Pepperoni Lovers

“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” -Seneca

Parenting two kids under two has taught me to find pride in keeping my emotions in check.  I’ve developed a whole system to squash feeling stressed and I’ve been putting my formula to the test.

It’s worked so far through one pandemic, two 24-hour long childbirths, and about three brand new trials and tribulations a day (who ate the last slice?!).

My little routine is pieced together like a collage of all the performance-enhancing hacks I’ve consumed over the years.  All the personal development books, podcasts, and article tidbits have merged into a physiological/psychological paper-mâché reboot blueprint that always leaves me feeling clear-headed and recharged.

That was, until about a month ago Tess and I decided to buy a new house.

With our home in a current “hot zone” on the west side of Madison (thanks Epic!), valued significantly higher than when we purchased and with super low-interest rates the timing seemed perfect.

“Selling the house that will be easy!” we proclaimed.

“Cleaning it out, no sweat!”  “Packing it up?  It’s a pandemic, what else do we have to do?!”

Holy, moly extra mozzarella did we NOT know what we were getting ourselves into.  The tight deadlines and contingencies of buying and selling a new home along with packing, unpacking, and cleaning an entire house can burn you out real quick.   Turns out, the two-month-long process would drain my reserves despite my rock-solid decompressing practice.

That’s when I reached out for help.  

Along with my 10-minute meditation sesh, yoga poses, cardio, and cold shower maybe I could introduce a delicious anxiety-reducing treat? One with extra cheese and extra pepperoni?

A little stress eating does go a long way after all and for my two-story sized stress, a pizza of epic proportions would be required.  I needed something with the capability to send me to cloud nine.

One day as I was wrapping newspaper around picture frames and placing them into a box labeled “fragile” the pizza Gods gave me my answer in the form of an advertising insert.

Pizza Hut’s Pepperoni Lovers.

I’ve been eating Pizza Hut my whole life.  There was always a red roof in Whitewater WI, and it was a common Friday night meal with the Fam or a buffet binge with the buddies, but, somehow I never ventured much into the “Lovers” section.  But, there alongside the Veggie Lovers and Meat Lovers resides Pepperoni Lovers and that’s where I found my solace.

Pepperoni Lovers has extra crispy layers of pepperoni that weave themselves through an extra portion of cheese and is perfectly suited for their thin-crust, though I’ve dabbled in pan, it’s very good as well.

It turns out that that thin-crust Pepperoni Lovers was the crutch I needed to get me through a crazy couple of months.  Though greasy pizza maybe a tad less healthy than some breathing exercises, recognizing and practicing ways to snap ourselves out of a funk certainly holds value.

What I’m eating: Pizza Hut thin crust “Pepperoni Lover’s”

What I’m reading: Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story –Arnold Schwarzenegger