. It’s hard not to feel like a complete failure when relatives ask repeatedly if you are ever going to settle down and get married.

Here’s what I think: It’s time to stop the negativity. If you aren’t going to be kind to yourself, who will?

Going forward, I’m trying to actively replace my negative thoughts with positive ones. If I start putting myself down, I’m going to try to build myself up instead. I’m going to kill myself with kindness. And, when I find myself grumbling about what I don’t have, I’m going to remind myself of what I do. Because I have so much for which to be thankful, and I’m positive I don’t appreciate it enough.

Damn it. Back to being thankful. I guess that’s OK. It is Thanksgiving, after all.

Baked homemade cheesecake photo

Here it my cooked cheesecake. Now I just have to wait another hour for it to be cool enough to put in the refrigerator. I'm never going to sleep.

Oh, and my cheesecake looks great. It didn’t even crack! You can find the recipe here.

Tell me, do you struggle with negativity? Is it harder this time of the year to stay positive? Any tips for being kinder to yourself?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Make it a great one!

Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.


30 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2011 8:42 am

    This is an issue I struggle with too. I always worry if I lay of myself that in reality that I’m really just ignoring problems or weaknesses in myself that I need to work on. I am my own harshest critic, and I’ve had friends tell me it gets out of hand at times. I am going to work on being more forgiving of myself as a whole. I can’t expect anyone else to be good to me if I’m not good to myself.

    • November 26, 2011 8:56 pm

      Tiffany,
      Thank you for sharing. “I can’t expect anyone else to be good to me if I’m not good to myself.” EXACTLY. At least we are both aware of this and trying to do better. It’s all we can do. I think we can all benefit from being a little nicer to ourselves!

  2. Lori permalink
    November 24, 2011 9:05 am

    Happy Thanksgiving!! So much to be thankful for this year…and YOU…are absolutely on my list! Thankful for you, your words, your heart, and most importantly our “forming” friendship…

    • November 26, 2011 8:54 pm

      Thank you Lori! Never been on someone’s thankful list. That’s exciting! haha 🙂 Hope you and your family had a wonderful day.

  3. November 24, 2011 9:16 am

    Gobble, Gobble Catherine!
    I am up cooking and still trying to muster up the energy to prepare a potato salad. Dinner is a t 3pm, it is now 9am and I am reading and commenting on blogs. Good luck with that, right?
    I find I am more lenient on myself during the holidays…hard not to be. Holiday poundage doesn’t count (you said it yourself), waking up to a job (or being able to support yourself in this economy), to see the food on the table when so many families are without, even the dysfunction with families….you have to be thankful that so many people who really do love you unconditionally (despite the fact you all just had a raging argument 5 minutes before) are still here to argue with you.
    As for physically, you are perfect the way you are whether you are a size 4 or a size 24. So what things aren’t the same this holiday as in holidays past? Given how it all turned out…you are in a better place with a better guy and more than likely a better person. When I see you, when I read you….I see a pretty, confident, outgoing, accomplished person with a wonderful life AND a Kitchen-Aid mixer…in RED! Who makes cheesecakes!! So jealous!
    Have a wonderful day and remember…you are wonderful!

    • November 26, 2011 8:54 pm

      DC,
      You are the sweetest person on earth and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comment. The funny thing is I didn’t realize how down I was in this blog post until my mom pointed it out to me. Guess I don’t do well without sleep. Your comment was such a boost to me on Thanksgiving and I know you are so right. Like I said, I’m trying to be more positive, and all these things you’ve pointed out are great reasons!

      Hope your dinner turned out great. I’ve never heard of potato salad on Thanksgiving – but that sounds delicious! 🙂

  4. mom permalink
    November 24, 2011 10:47 am

    No cracks fantastic! !!! I love you hope you got some rest ..

    • November 26, 2011 8:51 pm

      Love you 🙂 I did… that’s why I was late to your house! 🙂

  5. November 24, 2011 11:17 am

    The cheescake looks brilliant. I’m sure it wil taste lovely too. I’m too full of that and your account of making it to think of negativity but it is something we all struggle with it,however we package it

    • November 26, 2011 8:50 pm

      Glad to hear I’m not alone… sorry this post was kind of a downer. Wasn’t trying to be, but guess I was in that place.
      The cheesecake was great. Try the recipe! So easy 🙂

  6. November 24, 2011 2:31 pm

    Enjoy your holiday! The cheesecake looks fab!

    • November 26, 2011 8:50 pm

      It was delish. Notice I said was. It’s all gone. haha 🙂
      Happy belated Thanksgiving 🙂

  7. November 25, 2011 11:40 am

    I’ve never actually made a cheesecake, but I understand that putting a pan of water in the oven at the same time is supposed to keep it moist and prevent it from cracking. Looks like yours turned out just fine regardless!

    And Pajama Jeans? What a brilliant idea…

    • November 26, 2011 8:49 pm

      I alwayx do the water bath, but before this year, it never seemed to work! I was told by a chef that the important thing is the water bath but also cooking at 350 for 30 minutes, then leave in the oven with the oven off for an hour. My previous recipes including cooking it at a higher temperature for like 45 minutes. I guess slower, longer is better. (That’s what she said.)
      Happy Thanksgiving Mark 🙂

  8. November 26, 2011 2:22 am

    Do I struggle with negativity? Have you SEEN my latest blog post?

