“If life is enjoyed, does it have to make sense?”
-The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
“We’re just epiffing everywhere.”
-Tammy, today, on epiphanies
Yesterday I had the day off from work and spent much of it moping around the house paralyzed by how awful I felt. I wasn’t sick. I was maybe hormonal. I was more likely suffering from the lack of sunlight that is January in WNY and my lack of having planned a vacation somewhere sunny this winter, not that I still couldn’t. But I probably won’t. Although maybe I will. I don’t know.
This is some of what I thought about when I was paralyzed by the awful.
I also thought about everything I have to do and want to do but had a hard time settling on what I was going to do because I wanted to FINISH something and I wasn’t sure what I could finish and everything takes so darned long and I know this is a trap but sometimes I get caught in it and can’t get out and did I mention I felt awful, just awful? Like everything is futile. Like I’ve screwed up more things than I can possibly fix. Like my future is just going to be more of the same.
I have these days sometimes. I know they pass. But when they’re happening, I cannot convince myself that they will. It sounds like one of the stories I tell children to convince them to be less afraid of things it only makes sense to be afraid of: don’t be afraid of learning to swim, don’t be afraid of riding a bike, don’t be afraid of going to sleep, don’t be afraid of going to school. Even though I know each and every one of these things is filled with peril. Life is peril.
I snapped out of it, finally, by baking cookies. I was going to have dinner with friends, and I wanted to bring something. I decided to try a new recipe, which, in my best What Could Go Wrong? fashion, I didn’t follow properly. I put in the oats before the flour. I didn’t refrigerate the dough for six hours, or any hours. I toasted walnuts (and managed not to set anything on fire). But when the cookies came out of the oven, they were still delicious, as is usually the case with something when you start with two sticks of butter and a cup and a half of sugar. To which you’ve added cardamom. Just the smell of the cardamom by itself made me happy, filling the whole house as soon as I opened the precious small bag of it.
I remembered that I’m always kind of sitting in a chair in the sky.
Then I went to my friends’ and had a lovely dinner and laughed a lot (the cookies were a hit), and we watched a movie that slapped me upside the head with how blessed and spoiled I am in so many ways. And I felt better. And I feel better. And today I am getting things done again.
Even if everything is futile, a lot of it is amazing. Cookies are amazing. Dinner is amazing. Friends are amazing.
When I’m not being a huge baby, I am capable of some pretty amazing things.
And my house still smells like cardamom.