Pi(e) Day Party Anniversary!!!

What is it about pictures that make it so hard for me to post them up? Perhaps I feel I have to pour over every detail of every picture before I release them into the universe. Maybe it is because I used to spend countless hours touching up photos with Photoshop in high school. The purpose of my Photoshop skills was mainly to insert myself into picture with hot actors, but the self-imposed education made me a perfectionist about details.


me and richard in woods3 copy

Real boyfriends were overrated, I had too many fictional ones to mess with “real people.” No never you mind that I did this in college. Mind your own business and eat your pie!

 


But let’s celebrate the one month anniversary of my Pi(e) Day Party anyhow!! It was a veritable Pieapalooza! Nine Pies and leftovers for days. I trained the neighbor kids to randomly pop by for slices. Perhaps I’ll use future pies to Pavlov train them to do my bidding. IMG_8771

Though I was still weakened from my bout with food poisoning, I find nothing makes my house warmer then filling it with food, drink and loved ones. But literally, the house gets damned hot with all those bodies packed in our house!

 

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In case you were confused, it clearly states for itself that it is a Pi Pie

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You Are What You Eat

Did you know you become most like the five people you spend time with? Kind of like every lecture your health teacher gave, it’s true, you are what you eat.

A less explored concept is you become the ideas and media you consume. Once I got a grasp on this, it has been amazing how much I’ve realize is under my control regarding attitude, perspective and mood.

I am pretty proud of the fact that I have lost a significant amount of weight a couple of times because I wanted to feel better about my health and body image. A massively helpful tool came about when I discovered Pinterest. Pinterest is basically the most magical amalgamation of ideas a girl could ever ask for. Full of rich aesthetics and positivity, and hell yeah a cake that literally looks like a stack of leather bound books?!! Awesome!

For a good while, I spent most of my time pouring over information, factoids and cute illustrations about eating healthy and exercise, creating a continual inward stream of information. Eating and exercise habits were soon always at the forefront of my mind in an appealing and effortless manner.

Did I mention I did this for a month or two and not a damn thing else? I would be madly pinning to my health board in bed, while shoving twinkies in my face like the lady I am.

After a while, my body became restless, my head so full of this information it became hard not want to eat healthier and pop on some running shoes…even if it was only for a few minutes. Visions of sinewy muscle and perfectly-cooked salmon danced in my head. I shed ten pounds in less than two months.

I have more recently learned the same principal applied to my attitude and mood. In the age of the internet, there are many sites dedicated to ideas and images of a positive nature. I can spend hours on the web looking at empowering quotes, stories of people who are wonderful role models striving for greatness and consume these ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

As hookey as it sounds, after a while, I felt myself start to transform in accordance to the ideas, movies and music I have been listening too. There is this quote that I wish I knew as a kid. “People say motivation doesn’t last, well neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Zaglar

vintage bathtub in room with grunge wall

 

It stands to reason that in the past when I felt sad, I listened to equally sad music and watched profoundly sad movies to help validate my feelings. However, I usually got to a point where I was exacerbating those negative feelings into a lasting emotional state that outlived its purpose.

Arriving in my late 20s my official stance on sadness has become, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I have spent too much of my life as a devoted romantic at the altar of sadness. Bon Iver, you stay the hell off of my playlist! And Eternal Sunshine can only be watched once a year, at most. Where my mother wisely taught me that grief must be felt and it’s important to treat yourself kindly, as if you have an illness, and there can be a certain romanticism to sadness, but it doesn’t mean I should keep tonguing where that missing tooth is, driving myself purposefully into despair.

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I now start and end my days looking at ideas, messages and pictures related to the things I want to do and the person I want to be.

 

During my unpleasant bout with food poisoning this week, I was unable to consume these messages at my usual voracious rate and by the third day, I found my mood and esteem start to significantly drop. My mind turned to the negative corners of my mind without provocation.

I am still testing this theory, every day, but I think it’s helping me master myself. I think it can for others too. Whether that human wants to drop 5lbs, focus on gratitude, or remember that this too shall pass, chug those ideas, like a frat boy playing Edward Forty Hands. To chase that delicate metaphor, a quote from Buddha, “All we are is result of what we have thought.”

So chug the good stuff.

Chug it.

 

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Half Baked Pies vs Perfection: Public Enemy #1

Perfection is one of the least talked about enemies in my opinion.