    😉

    Yeah. Maybe just a tad. Except I’m not sure I’d characterize it as struggling as much as accepting the reality that negativity is just a part of life…especially for those of us who are our own worst critics.

    I suggest an extra slice of cheesecake and maybe some sleep. Like a FULL night of sleep.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • November 26, 2011 8:42 pm

      Mikalee,
      Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, and no, I hadn’t seen the post you spoke of but I am on the way now. 🙂
      And don’t worry. I’ve had lots of cheesecake and sleep since this post. My mom noted that I was so.. well.. negative in this post. Sorry to be a downer guys! Not my intention but maybe that’s what lack of sleep does to me?

  9. November 26, 2011 6:26 pm

    That cheesecake looks delicious!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

    PS Have you seen the infomercial fro the snuggie type jumpsuit yet! OMG–Hilarious!!

    • November 26, 2011 8:39 pm

      Thanks Melissa! That cheesecake was the best I’ve made. Definitely check out the recipe (easy too, except the room temperature ingredients, lol).

      I haven’t seen that infomercial! Although, I will tell you, I own a Slanket. It’s like a Snuggie only better. Haha 🙂

      Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

  10. Bloodymary010 permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:17 am

    Thanksgiving’s over and I thought: “Girl, you should go out and enjoy yourself!!”
    Major mistake. You asked about negativity. Well, (usually) I am a very positive woman but this weekend negativity hit me. And all I can think now is: “I am going to end up alone”!
    At this very moment I feel like I am drowning in negativity…
    In the end I do think that has a lot to do with the winter season; since it’s cold outside you are supposed to snuggle up to someone you love, to drink a lot of tea and take long walks in the snow. And not to sit at home, all by yourself and try to study (I really AM trying…but I keep on failing massivly…thanks to Adele!! :D)
    The conclusion of this weekend:
    I still need time. Time to find myself, time to be on my own, time to take care of me and my broken heart.

    • December 4, 2011 9:32 pm

      Bloodymary,
      I totally hear where you are coming from. I hope that you are feeling better since you left this comment. It realy does just take time, which is the most annoying thing because you can’t do anything about it. Just take it a day at a time, and try to find something to feel joyful for every day. I think you’ll be surprised that there will be a day when you don’t have to force yourself to be happy… you just will be. And I think you are on the right track – you need to take the time to take care of your broken heart. Good luck to you.

  11. Oh, my roaring 20's... permalink
    November 27, 2011 2:26 pm

    Wow. Thanks for posting this… I find myself in the same boat this year, and this kind of called me out on my own negativity. The good in my life far outweighs the bad, it’s just easier to focus on the bad. So here’s to not taking the easy way out!
    Ps. You have the exact red mixer I’ve been lusting after forever!

    • December 4, 2011 9:30 pm

      “The good in my life far outweighs the bad, it’s just easier to focus on the bad.”….. You and me both. I think it’s just important to stay aware of it, and do our best to be more positive. It feels better to be positive than negative anyway! PS — you should totally get the mixer! I love love love it! I’ve had this one for like 3 or 4 years and it still works great. Totally worth it.

  12. November 28, 2011 7:44 pm

    Looks delish, and what a great reminder. Keep inspiring us AND yourself because you do it soooooooooo well. Hope your Thanksgiving was fun!

  13. November 29, 2011 8:57 am

    Mmmm…cheesecake.

    I’m so glad you discovered Harry Potter. That’s a good reason to procrastinate on the cheesecake.

    Also, I’m pretty sure Salmonella is a myth. I eat raw cookie dough all the time and never get sick.

    Excuse me while I find some wood to knock on.

    • December 4, 2011 9:28 pm

      Haha. I also eat raw cookie dough like it’s my job. 🙂 And, I just finished Harry Potter. LOVED IT! So happy I got into it. A little bummed it’s over now, though.

  14. November 29, 2011 10:03 am

    Hah! what a brilliant and funny post! First of all, you may not buy pajama jeans. I veto that. Secondly, what a beautiful cheesecake!!! It has inspired me to make one too!!! yumm!

    Also: “Going forward, I’m trying to actively replace my negative thoughts with positive ones. If I start putting myself down, I’m going to try to build myself up instead.” I’m going to type this in as a reminder for myself on my phone! it’s very important! one thing that helps me sometimes, when I’m down in the gutter with negativity, is to look around me, and find one beautiful thing about every person I see. Instant mood shifter. =)

    • December 4, 2011 9:26 pm

      Thanks, Larissa! “…look around me, and find one beautiful thing about every person I see.” That is a great idea, I am going to try and do that to. And how was your cheesecake? I’m craving more… might have to make another… but not so late at night 🙂
      I’m going to try to avoid the Pajama Jeans as you suggest…it’s just so…hard…. 🙂

  15. November 30, 2011 10:06 pm

    Music, music, music!!! I can’t say it enough. Music can take you to a better place! Do you listen to Florence + The Machine? This is her new song, I was just writing about it the other day…

    http://oneminuteaday.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/shake-it-out/

    • December 4, 2011 9:24 pm

      Lola,
      Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve never been that into music, but part of me wishes I was more into it. I can totally see how you can use music to get through hard times.

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