Once a year I set aside a weekend to do a marathon cookie baking session. My great-grandfather was a baker in Germany before he came to the United States and I have his family’s German butter cookie recipe. I’m the only person in my immediate family that still makes these cookies and they’ve become my regular contribution to every holiday party I attend. As soon as Thanksgiving approaches my co-workers start asking about the cookies.
So this past weekend was my cookie weekend, except for one small problem. I never made the cookies. I left work on Friday and made sure to pick up all of my ingredients. Then I got home and stared at the mess that was my kitchen and wondered how I could possibly get everything cleaned up (I have a very small kitchen, so cookie weekend requires clearing every possible inch of counter space, plus my dining room table. As I stared at the pile of dishes and random containers, I felt overwhelmed and paralyzed. “Okay,” I thought to myself, “it’s been a long week. I’ll let myself relax and unwind tonight and it will all feel better in the morning.”
But it didn’t feel better in the morning. I could barely drag myself out of bed, and besides dropping off my laundry, I didn’t make it farther than my couch. What the hell was my problem? In a small gesture of trying to get something done, I did all of my dishes and cleared off the dining room table. At least I wasn’t a complete and total lazy bum. Maybe I could mix dough Sunday after I see my parents and bake a few dozen each night during the week…
That particular idea lasted until I ended up spending most of the afternoon with my parents and didn’t get home until almost 6. At this point I’m in panic mode because I realize I have absolutely no time to bake these cookies. And it almost felt like the more panic I felt, the less I was able to actually do.
Of course everyone at work is asking about the cookies when I got in this morning. It was fine, I was busy, I’m tired, I baked about 70 dozen cookies (this is actually about what I bake each year). Then I finally started confessing to my friends. And I looked at the piles of work at my desk and my calendar. And I asked for Wednesday off.