Maybe he was more aware of how little time there actually was…maybe all farmers are, as they watch and work the seasons. Or maybe he was just smarter than the rest of us, but my grandfather did not suffer fools. He just didn’t want to hear it. He had no time for the whining… the “but he got to do it” or “it’s just not fair”… No, he would have none of it. Even when what we were battling was not each other, but something deep inside ourselves, the answer was always the same – “Focus on something else. Focus on someone else.”
And it has always worked. Which is why it is so surprising to me, with this 100% effectiveness, I have had to learn this lesson again and again and again. Yesterday I was having a bit of a melt down, and I’m being generous. It was not pretty. All morning long. By the afternoon, even I was tired of hearing the voices in my head. So I changed them. Focus on something else. Someone else. That something was going to be cookies. That someone was going to be my mother in law. Because even nearing a century old, she still loves sugar.
The signs were there – as I suppose they always are. Two cups of butter. That’s a lot of butter. Of course there was going to be a lot of dough. But I mixed up the recipe. Filled my mixing bowl to the rim. Made my tester cookie. Perfect. Hurray. Soon the voices in my head were silenced by a layer of flour. Roll. Cut. Bake. Roll. Cut. Bake. There were so many cookies. And then the frosting. It was hours. By the end I was exhausted. And lighter. And happy.
Today we will deliver the cookies — sugar and lessons in tow. The seasons of both are so very sweet.