Saturday, December 16, 2006

Fear... cookies... and paint

So busy! Friday I made a mess o' vegan Rugelach for some friends - some are Vegetarians, some are Lactose Intolerant (which is not to say intolerant of other things... just that ornery milk sugar), and some just like cookies. It was my first try at making them and I was fairly apprehensive. I'm good with baking, I've always had a knack for the sugary baked goods, (seriously, I'm like Shakira, my hips don't lie), but these are semi-complex (meaning you have to roll the dough... I'm not good with the rolled dough...). But I wanted to make them, I saw a recipe, I augmented the recipe and then ... I put off attempting it. Yeah. I'm a chicken.

But then Friday came and I just jumped in. Or rolled out, as it were. And they came out okay! This is a picture of the third batch, because although the first two tasted good, the third looked prettier.

Again, and I guess this is a big theme for me, I have to say trying something new - even something as seemingly mundane as baking a new kind of cookie, is SO good for the soul!! It was such a boost to see them come out of the oven looking relatively decent, and tasting okay, that I just had to laugh at myself for worrying about it. What's to worry? It's just a COOKIE!

Pretty much everything in life is a cookie. "That's the way the cookie crumbles" and all that.

I hate to oversimplify, but really, when you come down to it it's not a bad analogy. Conquering cookie fear is the same as conquering fear of the water, or of choosing a crappy paint color for your walls (which I'm relieved to say I did not -- and may I recommend Behr's Atomic Tangerine to anyone who wants to make the leap from neutrals to something bold) -- or posting a photo on the internet of your incredible disaster-area of a livingroom mid-paint job just to SHOW that color....

It's actually a bit more 'orangey' in person... but you get the idea. Bold. And it's an extremely happy color. Which works really well for me, because I'm... Oh God it's still a little hard for me to even say this... but I'm A REALLY HAPPY PERSON. Whew... I said it. That wasn't so hard.


Of course it was hard. It's a commitment to admit to being happy. It's something you have to live up to. It's a bit of a challenge, and there's that fear of tempting fate by saying it too much, or too loud. The fear that it will go away.

I hope it will never go away.

It's not easy for me to accept it, I'm still always waiting for the other shoe to drop... for the meds to stop working... for the depression to return... for something horrible to happen in my little world... for the depression to return. It's a struggle to let go of that fear. Yes, it could come back. Sure, medications stop working, it's possible. Anything is possible.

And that's the thing I hold onto.

Anything is possible.

And that means anything GREAT and WONDERFUL not just anything bad or tragic.

It's a big change for me. I used to, literally, be uncomfortable WHENEVER I was happy... because I was so unused to it, and so fearful that it would turn horrible. And truthfully, a lot of times it did turn horrible, worst fears realized and so forth.

But over the last two years (and nearly 2 months! YAY! Go ME!) I have found that focusing on just accepting 'the happy' - holding it while it's here and not worrying about how it might go wrong - actually seems to feed it. And if you feed something it grows... and grows... and grows... and gets stronger.

So I'm feeding my happiness some cookies. My hips may not like it... but my soul surely does.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God bless you, Joy, for you are aptly named. I find your simple (yet sometimes difficult) focus and embrace of happiness to be a beautiful thing. I teach my kids, "I choose to be happy." It's not something that's given to you, it's something you choose. And you can choose it all the time, that's the magic of it. That's what you're living. And I so admire it. Chuck Swindoll wrote, "I believe life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I choose to react to it." I don't get it right all the time, either, but it sure is nice to hear from other people who innately believe the same thing I do. God is good. I'll say a prayer that God sustain you in your joy. :)