Oh, Yeah? Observe THIS.

You know how some people need to learn to get in touch with their emotions? I’m definitely not one of those people. I know exactly how I feel ALL THE TIME.

But now that I’ve been meditating and getting my yoga on, I’ve picked up a new trick: observing my emotions. It’s a fascinating way to recognize a feeling without becoming beholden to it. This morning, I turned to Dave and said with some curiosity in my voice, “I feel so… irritable right now.” It’s refreshing to experience the irritation as separate from me. That way, the whiny emotion gets the attention it wants, but I don’t get mired in the muck along with it while it throws a tantrum.

Given how well that worked, I’m inspired to share the other feelings I’m observing in myself today. Enjoy.

Today I Feel…

Unattractive. My fingernails need attention, my roots need dying, and I desperately need my split ends trimmed.

Chubby. No need to elaborate, I’m sure.

Tired. I have hormone poisoning and my sleep’s been jacked up and my thoughts churn all night and I’m ready for a weekend of committed lounging.

Rushed. Between wrapping up corporate overlords’ work and juggling personal stuff, I’m always always always behind. Always.

Over-sugared. I might have eaten too many Dove dark chocolates yesterday and today. Full disclosure: I also ate red and white frosting WITH MY FINGERS off a giant chocolate chip cookie that someone got for Valentine’s Day and left in the corporate overlords’ breakroom.

Disappointed. I succumbed to breakroom sugar.

Weak. Strength training was less than stellar this morning, and I skipped my cashout because my attitude sucked.

Frustrated. On my first set of kettlebells swings during my morning workout, I wrenched my back, now I’m walking funny, and I feel like I want to lie on the floor with my knees pulled into my chest. For hours. In a dark room. Listening to Barry Manilow. Wimpering to myself.

Annoyed. Tomorrow, I have to drive 3 1/2 hours to Houston for a 2-hour client meeting in which I will speak for approximately 10 minutes, after which I will get back in the car and drive 3 1/2 hours back to Austin.

Anxious. A tremendously awesome and intimidating batch of emails and phone calls have been popping up lately with all kinds of interesting opportunities and offers and frexciting ideas.

Grateful. I have Dave and Smudge and a wonderful family and all of you and a new life that starts in just a few days and I don’t know what’s going to happen next but Jane Eyre finds a way to roll with it and stay true to herself and I will, too.

Optimistic. I have an array of very good/interesting problems.

Thirsty. All of the ice in my water glass has melted, but I’m exhausted by the idea of schlepping to the kitchen for a refill.

Irresponsible. I usually ride the bus, so I forgot that I drove today, which means I also forgot to feed my parking meter, so now — on the eve-eve of being self-employed — I potentially just spent $20 on a parking ticket because I’m a dumbass.

Lame. See above.


How are you today?


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  • Rosa says:

    The same. I am on a sugar crash. It is so awful. I vowed that me and dark chocolate would never experience each other again.

  • Lauren says:

    Same for me on the sugar subject – my sweet, sweet valentine thoughtfully bought my favorite treat, the high quality and very indulgent ice cream Jeni’s Brambleberry crisp, so I let myself indulge… I realized I would pay for it today and owned up to that before I took a spoonful…. but the side effects don’t just disappear because you own up to it. phooey.

    • Mel says:

      Right?! It seems like you should get a free pass if you take responsibility. But no! Taking responsibility just means we have to be smarter next time. Seems like a scam to me!

  • Lizzie B says:

    Isn’t that thing about not being your emotions the best discovery EVER?!

    I just realized I feel a little stinky. The joys of self-employment include slouching through the day. 🙂 Have a client to see in a while though, so maybe I’m off to shower soon.

    Otherwise, I feel happy. Is that maybe the one emotion that is great to be, not just feel?

    BTW – this post absolutely cracked me, I have felt too many of these feelings.

