Friday, November 8, 2013

Don't mess with success - lupus or otherwise

I can't deny that I'm a pretty decent cookie baker. Goodness knows I bake enough batches of cookies a year to get it right. (I estimate 3 batches a week - you do the math!)

As far as chocolate chip cookies go, I have a recipe that I've used since I graduated from college, perfected over time, with slight variations on the Nestle Toll House recipe: a little extra flour, a little less brown sugar, extra chocolate chips, and a couple handfuls of M&M's (a la GG!) And I'm humbled to say that I've won awards for my cookies, received requests from around the world for a batch in the mail, and continue to bask in the glory of any compliment received for my small contribution to the sweet things of the world.

So here I am, with a coveted recipe for cookies that never fails to work, comes out perfect every time, and always brings a smile to one's face. Should I mess with success? Should I attempt to spice up the recipe? Should I try to enhance the cookies' flavor even more?

Too late to say no. Earlier this week, I tried a new twist on a chocolate chip cookie recipe, and it failed. Miserably. I'm not embarrassed to say that my pinterest board is chock full of chocolate chip cookie recipes, but I don't believe I'll be trying another one anytime soon. I've decided not to waste my precious resources of butter and chocolate chips on a "maybe". I'm dedicated to sticking with what works.

I find that my tendency to tinker with success doesn't stop at baking. Every six months or so, I start thinking long and hard about my afternoon nap. Should it really be two hours? Could it be shorter? Could I consider skipping it, or taking it earlier in the day? Could I even move it to later in the evening? Could I increase my night sleep by an hour or two to make up for no afternoon nap?

But then I take a step back and look at the facts: my 2-hour nap in the middle of the afternoon works. I've done it practically every single day since 2004, and it's been a key ingredient in managing my chronic illness. On the days I take a nap late, I suffer. On the days I take it too early, I suffer. On the days I attempt to take it in a plane, train, or automobile, I suffer. If I'm distracted, or uncomfortable, or skimp in any way, I suffer. So why should I mess? The gratification and success I've experienced from inserting a nap into the middle of the day is immeasurable. I would actually say it's the single most effective change I've made in my life with lupus - and I'm proud that I've discovered a solution that works. It required overcoming a few physical, mental, and logistical hurdles along the way. But those obstacles are behind me now - though I can't deny that the latter two require a bit of finessing now and again!

So when it comes to my nap, I'm going to play it straight. I may have tried. And I may have failed. But I vow not to try again.

As far as the cookies go, I pledge the same vow...at least not in this week's batch!

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