Normally, cookies are for Christmas time. A rare treat. I try to keep that “stuff” out of the house. Very wise.
During this time, I have found that these types of rules go out the window, just like any plan I make. With various levels of bad news coming in on the weekly, it seems necessary to stick your head in the sand, and blow a bubble so big you can live in it, and stay vigilantly on watch so that it doesn’t pop.
My husband needing a minor surgery right now was enough to send me past the point of hysteria. What if something went wrong, like everything seems to these days? Fear, fear and more fear. Sprinkled with more fear. Delicious!
The week before his surgery, I snapped at my husband with an uncharacteristic vehemence. I can’t remember why. It was a loud and clear signal that this mama needed a time out. So, I stayed at a hotel, alone, for one night. That came with its own set of fears, but I rationalized that the benefits outweighed the risks.
This balloon was going to pop if I didn’t take a break.
I took a long hot bath. I ate lots of Thai food. (Enough for two.) I took another bath. I did yoga. I danced wildly to this song. It hit my heart hard that indeed “It’s always darkest before the dawn”. Those words filled me with the light of hope as tears rolled down my cheeks.
I walked through Montreal’s Old Port while listening to this podcast for inspiration, recommended to me by a dear friend. (For those of us who are multi-hyphenates.)
I took pictures of Christmas lights sparkling as car headlights kissed the roads making me feel like I was in an old movie.
The world was quiet.
I awoke to a thick snowfall that covered the ghost town outside in softness.
I took pictures of myself before and after. I went from feeling like I was 60 to 35 again. Aches and pains I’d been carrying since our first lockdown disappeared. I felt energized, uplifted and relaxed.
My thoughts changed from anxious fretting to What’s the problem? This will glide off me like water off a duck’s back. Easy breezy. Aaaahhhh….I’ve got this. It relaxed my family. My daughter could feel it. It shifted the energy in the house.
On the day of my husband’s surgery, I knew I could sit home and obsess, or I could give myself a doable task to focus on. I chose to walk to a distant store and buy him a package of our favorite cookies. (Yes – this is big stuff. A herculean task, I agree. I’m okay and thanks for asking. He is fine too.)
And therein lies the problem. Now, they were in the house and they demanded to be eaten. With breakfast. As a snack. After lunch. While watching tv. It was divine on my tongue, but the sugar rushes were not. I finally finished them off yesterday. ( I can hear the crowds clapping.)
I ask you – Is there anything sadder than an empty cookie tin?
Afterwards, I went for a walk and it was cold. That kind of cold where your bones want you to head home. What was the solution? Well, hot chocolate of course.
After a few pleasantries shared at the café, compliments flying the way us girls do it, came the question of – do I want a homemade marshmallow with that? “I don’t eat marshmallows” I said to myself. Well, the she-devil relaxing on my shoulder (as she filed her nails) reasoned that homemade equals healthy – right? And so, I accepted the mighty marshmallow with flourish, and savored every sip of my LARGE hot chocolate.
I sent a seductive shot of my beverage to my husband and offered to get him one. He said it made his afternoon.
As I was walking, I noticed a dark-haired impish young woman sitting at a bus stop eating a bowl of ice-cream with – get this – bubble gum pink and mint green baby marshmallows sprinkled on top. It felt like a sign. Ice-cream in -10 degrees seems outrageous, but her face said otherwise. Her smile erupted in the expression of pure and cheeky bliss. It made me feel like marshmallows are everywhere. Hansel – Marshmallows are so hot right now!
They are in the soft balls of snow that rest on tree branches like cotton. Their softness lies in these books I read. Their softness lies is in how I remind myself to speak to myself these days. It is in my lowered expectations of myself. It is in how I know I have to talk to my daughter when she is upset. Their softness lies in this gentle movie that fills me with joy and reminds me of life’s magic. It lies in this podcast for creatives. (Which is all of us.)
The softness of marshmallows is what we need and crave right now. It is in the blanket of snow outside my window. The softness we need is within us. We just need to hold onto it like a child with their stuffie. We just need to let ourselves give ourself, and others, a little empathetic marshmallow break.
And then – go ahead – and eat another cookie if you must.
I know I will.