  • Kyle says:

    Hope things get better! You saved my Valentine’s dinner with the email you sent yesterday! My wife and 18 month old appreciate you!

  • Juniper says:

    That is such a brilliant way of dealing with emotions. I know last time I was experiencing hormone poisoning my boyfriend was stroking me lovingly, and it just weirded me out. I get really sensitive to touch during that time. Instead of just TELLING him that’s what was going on, I just said “could you not do that.” He was almost literally heartbroken, because he was trying so hard to just be delicately loving and I pushed him away. But I could have merely stated my situation and he would have understood.
    You are so smart.

  • Kara says:

    First off – I read your tired one as – looking forward to a weekend of committed laughing and I thought that was AWESOME! Maybe watch a hilarious movie while lounging.

    I feel your pain on the sugar crash..I had gummy bears last week – then I PASSED OUT for 2 hours and could not move. Lesson learned – never try that at work.

  • Kristin says:

    LOL, i wish i had a dollar for every tine ive been the girl eating the icing off of something glutenous! i am on a whole30 right now so feeling good in terms of the sugar, but it makes me feel better to know i’m not the only one who has done that (many times) before! you’ll feel better once the hormone poisoning is over, i get wicked hormone poisoning too, it is awful!

  • Alicia says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. Today I have been very productive and had a great workout but then found myself feeling very irritable, depressed and hopeless this afternoon. I started to feel very panicky and like I could potentially have a meltdown. Then I read this. I took a deep breath, stopped beating myself up and realized I too overindulged in a glorious chocolate pot de creme last night and that the sugar demons were trying to take over my emotions again.
    Whew! You saved me today girl!
    Thank you for being you!
    Also, made your best grilled chicken last week and IT WAS!!! Tonight the buffalo chicken salad is on the menu. Can’t wait : )

  • Roberta says:

    I’m actually having a good day after yesterday’s pity fest (I took today off work). BUT I need that mug!

  • Melissa says:

    What a great post! I too find it helpful to observe my emotions and thoughts and try to recall they are separate from me, like clouds floating across a sky. They come, they go. I’ll hear a thought and think “oh, we’re a little cranky, huh?” or “you know, I know you feel bad, but nothing has changed since 3 minutes ago when you felt okay, so just hold on”.

    Based on a comment in a Pema Chodron piece, I read a book called My Stroke of Insight (highly recommend) and got the concept that the (electrical, neural, chemical) impulses of thoughts only last something like 45-90 seconds if you don’t reinforce them by repeating them, going down the “story” path with them which solidifies the pathways in your brain.

    The “meat bag” of stuff we are is sometimes in charge (hormone poisoning) and we’re just along for the ride. A little whiplash and rude awakening!

    and now I want frosting… 😉

  • Rose says:

    laughing out loud and getting teary eyed at the same time. sharing this with my sister.

  • This makes me miss you so much! I’m feeling perpetually conflicted. I’m working on it. I’m so excited for your last day of work. I hope you go somewhere and get some sun on your face on Day 1 No Bosses.

  • I wish I was this in touch with my emotions! I have just recently learned that PMS + me = no bueno….now I just need to learn how to keep my mouth shut for 2 days out of the month.

    • Mel says:

      No lie: sometimes when I have PMS, I declare “no talking zones” and just focus on being as quiet and still as possible. Sometimes it’s the only way to comfort myself and not lash out at my husband Dave. Try it!

  • V says:

    I <3 you. This is such a "me" entry–you don't even know. Thank you for sharing.

  • DanaG says:

    OH….MY…G….I soooo so so so needed to read this RIGHT NOW.

    Thank you for sharing your humanity. I am trying to learn to share mine. (Some might say I overshare at times, but they should hear how many emotions are going on from the inside!)

    Therapist today reminded me of hormone posioning issue and insisted emotions do pass, and I might judge myself just the tiniest bit too harshly. What?!

  • DanaG says:

    Good heavens to Betsy! I just read the other comments. Are we all synched up together hormone wise just from being on the same website? I knew it happened when women work closely together, but….

