“The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Yesterday, was one of those ‘take the cookie’ days in my life.
Ok, let me explain what the heck I’m talking about.
A while back, I decided to go on a diet. Well, sort of. By diet, I mean I’m just going to try to watch what I’m doing and not put so much crap into my body. Back when I was running regularly, it was easy to somewhat ignore what I was eating because I’d just work it off. But now that I’ve been injured for a while (torn/strained ligament in my right foot), all that junk eating combined with no exercise was starting to show on my thighs, if ya know what I mean. So, I decided to buckle down and do something about it.
And then one day my daughter and I were headed to her dance class and she decided she wanted a cookie from Subway. So, we swung by and I gave her some money and sent her in to grab one for herself. When she came back, she not only had hers, but she also had one for me – a scrumptious raspberry/white chocolate – my FAVORITE. Immediately, guilt rushed over me since I’m not ‘supposed’ to be eating that kind of stuff, but how could I turn it down after she brought it back just for me knowing that it was my favorite? Of course I couldn’t do that. So, I took the cookie.
(And it was YUMMY!)
Since that day, I’ve decided to use that phrase periodically. Anytime I have to veer from the ‘rules’ a little, I call it “taking the cookie.” It’s basically my way of reminding myself that there are going to be exceptions. Sometimes, you just need to take the cookie.
And yesterday? Well, yesterday was one of those times. And boy, was that cookie awesome.
My boyfriend Richard and I had a rare day free from responsibility. Our kids were at their other parents’ houses for the day (ahhh, the dynamics of the modern-day blended families…), neither of us had to work, and there were no other pressing engagements that we had to be involved in. So, of course, we both started piddling with our own hobbies. He started learning a new song to play (he’s a musician), and I started thinking about all the things I needed to be writing (I need to work on my novel, get a blog done, etc.). But before either of us could get too far in, we made an impulsive decision to just head outside and take a ride on the four-wheeler, something we very rarely ever have time to do.
I mulled over the decision for a bit because I knew this would be a perfect opportunity to get some writing done, but finally I decided that this was one of those times when I just needed to ‘take the cookie.’ (Really – I actually said that to myself.) No more thinking of what I ‘should’ be doing – just hop on the four-wheeler and take a break.
So, off we went! Well, our first attempt was somewhat short-lived since we had a tag-along. We had to turn back and lead her back to the house and tie her up. Bless her heart. Oh, and we also had to go put more gas in the four-wheeler. Oops.
But then we were finally ready. So, off we went again!
Richard took me around and showed me the land that he grew up on – showed me all the places he played as a kid and even told me some of the stories of trouble he got into (not sweet little Richard!). I was amazed that I had known him so long and have lived in this area for months now and had no idea how beautiful it was. All the memories that are tied to this place and that make the man I love who he is – I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on this day of getting to know him and this land that he loves so much.
The whole time we were riding along, I was overcome with how blessed I am. I live in this gorgeous area, I’m in love with an even more gorgeous guy (with a heart to match), I’m healthy, my kids are healthy…the list goes on and on. Sometimes I get too busy and too loaded down with worries (money, scheduling, etc. etc. etc.) to remember to take the time to realize all the things that are good in my life.
No, not just good. Fantastic.
And if I hadn’t allowed myself to “take the cookie,” I would have missed out on such an awesome reminder.
Yes, I could have been at home getting some writing done. But what I did end up getting done was more important. I was falling even more in love with the guy who stole my heart over two years ago. And I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
There is an old Doug Stone song called Too Busy Being in Love. The lyrics kept running through my mind while we were riding along:
“I could have written a play so sweet and so funny
Given old Mr. Shakespeare a run for his money
Written the words to the prettiest tune
That would never leave a dry eye in the room
My only excuse for not doing enough…
I was too busy being in love.
Yes, I was too busy being in love.”
Yes, who knows what I may have written if I had stayed at home and took the time to be doing what I ‘should have’ been doing. Better yet, though…who cares? 🙂 I think what Richard wrote was better than anything I could have ever written anyway…
Don’t forget to take the cookie on occasion, my friends. Trust me. You’ll be glad you did.
“I could have written a poem to make young lovers crazy
Written a movie for Hepburn and Tracy
A beautiful song and it starts with your name
Written my way into fortune and fame
But I have no regrets for not doing enough
I was too busy being in love
Yes, I was too busy being in love.”