Have you ever experienced mac 'n cheese syndrome?

I love mac 'n cheese so much it hurts.

There was a time in my life when I would eat it twice, even three times a week. I'm not talking about gourmet gouda-gruyere-broiled-crumb-topped mac. I like that, too. But my golden standard is that classic blue box of Kraft.

Those delicious, chewy noodles with just the right amount of buttery cheese sauce get me every single time. Slurping down the little tubes and feeling a puff of air flow through the tiny tunnel was one of my favorite childhood pleasures.

I've learned over the years that there are so many ways to make mac even more awesome.

Here are some fun additions:

  • Peas and tomatoes (my favorite combination).
  • Grilled chicken.
  • Tuna. Which then automatically turns your mac into tuna-roni. Just ask Mike Dickey about that classic.

And you can even top it with MORE cheese! Brilliant!

But it wasn't until my young adult life that I realized the ultimate combination. I found that pairing a hot bowl of mac with my comfy couch and reality TV was one of my favorite activities.

Pure. Mindless. Bliss.

And it was awesome. Until I started doing it almost every... single... night. (OK so not always mac 'n cheese, but definitely the TV + food.) 

And then I realized I had a problem. I was suffering from mac 'n cheese syndrome. In other words, I was depressed.

So I decided I needed to try some new things.

  • I started asking friends to coffee.
  • I started attending networking events.
  • I started blogging.
  • I started to exercise more. 

I began to meet more people who were reaching out to others, volunteering, and making our city a better place. It certainly wasn't always easy—I was terrified to break my "comfortable" routine. But I did it anyway and it was so worth it. 

Now let me be clear, I'm not saying that I will never enjoy mac 'n cheese again. I still love it. I always will. And yes, (I can't believe I am admitting this to you) I watched Toddlers and Tiaras on Netflix last week.

But I also gave a presentation about blogging with my girl Emily for Christina Morgan's Point Park University students, attended a PULSE board meeting, hosted a clothing swap, baked cinnamon rolls for my neighbors, conducted interviews for Yinzpiration, and completed several home improvement projects. (Check out this curvalicious screen! It was a Plumb Media crew collaboration.)

A week like this would be highly out of the ordinary a few years ago. My life has become much richer since I made the conscious choice to begin showing up and trying new things. And I have people like Tom Baker to thank for showing me how easy it is to Get Involved!

I wanted to share my experience in this post, but this is really not about me. It's about our community. What do you think living in Pittsburgh would be like if more people decided to spend a little more time off the couch? Even if it is just one night out of the week. Think about it. 

A fun way to start would be to attend the 3rd Annual Pittsburgh Service Summit. Check it out:

We'll be celebrating many of Pittsburgh's movers and shakers—my very favorites being the Rising Stars, young folks under the age of 25 who are making some serious waves.

It's going to be so much fun. Better than mac 'n cheese?! I'll let you determine that.

I hope to see you there!

Peace and Love,


P.S. Have you ever suffered from mac 'n cheese syndrome? Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and tell me all about it. 

Delicious mac image courtesy of Torontoist.