  • Marcia says:

    Hormone poisoning. That is me today. I am also the person who ate a candy bar, not even a great one, yesterday after dinner. Didn’t take long and I spent my valentine’s day in bed. Alone. Because I couldn’t stay awake anymore. Awesome.

  • Alicia says:

    Yes, yes, yes. Had a ton of sugar yesterday, got a stomachache and felt bloated. Sugar is so insidious, I wasn’t even enjoying it but couldn’t seem to stop. Time for another Whole 30 I think.

    Also, “…Jane Eyre finds a way to roll with it and stay true to herself and I will, too.” is my new favorite motivational saying.

  • Lyssa says:

    Mel, I LOVE this list! Some days are just like this, and it helps so much to recognize it. And it sounds like plenty of us feel the blahs thanks to freakin’ valentine’s day sugar binges … boo!

  • sarah k. says:

    It’s like you opened my brain and wrote down the words floating around in there. Sugar binge, feeling crappy, self-loathing, puffy feeling in the belly, still in my jammies watching Law and Order all day, since I don’t even have a day job (except for the care of 3 kids…).

    Thank you for this. I admire you in so many ways, so it’s nice to know that, even though you’re superhuman, you’re also human. Like me. It reminds me that it’s not the end of the world and I can pull out of it. It will be hard, since the junkie in me is pretty strong, but I know what it’s like to not feel crappy, and it’s worth it. And once I get the sugar out of my system, I know everything else will self-regulate too. It’s crazy how a bunch of conversation hearts (I know, the shame) can cause such negative thoughts. I don’t hate myself when I’m not being wrecked by poison.

    • Mel says:

      You are the sweetest — I’m far from superhuman, and I’m glad this helped you feel more “normal.”

      BTW, I LOVE Law & Order, and have spent plenty of squishy-clothes-and-couch time with Lt. Lenny Briscoe.

      Yes, you will love yourself again when the sugar is gone. Stupid sugar.

  • This is refreshing to read.
    I feel irritated that I have skating practice until midnight tonight.
    I feel accomplished that I just worked hard at a waitressing shift.
    I feel anxious and irresponsible because I have not put in enough time studying for an exam tomorrow.

  • Bebe says:

    @DanaG – It must be the week of the Red Tent ’cause I have hormone poisoning too. And cramps. So I drank wine last night…for medicinal purposes only of course. 🙂 So this morning, I feel:
    but HOPEFUL because I know tomorrow the hormones will have stabilized and I will be filled with a burst of energy. Plus the sun is ‘sposed to shine hear tomorrow!
    Yay! I feel optimistic!

  • Lauren says:

    thanks so much for writing this, I know that you feel unattractive but trust me when I say that you are adorable, girl! also I love that you seem to have created the word frexciting … so apt.

  • kimberly says:

    yeah… concerned (due to whole30 and the fact that i could lose $50+ if i cheat), anxious (half marathon + no training = dumbass), craving sugar… it’s one of those weeks. waiting for the energy burst.

  • Lydia says:

    I need another coffee mug like I need another hole in my head. But I really want that coffee mug.

  • Tricia says:

    Starting a 30 days strict paleo today. Sugar and I have become to closely reaquainted.

    P.S. I secretly like Barry Manillow

  • Vi says:

    What is it about this week??? Feeling the same-putzing along on too little sleep, too much sugar, and just plain old TOO MUCH.

    Good thoughts coming Austin way from Northern Virginia…

    Someone once said, “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Well-they were an idiot!

