Back to Center: Update 5

The Recovering Pessimist: Back to Center Update 5 -- In Back to Center 4, I mentioned that I have a decompression period each day to relax. I wanted to go into more detail on how I like to decompress in this update. | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

When I get off work, the first thing I want to do is wind down from the day. Those 1-2 hours allow me to calm my mind and get back to my normal.

In Back to Center: Update 4, I briefly mentioned that having a decompression period was a crucial aspect of my relaxation plan.

Since then, my decompression period has become a huge part of my self-care routine. For this update, I wanted to expand upon the specific components that make up my decompression period.


Log Off

There’s at least one day during the week where by the time I get home, I really don’t want to touch anything electronic other than my TV. I can try to get SOMETHING productive done, but my attempts are futile. My brain wants no parts of productivity sometimes and that’s fine.

Listen to Music

It feels great to grab my noise-cancelling headphones (truly a lifesaver) and listen to instrumental music to wind down. Lately, I’ve been enjoying Joey Alexander, in addition to The Piano Bar and Piano Chill playlists on Spotify.

Brain Dump

Sometimes, there’s too much going on in my mind. My mind won’t stop and that prevents me from getting a good night’s rest. When I can feel that coming, I tend to write my thoughts in my journal so my mind can relax. As soon as the pen hits the paper, I feel better.

Take a Nap

Look. LOOK. LOOK! When I tell you naps are the BESTEST (yes, bestest) thing ever…I ain’t lying. Sometimes you need a nap just to regroup yourself. It can start as a power nap and end up being hours long. But when I wake up from a nap, I feel good all over. Whew!



Drink Something Relaxing

Whatever it is (e.g., alcohol, tea, coffee, water, etc.), I hope it helps you feel better. Cheers!

Karen Walker/

Karen Walke /


Scream, Laugh, and/or Cry

I have moments when I go through the motions of wanting to laugh, cry, and/or scream.

When I want to laugh:

  • I watch YouTube videos. My favorite ones are people doing stupid things and kids being kids.
  • I watch/listen to a lot of comedy shows. My favorites are by Bernie Mac, Katt Williams, Richard Pryor, and Gary Owen.

When I want to cry:

  • Crying in public is a no-no for me, so I do 99% of my crying sessions at home. As soon as I finish sobbing, I feel sooo much better.

When I want to scream:

  • Like crying, screaming in public is a no-no. If I’m driving, i just turn the music up and let it out. If I’m at home, I put a pillow over my mouth and let it rip. Immediate relief.
Watch TV

When I get home from a rough day, most of the time I don’t want to watch anything that requires a lot of thought. Watching comedy and reality shows along with cartoons really help me to relax.


I love to read. Being able to escape from reality for a bit works wonders.

Reading Books/

That’s it for now. Tell me, how do you decompress? What works best for you?

Until next time,



A Few Thoughts on Responsibility

The Recovering Pessimist: A Few Thoughts on Responsibility -- You wanna be treated like an adult, act like one. Own up to your f*ck ups. | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistsThere are some life lessons that you just have to learn yourself. No matter how many times you were told not to do it, you still had to learn it the hard way.

My lesson on responsibility was no different.

Growing up, my mother ingrained in me that I had to own up to my f*ck ups. For the record, they didn’t use that language but you know what I mean.

I remember I broke something in the house. Mom wasn’t around when I broke it, but I knew she would flip out. I came up with this elaborate story on what I wish had happened. I finished my story and studied her face, hoping for the best. My mother laughed in my face and hit me with the classic:

Kevin Hart /

Kevin Hart /

Mom got my whole life together in that moment. That was over 20 years ago and I still can recall every single detail. Definitely not one of my proudest moments, but it was my most important moment. Those are the moments that stick with you.

Own up to your responsibilities. Karma is watching & you don't want it with her. Trust me. Click To Tweet

Until next time,



What I Love About Summer

The Recovering Pessimist: What I Love About Summer -- Hot weather and outdoor drinking are a few of my favorite things about summer. | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistToday (June 2o) is the first day of Summer Solstice 2016. Longer days from the Spring Equinox combined with warmer weather lead to all kinds of awesomeness.

In fact, as I’m writing this, we’ve experienced our first 90-degree day of the year here in #RVA.

I can’t put into words how elated I am about summer starting, so I’m going to drop this GIF:


Kelly Rowland /

Kelly Rowland /

Nailed it!

And without further adieu, here’s what I love about summer. Enjoy!

The Heat

My skin finally gets some sun exposure, allowing it to become a gorgeous shade of bronze. Dresses, skirts, rompers, tank tops, shorts, and sandals are my standard summer uniform. People watching becomes an outdoor event for me and my friends. We find a heavily populated area (usually the outdoor malls), grab a drink, snacks, and a comfy place to sit. Then we chit-chat and watch the people passing by. It’s inexpensive entertainment, trust me.

Outdoor Drinking

Drinking + outdoors = thank you! In Richmond, rooftop bars are all the rage at the moment. That’s cool because I intend on having several drinks on top of each one of these rooftops, soaking in the #RVA skyline. If you can’t get to the rooftops, there are also a lot of patios and breweries I can hang out at. Speaking of drinks, I have a lot of sangria recipes I’ve saved from Pinterest just itching to be made. Fruit + alcohol = win.


It’s grilling season!!!! There’s something about grill marks on food that makes food taste 10 times better. I eat excessive amounts of watermelon and BBQ. Oh, and I get to attend (and occasionally crash) cookouts. Word to the wise: pay attention to how food is prepped for the grill. Just because it’s going on the grill doesn’t mean it you can skip out on seasoning. I don’t want to bite into ribs that are sauced to capacity and not seasoned. So disrespectful.

Summer Nights

There’s something about spending summer nights outside looking at the stars and watching fireflies light up the sky. I love to grab a good craft beer (or sweet wine) and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature. Oh and don’t let it be raining at nighttime. Rain during the summer is very sexy. Think along the lines of “Summer Rain” by Carl Thomas.

Enough about my favorites. Let’s chat. If you had to plan your ideal summer day, what would you do? I’d love to read your ideas in the comments.

Until next time,