Last Saturday, I baked. For 4 hours. I prepped gingerbread cookies and rolled them out to refrigerate. Beware when adding baking soda, your molasses will inflate 10-fold. Then I got some pumpkin cream sandwiches going — my favorite holiday cookie indulgence. Baked the pumpkin cookies and set out to cool while whipping together the cream cheese mixture and cutting the chilled gingerbread into fun shapes. Upon a cookie cutter scouting trip through our cupboards, I found one Christmas tree, two fish, and a box of Valentine-themed shapes (because who wouldn’t want to bite into a pair of cookie lips?).
The original purpose of my baking extravaganza (yes, I consider two types of cookies an extravaganza — I’m not usually the baker in my house) was to feed my art-and-crafting lady friends for my third art party gathering. Most of our time is used knitting adorable baby hats and scarves. (‘Tis the age of birthing: I personally know at least 15 girls who have either gotten pregnant or had a baby in the last year. In fact, one of the party attendees gave birth just last week, and another is due in January!)
Once I got into my baking, I surprised myself by how much I was enjoying it. I was… happy. And it caught me off-guard. Not that I’ve necessarily led an unhappy existence. I just tend to feel guilty when happiness begins to rise within me. I attribute this to a solid beating of Romans and Corinthians, twisted and taught to me over the years as a desire for hardship over success. I remember being told countless times that my life wouldn’t be difficult if the devil didn’t think I was a “threat” to his schemes. So, if life wasn’t difficult, my peers and I wondered if we were too “lukewarm” to be bothered with. Saying this aloud to my new* therapist makes me feel more than a little psychotic. But perhaps not as psychotic as the people who encouraged me to feel this way.
All to say, I’ve been happier. And I can admit it. Hopefully there’s more where that came from.
* When my old therapist told me that I need to believe in Satan before I can experience any recovery, I decided it was time to move on.