Crying with a Cookie in Your Hand

- POSTED ON: Jul 09, 2015

Crying with a Cookie in Your Hand
          by DR. AMY JOHNSON on JULY 9, 2015

Much as it pains me at times, my kids are growing up.

Saturday night we made chocolate chip cookies. When we were finished and each kid was happily watching BattleBots with a whole cookie ...

(their favorite complaint to overindulgent grandparents is “our mom makes us share one cookie”. Horrible, I know),

... Miller asked if he could have another cookie when the one he had was gone.

I said no, and he started to cry.

He had a whole cookie minus one bite in his hand, and was crying about not getting another cookie.  As I heard myself say in disbelief, “You have a whole cookie in your hand and you’re crying?!?” it hit me how, at almost 3 ½, he’s not as completely consumed in what is right in front of him as he once was.

He’s more able to use his amazing power of higher thought to leave this moment and mentally travel backward and forward. I mean, to be fair, he doesn’t travel into the past or future much. He still lives largely in the present unless we prompt him to recall a memory or we encourage him to excitedly anticipate some upcoming event.

Or, unless he has a whole cookie in his hand and wants another when that one’s gone.

Watching him stand there with a cookie in his hand, crying about not getting a second cookie, shocked me.

Not only because he is using his mind in increasingly complex ways, but I wondered: how often do I cry with a cookie in my hand? How often do you?

It was so shocking to see my baby do this which is interesting, because we adults do it all the time, don’t we? Really, all the time. Some of us live more often than not in this kind of illusory life. We all spend a good chunk of time there.

Every time you use your imagination to recreate an unhappy memory or to create a mental picture of something you fear will happen (something that is not actually happening in that moment), you’re doing it.

Every time you check out of life as it is and instead decide how life should be or how you think it will be, you’re doing it—crying with a cookie in your hand.

Each and every time you worry, you’re leaving a perfectly nice moment and crying with a cookie in your hand. Worry is your imagination running wild. (Yes, 100% of worry is you using your imagination. Sit with that one a second.)

There is some magic in understanding the way we tend to do this that really, really helps.

As human children, we will eventually retreat to our mind when life scares us. It’s our attempt to figure out and control what’s going on outside of us. That retreat into a mental life will be reinforced and will become somewhat habitual. It’s what we all face as human beings.

But seeing that helps. It helps a lot, actually. We all live in our heads often, and we might cry with cookies in our hands when we do. But we snap out of it too. We all wake up to the life that’s right under our noses at times. Waking up from thought is always possible.

Fortunately, as we see how this works, we find ourselves waking up more and more, and appreciating it more and more when we do.

And we get to fully enjoy the whole cookie we’re holding rather than cry about the one we want later.

Leave me a comment.

Please Login to comment on this blog.

Existing Comments:

On Jul 10, 2015 AJ wrote:
Humorous as well as insightful. I raised my kids with one cookie a day only, two if very small. My foremost reason was, I didn't want to run out to the store to buy or make more cookies. Also, I was a stay-at-home mom and money was tight. Cookies weren't a necessity. My daughters have the same rules for there children. So far all 10 grandchildren (and children) are slim and healthy, thanks to God.

<< Previous Blog
Search Blogs
DietHobby is a Digital Scrapbook of my personal experience in weight-loss-and-maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all. Every diet works for Someone, but no diet works for Everyone.
- View 2019
- View 2018
- View 2017
- View 2016
- View 2015
- View 2014
- View 2013
- View 2012
- View 2011

Mar 01, 2020
DietHobby: A Digital Scrapbook.
2000+ Blogs and 500+ Videos in DietHobby reflect my personal experience in weight-loss and maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all, and I address many ways-of-eating whenever they become interesting or applicable to me.

Jun 01, 2019
DietHobby is my Personal Blog Website.
DietHobby sells nothing; posts no advertisements; accepts no contributions. It does not recommend or endorse any specific diets, ways-of-eating, lifestyles, supplements, foods, products, activities, or memberships.

May 01, 2017
DietHobby is Mobile-Friendly.
Technical changes! It is now easier to view DietHobby on iPhones and other mobile devices.