As an aspiring fiction writer, I always think, just one more read through, just one more comma before I let another soul’s eyes touch this short story that needs to be just perfect. When going out for the night, I think one more touch up of lipstick, one more round with the hair curler before I can be seen. Before I have a conversation, just one more imaginary conversation in my head where that person responds exactly how they are supposed to and is bent to my will like a snapped wishbone to do everything I desire by the time I finish my fabulously convincing dialogue.

Typical Results?

My stories don’t get read.

My hair and makeup get ruined from over-touching them.

And that conversation… well let’s say my expectations of someone’s will snapping like a wishbone at my command over the English language does not usually go as planned. But the anxiety leading up to it and disappointment when it doesn’t go as planned sure as hell is present. Bummer.

When I was a kid, I was taught in school, “Always do your best that is the best anyone can do.”

Unfortunately, I did not get the memo that my best is not always ‘the’ best.

I figured if I kept working harder and longer that eventually I would have to become the best. It has taken me well into my adulthood to realize was that there are many cases you can become better, but not necessarily the best no matter how much effort you put into it.

I *should* have got this memo when I took physics in High School. Dear god, the tears. The salty, salty high velocity tears. No matter how much effort and time I put into it, I never got a smidgeon better at it nor was it a bit easier. And no, I still do not know what the initial velocity of a vegan pendulum that has dropped from Mars while it ate a cookie at 27 gigga-watts.

Like I said. So many tears.

HOW TO DO MATH | Fitted T-shirt | Front

 

However, I realize now that doing your best still means you have to let go at some point of the work you are doing. Even if it isn’t perfect.

I had a friend who recently asked me about recording her music since I have recorded and released a couple CDs on my own. She shamed herself by saying that she doesn’t spend enough time on writing songs, practicing, or performing live. After I gave her a referral to someone who could record her music, her shoulders slumped and she said, well I guess I can’t see him till I have done all those other things. Then she went on to profess she didn’t have time to do them, so it was probably a lost cause.

If we were in a cartoon I would have blown into my thumb so my hand grew comically over-sized and smacked her across the face.

I knew those exact feelings and I felt a strong projection of myself on her (that’s the part I wanted to smack out of me). I have been trying to train those exact mindsets out of myself.

Instead, of resorting to physical violence as a tool of enforcement because being charged for assault would really cut into my hanging out with friends time, I gave her my best Clint Eastwood look.

“You have ten minutes a day to sit down a sing a couple songs.” She nodded her head and agreed. Then I said, “Go record anyways. Who cares if it’s perfect? You don’t have let anyone listen to it, hearing it back to yourself and experimenting with your songs matters. Better yet, my recording guy can help give you more ideas if you get stuck so you can grow.” She began to smile as she realized how achievable these activities were and how satisfying they would feel. I literally gave her permission to not do everything all at once or perfectly and her spirits lifted tremendously. In front of my eyes, she texted my guy to set up a time to meet about music.

I think a lot of people don’t allow themselves to grow into their greater selves because we truly believe if we can’t do it perfectly, we shouldn’t complete it. If we can’t do it all, we should do none. This robs us of oodles of ways to grow!

And hey, I can verbally smack people around all day about this, but the truth is it really isn’t easy. Not even for me, as I will publish this semi-edited blog and dear god I’m sure a word has dropped out somewhere in here like an evil ninja.

Despite the nervousness and trepidation, this is a deeply embedded fear I push past Every. Single. Day. And encouraging my friend to push past it created a bio-feedback effect of encouraging myself.

How many times will I edit this published post later in subtle, comma tweaking, sentence re-routing ways? I can’t tell you that. I’d have to kill you. Then I’d come back and tweak your body thirty times to make sure it looked like an accident.

Most days now I force myself to put things out into the universe half-done, half-assed and not to my supremely fantastic set of high standards.

Frankly, it feels gross. Like really yucky. Like oh my god why I did I let that baby fly out into the universe when it wasn’t done baking yet! Sometimes I’ll even try to lure it back into the oven…

On the flip side, I feel more productive and accomplished because I keep doing it. I allow myself to constantly close chapters so my book of accomplishments (as half assed as they can be at times) is growing to be one gargantuan monster. It’ll have a worn out spine but it’ll be leather bound!

There are so many things I have started launching before I felt ready and the unexpected benefit is it’s hard to keep track of all of them. I can’t ruminate too much over the song that I wrote that was an attempt to emulate Taylor Swift’s style that came out sounding worse than Rebecca Black’s ‘It’s Friday’ strangled to death in a goopy bowl of oatmeal, because I wrote 50 more songs and recorded 20 more of varying degrees of quality. If you come over and ask to hear it, I’ll even let you because I am forcing myself to not be ashamed of the steps of my process in anything. But I will leave the room. I don’t want to listen to that again *shudders*.

