Sweet Musings with a Bitterly Sharp Wit



If you were to listen closely, I bet that right about now, you would be able to hear a faint crackling sound coming from my direction- No need to worry though, that’s only the sound of my brain shorting out and hemorrhaging from both my ears. Ah, the stress that has left me without words to share through the blog and emails alike sent me back into hiding for a little bit there, nursing an intense headache and a terrible case of procrastination. Thanks to this brilliant [Read: Moronic] tactic, there’s only more to stress over, with essays approaching their due dates at light-speed and emails coming in faster than I can hit the “refresh” key, and I’m feeling just a little bit… Overwhelmed. That’s where the brain explosions come in.

Hoping to salvage at least part of my remaining grey matter, I thought it might be helpful to take a deep breath and try to relax a little bit, without completely absconding from my duties. Easier said than done, right? Figuring that there was no harm in trying to soothe aggravated nerves in any way possible, the first issue to tackle was the clutter overflowing from every nook and cranny of my work space. There’s only so much room in a dorm, you know, and I’m already storing a medium-sized pumpkin under my bed! (It’s a long story…) Once there was enough hidden away in closets in draws to at least pretend that the room was clean, it seemed only right to do a small bit of re-decorating in a way that would perpetuate my new “zen” approach, and lucky for me, I found a cute little pot of bamboo to adorn the window sill with while putting off my school work again.

That was all well and good, but in no time at all, I noticed that this bamboo did not come alone. An incredible and preposterous situation it would seem, but there was no denying it- Some small creature had bummed a ride and smuggled itself into the greenery!

As if my mind wasn’t frazzled enough, how do you expect me to explain the presence of a panda here in New England, in the brisk days of fall, no less!? Preparing to go hide under the covers of my bed again until this mirage had disappeared, I was struck by how deep his blue eyes were, staring intently and purposefully at me.

What was he trying to tell me? If only he would say. Remaining stone silent, he simply clung close to his bamboo and watched me from afar, looking neither happy nor sad. Since there was no way that I would get through all of this work with a cheerful smile plastered on my face, I realized that perhaps his approach might actually be helpful, if I could just take it all in, get through it, and save my intensity for later. So I guess it’s thanks to that black and white critter that I’m back on the blog and about to dig into those essays at last- Just don’t expect me to slog through it all in one go, feeling “zen” or not!


Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

17 thoughts on “Un-Zen

  1. Glad he’s helped you out- he certainly looks calm!

    Good luck



  2. Wait–you live in a dorm and still manage to make all that amazing looking food? How?! I’m super impressed.


  3. Good luck with the essays, hope you feel a bit calmer now. Love your panda bear, so cute!


  4. Chin up, dear BitterSweet! I’ve been there and I can attest that you’ll make it through to the other side before you know it! :)


  5. Oh Hannah, I feel your pain my dear! I am no longer a college student, but understand the need for peace in a stressful environment.
    Take deep breaths, and get up to stretch every 15 minutes! Yoga is also good, so is chocolate!
    I am going to send you a fabulous chocolate cake recipe tomorrow to try to make (it is gluten free, and absolutely amazing!) that should cure the essay blues!

    Cheer up! i love your little friend!


  6. I definitely feel you right now, bittersweet! I have so many deadlines right now and admittedly, I’ve been procrastinating. Just 9 more days of class…just 9 more days of class…


  7. Focus on one thing at a time! I think that is what those blue eyes were trying to help you do. ;) And do remember to take small breathers here and there! You will get through all this hassle and you will be a better person for it. Well, okay, you’ll be the same wonderful person you were to begin with, but you’ll feel way better when it’s over. LOL. Hang in there, kiddo!

    I love your bamboo plant – I have three of them in my dining room and they are so easy to care for. They really do add some zen.


  8. OMG! I love the panda! It’s so cute!


  9. What a friendly little panda. I’m glad you weren’t too frightened and didn’t swat him away or something!


  10. ahh, Hannah, I hope that you will be able to be STRESS-FREE very soon!! Just stay calm, and it’ll all be over soon – don’t worry!! And that cute, little panda should be able to help you stay calm as well :0)

    call me soon, if you get a chance – and maybe our phone call could help ease some stress, since it isn’t academic-related?? haha.


  11. *hugs* i can definitely relate! i hope everything goes smoothly and you can be focused enough to get your work done! : )


  12. I know just how you feel when you say you’re overwhelmed! I hope things gets better for you soon… wonderful it is to be stress-less :)


  13. Hope you get thru everything alright–something tells me you’re more than capable!
    I saw this recipe on another blog I read and thought of you immediately – a turkey cake! (And it could be a vegan cake/frosting)


  14. Hi Hannah,

    I made the chocolate cake today and posted the recipe up. Beautiful is the only word I have to describe it! haha.

    How did all the essay writing go? I am under a deadline for editing four stories by tomorrow so I feel the writing pain now! I will surely be working all night long dreaming of eating that cake on Saturday!
    I can email you the subs to make it a “regular” vegan cake instead of super fancy like mine!


  15. Awww, I love the little panda! He couldn’t help but be attracted to the bamboo… I hope your meditation helped you get back to center. I know exactly how you feel- I stress, so I avoid, so I procrastinate, which leads to more stress… bad cycle! But we all need days off now and then.


  16. Once again, Hannah, thanks for being so awesome. :):):)


  17. Hey Hannah!
    Remember me? How are you doing. I was so excited when I stumbled across your blog while searching for a knitting pattern! I miss you and I hope that all is well.

    This panda is adorable! I’d love to make something like this for my little sister :)

    You’re amazing!



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