What if you could….

I celebrated a birthday this week. In the past, I didn’t think they were a big deal, but events over the past two years have made me realize that every birthday is special. Too often we take each day for granted. I’m as guilty as anyone of trying to plan ahead. It’s been part of my job for as long as I can remember and a part of my personal life too. It’s December 1st, but I’m planning for the weekend, for Christmas, for New Years, for next summer. I plan as if it were guaranteed to me – as if living to 95 is how it’s all going to work out. But ask someone who has lost someone – most times they probably weren’t expecting the loss. They too assumed they’d have more time. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t feel like I was going to die when I had cancer. Actually the sudden death of others is what hit me harder. Both things made me appreciate life more. The saying “life is too short” really made sense and that’s part of what prompted our move.

For my birthday, my sister in California sent me a present & house warming gift. The towels are pictured above. “Bake the world a better place.” What if you could? What if just baking could bring joy and peace and make the world a better place?  While it seems like an unattainable goal, when you stop to think about it, it’s true – you can.

I’ve always loved to bake. My mom taught me how. She was great with making homemade cookies, bars, cakes and pies. We frequently had dessert at meals. While she will tell you that she’s “lost the touch,” her gingersnap cookies never last long & her peanut butter Rice Krispie bars are often requested. To me, baking does make the world a better place. It’s one of the things I do when I’m stressed out because it makes me happy. I’d rather offer to bake something for an event than do anything else. It’s one of the reasons that we’ve had a marathon baking day the last several years … joy. We both (me and my friend who does “baking day” with me) give away most of our baking. Teachers, co-workers, church or neighbors – many people other than just family benefit from our plethora of holiday goodies. We’ve taken several dozen to the homeless shelter every year too. My boys help me bring it in. They get to see the big smiles on the faces of those who wouldn’t have homemade treats. Baking the world a better place, one cookie at a time. Perhaps that will be my tag line some day. Now if I could just make them healthier, I’d have it made!

So, enjoy your birthdays, celebrate with loved ones and maybe even bake something this holiday season. (It can be from a mix or even from the freezer, nobody will know) Whatever you make, share it with someone. You could be making their day. Peace be with you on your journey of enough & stop to smell the cookies.

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