Cookie Day

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Cookie Day

I am having a cookie day today. What the hell is a cookie day? I know most of you secretly hope that I am about to say it is a day where you lie on the couch, in your robe, and do nothing but eat cookies and watch bad soaps. Well, guess what? It is. Kind of. In a way. I would not be much of a health professional if I recommended you eat nothing but sugary treats all day, would I? But the rest – THAT is EXACTLY what a cookie day is.

Cookie days began for me many years ago. I was working 6 days a week in my own business, I had a new born baby, a 4 year old (recently out of hospital), a sick husband and a penchant for pushing myself past all my own limits – physically & emotionally. One Monday morning, for no particular reason, I just could not get out of bed. I could not move. I could not face it. I could not take another step. I was not sick. I had not broken anything. I did not have any debilitating illness or disability. I just could not go on any longer.

All my rigid upbringing and work ethic was screaming at me “Get up. You have patients to see, people to help, washing to be done, children to get to day care, dinner to be planned, bills to be paid, the entire UNIVERSE waiting for you to run it. GET OUT OF BED.”

I had hit burn out. I just did not know it. I pushed myself again, got dressed, made lunches, put my brave face on and got going. Bundling my tiny people into the car, my largest son looked at me and said –“Mum, why can’t we just stay at home and make cookies today?” I was about to give my automatic response of: “Mummy has to go to work….” when I realized that this “excuse” simply was not good enough. My son had simply spoken what my soul had been screaming at me for months. There was not one sane reason, not one matter pressing enough, not one urgent deadline that could not wait until a day of cookie baking had been indulged in.

Children unbuckled, high heels off, hair down and marching back into the kitchen, I threw open the windows of our home, turned up the wiggles and pulled out the flour.  We baked, we napped in the sun, we had a tea party and we ate way too much sugar. And it saved my life. Literally.

As mothers, we have an incredible ability to hold ourselves together and solider on, in the face of overwhelming odds. We put off pap smears & breast checks, massages and counseling sessions. We wait until there is “more time” or “more money”. We serve ourselves last, we put everyone else first and we rarely take a day, just because it feels good.

Cookie days are just that. A day taken just because it feels good. It is not a day to finish the groceries, or the windows, or the floors that have not been mopped. It is a day to eat freely, laugh a lot, find small corners of sunshine to lay in, read a book, tell stories. Rest. Recover.

Because if you don’t, your body, your mind, or worse still, your soul, will simply give up trying to keep up with you.