effortlessly perfect

{December 28, 2011}   the cookie from hell

As someone who has restricted for a significant part of the last year, you may think that “the cookie from hell” title has something to do with eating a cookie. However, it doesn’t. Actually, that would seem logical and a little less weird that the story I’m about to share. I have gotten used to not being ok with eating… especially sugary, sinful cookies. But I have to admit what happened on Christmas Eve with my family surprised even me.

My family has a tradition on Christmas Eve. We go to the candlelight service at our church and then come home to decorate sugar cookies.  And while our family has done this for the past 10 or 12 years, each year the group that joins us for the decorating is a little different. Sometimes it includes girlfriends or boyfriends, spouses, grandparents, neighbors or friends… just whoever happens to be with us on Christmas Eve. Regardless of the people involved, it is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season… relaxing, casual, and fun.

This year, we got back from church and started getting out everything out to decorate cookies… icing, plates, sprinkles, knives, etc.  We had some friends staying with us this year, so I was looking forward to getting to decorate with some new people and having them be a part of our family tradition. Once all of the icing was out and people started decorating, I immediately felt a shift. I watched one of my friends grab a star cookie and delight in decorating it with colorful pink icing, purple sprinkles, outlining it with a thin white line. It wasn’t perfect, but it was creative, unique and she loved it.  One of our other friends was meticulously icing a christmas tree cookie, adding delicate texture to the green frosting and placing individual brown sprinkles to make the trunk.  

I had taken a star cookie and placed it on the plate in front of me, but became captivated by watching the decorating that was taking place around the table. Instead of diving in and adding delicious decorations to the cookie in front of me, I found myself paralyzed. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. And I sure as hell couldn’t decorate the cookie.

I know it might sound nuts… and honestly that’s exactly how it felt. But I was absolutely terrified of decorating the cookie in front of me, knowing that it wouldn’t be as creative, perfect, pretty, or unique as the other ones that would end up on the plate.  I seriously sat there and stared at the cookie. Unable to do anything with it.  My friends and family asked why I wasn’t decorating anything and I simply replied that I was having fun watching them.  And while that wasn’t a lie, I definitely didn’t disclose the fears, feelings and emotions that were spinning in my head.

Part of me believes my issues had to do with the perfect textured tree that the friend next to me was creating.  I knew that nothing I could create would compete with his creation, so why I should I even try. Not that it’s a competition, but my ego didn’t need me to suck at this too.

Another part of me felt paralyzed by the perception that my cookie and creation would be judged and evaluated.  And while everyone at the table was commenting on, laughing at, and having fun with everyone’s cookie masterpieces, I knew that no one actually cared what they looked like or who’s was the best. It definitely made me realize how much I wrap my identity and self-worth into what I “produce.”  I am nothing more than what I create, produce or provide to others.

I’m sure there were other things that played into my reaction that evening, that I could analyze and rationalize if I really wanted to.  One of the things that struck me in the moment was how intense my reaction was and how determined I was to NOT decorate a cookie. It was something I felt I had no control over. No matter how weird I looked sitting there just watching. No matter how many questions I received from friends and family. No matter how much I wanted to be normal and just decorate the damn cookie. I couldn’t. It wasn’t going to happen.

I felt incredibly screwed up at that moment. And I still feel that way now, as I look back on it.  I mean, who can’t decorate a cookie. Throw some icing on it. Sprinkle it with sugary glitter crap. And be done. No big deal. Get over yourself and your fucked up feelings and just decorate the damn cookie.

So, yes, that was just a small snippet of my christmas this year. Hope your’s was better than mine. 🙂


Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you’ve developed a really good awareness surrounding your thought processes, self-worth stuff, etc. I can relate to similar experiences on Thanksgiving and the Jewish holidays (Yom Kippur/break the fast is a big one with food as you might imagine.) Have you heard of the “chakras”? I personally found that studying the chakras helped me a lot in understanding self-worth issues and their emotional roots. A lot of the stuff is housed more in our bodies and less in our heads than we think it is. That’s my main point, I guess.
Have a happy New Year!

Thanks for the comment and insight! I don’t know much about the chakras… but I’ll definitely check them out. Thanks!

pharphelonus says:

You shoulda grabbed that Christmas tree once it was finished and ate it!
That’ll teach the bastard.
I hope the rest of your Chrstmas was awesome.

Ha! I definitely should have! He’s a good friend of mine, but was definitely driving me crazy with how proud he was of that stupid tree cookie! Just seems crazy to have such a reaction to one freakin’ cookie!

Sometimes it’s the small seemingly insignificant things that can have the most profound effect on us. Sounds like you learned something about yourself and that is huge! It’s ok to be whoever you is.

Thanks for the comment! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to check out my blog and share your thoughts. I have definitely found that it’s the little things that end up making the biggest impact on me. I’m still struggling with being ok with who I actually am… but I’m working on it! Baby steps into 2012. 🙂

I know. Me too. Baby steps is the only way to do it. If there were a quick easy ‘giant leap’ way, we wouldn’t be here. 🙂

Nearly Normal says:

The holidays are… hard. The routine is broken and chaos seems to reign. Yesterday I sat at the table with my twin 4 year old daughters as we all drew pictures on paper. I drew a dragon that was eating carrots, one of my daughters (“R” very good motor skills) drew a family, and the other daughter (“C” not so good motor skills) drew a brown squiggly blob. Then all of a sudden “R” says to “C”, your picture is not very good. We then had a talk about how everyones picture was good and it is not a competition yada yada yada. I am struck now with how we compare ourselves so quickly to others when we are all unique in our won way. Life is not a competition, life is about finding hapiness and inner peace. I hope your New Year is better!

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