How sweet it is

I wrote a post a couple of years ago, entitled “Eat the Christmas Cookies,” which was all about doing what you love and nourishing your body and your soul, cuz life is short. It’s become a guiding principle in my life since then – a battle cry of sorts. It has served me well, always keeping in mind that moderation is an important element in true nourishment to balance indulgence. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, right?

The last 2 weeks have been kind of difficult. A lot has happened in a short time, ranging from annoyances like a power outage at work that fried my computer hard drive, to the more serious discovery of a spot of skin cancer at a routine dermatology check-up that turned out to be melanoma, requiring removal and stitches and care of a rather sizeable wound for the last 10 days or so, and everything in between.

The stitches come out Monday, and I’ll have a gnarly scar, but that will be the extent of it, for which I’m truly grateful. The potential gravity of this situation is not lost on me, and I feel very lucky to only have to deal with this for a couple of weeks. I have lost friends, family members, and co-workers to cancer, and have watched other friends endure longer and more invasive treatments for cancer and other catastrophic illnesses and injuries. I don’t take my good health for granted, believe me.

Still, I was reeling a little bit last Friday when I went grocery shopping, feeling a little beat up. In the bakery department I discovered some M&M cookies that had been turned into little frosting sandwiches – two cookies with frosting in the middle. 6 of them in the box! Freshly made! There was no mirror nearby, but I’m sure my eyes got MUCH bigger when I saw them. Yum!

I said to myself, “EAT THE COOKIES!” as I placed the box in my shopping basket.

I have no illusions about that scenario. I felt bad, knew that sugar would make me feel better. Period. For some it’s alcohol. or drugs, or smoking. For me it’s sugar. Always has been. My mother said one of my first words was “nummy,” said in response to the offering of chocolate pudding. I LOVE cookies, and I consider cake to be merely a delivery system for frosting, which is just about my favorite thing in the world of food. Honestly. Buying those cookies was a VERY easy decision to make.

And man, were they good! And treating myself – that little “nummy” girl – in that way, giving in to that desire, felt great. I didn’t eat them all at once, though I considered it (LOL!). I had one per day for the next 6 days. I relished every bite, every day. It was the exact thing I needed to right the world, to soothe my soul, give me something to look forward to, and remind myself of all the beautiful and fun things in this lovely world. Yes, there are bad things, sometimes lots of them and it seems overwhelming, but those bad things are NOT the whole story.

There are cookies, and sunshine, and trees and flowers blooming, and friends, books, music, art and so many, many other wonderful things.

Life is rich, but it’s short. Eat the cookies, enjoy the music, spend time with people who matter. Buy the thing you want if you can afford it. Do the things that make your soul sing, whatever they are. Not all the time, maybe, if it’s something that’s not exactly the best thing for your health. I am back to my normal minimal sugar intake, but the memory of those cookies sustains me. I benefitted from the enjoyment of the cookies themselves, the pure physical joy of the taste, and also from “feeding” my soul in that way. Saying yes to soothing my bruised body and soul with something I love.

Say YES to your soul, to your beautiful challenging life. Do the thing! Be here for all of it, the bad and the good.

Eat the cookies, and don’t look back! Just enjoy every sweet minute. You deserve it.