So hey! You! Go do something! Finish it! Even if it sucks! Then do it again!

If you don’t write your crappy songs, if you don’t try to poison your friends with your terrible cooking, complete your 7.5 minute workout, or your whatever the hell it is you won’t tackle or finish because you are afraid it’s not good enough, then your life will always be this big empty canvas that feels starved of color.

Planet Mars Photography / Jennifer Elder

 

Thewholepieblog is my experiment in the execution of messy ideas and, half-baked and definitely random, and I won’t look back. I hope you do the same.

I would love to hear of any half-baked endeavors you are struggling/succeeding in executing! Comment away my little chefs!

 

A Slice of Success

To kick things off I am going to write about pie.

Yes, actual pie. Also, a little of what I am learning about success.

When I was a kid, I was distinctly against becoming an adult. Being an adult meant cooking, cleaning and *gasp* even gardening. To my nine year old, and even sixteen year old self, this sounded like the dead end of life. I was committed to avoiding those drudgeries at all costs. I sported tiaras and feather boas as I danced around my mother in the kitchen proclaiming with impossible disgust that, ‘No I shan’t do any of those things.’

She should have smacked me upside the head. My mom spoiled the ba-geezus out of our family. My bed would be made before I came home from school, she would spend time worrying about how to accommodate everyone’s tastes for dinner, and occasionally she would delight in growing herbs. But she didn’t criticize my disdain of these mainstays in her lifestyle; instead she bought me a “Domestically Disabled” mug with a girl sporting a tiara and feather boa on it.

Domestically Disabled Funny Ephemera Coffee Mug

Ten years later, and I’ve come to fully understand the impact of these activities on the quality of my everyday life. Especially once my mom couldn’t be there all the time to spoil me. My understanding started with learning how to make a pie.

I don’t know why I wanted to make a pie. It seemed like a quaint idea, and I had seen it done in movies a lot.  At the same time, it seemed beyond impossible to me at first. I had never baked a pie before and if no one was around to hold my hand and show me, how the heck was I going to figure it out? Eventually I gathered up the scraps of my work ethic, and decided to follow a recipe without any supervision. I hoped that I wouldn’t burn down the kitchen or worse, produce an inedible pie.

Someone once told me that any recipe worth making is kept a secret, and that unless you wiggle it out of someone there is nothing worth making. This mentality certainly did nothing to encourage my endeavors in cooking or baking or a lot of other things actually. I suppose a part of me thought that to be true about any worthy part of life. People who have success will keep the way close to their chests and I stood no chance of learning their secrets.

But then I went to allrecipes.com. I looked up apple pie and clicked on the most popular. Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie has over 5,000 reviews and a 5 star rating. Part of me thought maybe I should experiment with the less popular ones to really discover the worthwhile pies. If it didn’t feel like work, it must not be worth doing, right?

Wrong. That apple pie is freaking amazing! I have no need or desire to try any other kind of apple pie for the foreseeable future.

The activity of making a pie forces me to stay in the moment and makes it hard to worry about the future or ruminate on the past. It is always an appreciated, heartfelt gift people are delighted to receive and I love to give it.

The most important thing I learned was that by following the success of others and saved myself a lot of mediocre pies. Had I chosen the harder route I know I probably would have immediately become discouraged and abandoned pie making all together for the rest of my life. I would have thought the secrets to pie making would always elude me.

But I was able to revise my old views on successful people wanting to keep their ways a secret. I think now that if someone tries to withhold information, it probably means they aren’t as successful as they would lead you to believe. So let me share my success with you. Bake the pie. Do it while listening to French music.

Let’s work smarter, not harder for better results in less time.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/apple-pie-by-grandma-ople/

The Whole Pie

So why the whole pie, you ask? Because I could no sooner pick a favorite winking star in the inky black night than I could pick a sole topic to write about. My life, is a diverse, constantly churning beast. All my many interests, pursuits and lessons I have gleaned contribute to whole, and quite frankly it is a wonderfully strange tub of a tastes.

Whether you too, are interested in how to feel healthier and more fulfilled as a human being, want to know about why house rabbits make lovely pets, or throw an intimate dinner party on a budget, I have a great need to share and a thirst for discussion. With that in mind, Hi! My Name is Holly. I love Marvel comic books, high tea, writing genre fiction, my mother, and figuring out how to make this life as distinctly mine as possible.

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