    • Mel says:

      I wonder if it’s a mid-Feb slump because January always starts out so gang-busters with energy for the new year. Now we’re 6 weeks into it and we have to fight to keep with our good habits, optimism, etc. It’s kind of like a trough between waves and we have to sustain our energy until the next wave comes to lift us…

  • LC says:

    I’m a new reader and I just downloaded Night Circus at your suggestion. Magical is the only word I can use to describe it (though of course that seems like I’m making a bad joke). As well, I just received your cookbook yesterday from Amazon and already made the scotch eggs. Best breakfast ever combined with some leftover cabbage cooked in the juice from my lamb. Hope this brightens your mood – and thanks for all the suggestions so far.

    • Mel says:

      YAY, Night Circus. So glad you’re enjoying it. I’m about to re-read The Historian, and then I think I’m going to hit Night Circus again.

  • Holly says:

    Oh man I love this. Sometimes you just have to acknowledge the sucky to move on and get lucky!

  • Susan says:

    I’m feeling human today too. Thank you for sharing—but know this: even on your worst day you are still an inspiration to the many people that read your blog and find the strength within to commit to a healthier lifestyle. You are one bad ass chick and I’m happy to have stumbled upon your blog! Keep up the good work!
    p.s. totally jealous that you get to bid farewell to the corporate overlords.

    • Mel says:

      Thank you, Susan! I am really fortunate to have all of you beautiful people in my corner.

      I’m on Day 3 of no corporate overlords, and it’s pretty great so far.

  • Tonja Pizzo says:

    My husband brought cold germs into our house from a week long business meeting last week in New Orleans…and oh so sweetly passed it along to ME!! I’m feeling LIKE CRAP!!!

  • Tonja Pizzo says:

    PS. I hope your today was better than your yesterday.

  • Courtney says:

    This just turned my day around. I’ve been grumpy all day, having health issues I can’t figure out and I gave into sugar today and havent been losing weight. This post made me realize we all have rough days.

    • Mel says:

      Gah. Don’t you hate that spiral?

      “I’m not losing weight and that bums me out so I’m having some sugar… but now I feel like crap from the sugar… and I’m still bummed about my weight.”

      Grrr. I do that sometimes, too. Treat yourself as kindly as you would a friend in the same situation.

  • Becky says:

    Thank you for being real and the ability to be “real” in today’s world is a cherished quality that so few hold 🙂

  • Brandy Colmer (@forceDotMom) says:

    First of all, glad to know you are not superhuman and that you do still succumb to breakroom sugar some times, even though you are still super awesome, and a food ninja. Also, this totally cracked me up, and I can relate to so much of it. =-) big fat LOL.

  • Jamie says:

    I somehow missed this last week… but I love you for this. 🙂

  • Heather says:

    ~ Absolutely LOVE that coffee mug! Any idea where it can be purchased???

  • aseafish says:

    What a delightful post. I love that you’ve included it in your favorites.

  • Paige says:

    I am so glad to hear that you are not perfect. I haven’t been to your site many times, but to hear that you succombed to the sugar at work makes me feel human too!

  • sharon KAT says:

    just read this section of uur blog for the first time LMAO :-):-):-). Seriously cool. I can relate to the emotional and the sugar stuff not sure what my hormones r doing as going through menopause which should really b called Grrrrrr HOT AND TIRED ! Thank god it comes and goes! lol. There have been times when Im working up on a.ladder and thought I would rip my clothes off or pass out and fall on my partner right there at work. Ladies just to let u know the sugar cravings dont go out with the red tent. Ive been steadily consuming the best dark chocolate I can afford at a rate of 1piece to1/2 of bar a few days a week!! After doing paleo strict for a month and losing 10lbs I think.I may b sabataging I was only 5 lbs away from my goal weight grrrrr damn tempting chocolate!! lol. Mel I feel confident that after I make ur chocolate chilli tonite I will have found my new choco LOVE. Whats better than A big bowl of chocp meat!!! :-):-):-). Thanx

  • brandy says:

    Ha! You know how when you go to the therapist’s office, and they give you this sheet with a list of all these feeling names, or they want to talk to you about just one feeling at a time? Uh yeah. I love how you show here the reality that it’s never just one. #allTheFeels