Goodbye Christmas, Hello New Year’s & Finding my JOY (Oh, And the Best Sugar Cookies Ever)

With the Husband back at work today, it seems as though Christmas is really over in our house.  I started putting all the decorations away today, (despite the little one’s desperate pleas to leave the tree up in the living room all year long) and while I worked, New Year’s was on my mind; what my hopes, my dreams, my (gasp!) goals might be for the year ahead.  Which lead into a much deeper train of thought . . .

The coach once asked me what my worth was.  It was part of a larger conversation, and was a very valid question at the time (it clearly still is a very valid question).  I couldn’t answer him then, and I still can’t answer him.

How can I define my worth when I don’t even know who or what it is that I am.

I know that I used to be a banker.  And that I have a degree in economics and an MBA that lead me to that career.

I know that I’m the girl that went through that whole brain tumour thing.  And that I’m the girl that loves to spend time in the gym and lift heavy things.

I know that right now I’m a wife and a mom and a daughter and a friend.

But none of that answers the question “who am I”.

I’ve always had something to rely on to define who I am.  In high school, I was the “figure skater”.  In university, I was an “econ girl”.  And from there, I transitioned into my career where i was a “banker”.

As meaningful as the roles of “wife” and “mom” might be to the people to whom I am the wife and mom, anything I do in those roles is, well, expected.  Taking care of the house, making sure the kids are fed, dressed, educated . . . all part of the job.  And thus, while I may be “good” at these jobs, they don’t define me.

And so, as I stand on the precipice of the new year, I am faced with the great task of figuring out who and what it is that I want to be and from there what my worth is.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am thrilled to be freed from the shackles of the whole brain tumour thing.  And I love the idea that I have the ability to choose where it is that I want to take my life.  But I am also absolutely terrified.  Because I want what I do with my life going forward to have meaning; to be worth something to more than just my husband and my kids.  And I also want whatever it is that I choose do with my life to bring me joy; so that I may teach my kids what it’s like to truly follow your joy.  And because I know all too well that life’s just too short not to follow your joy.  And I suspect that discovering this “life” is going to take a considerable amount of thought, hard work, and time.

But, with all that being said, I know that one day, in the not too distant future, I will have figured some of this out . . . and I will be able to confidently walk up to the Coach, and with a big smile on my face, tell him just what my worth is.

In the meantime, we’ve been having an ABSOLUTELY amazing break to date – by far the best decision I ever made was to just keep the kids home with me and not to put them in any activities or camps.  In fairness, they have had some time with their grandparents so that I could get a few things done.  But by and large, we’ve just been hanging out.  And we’ve been cooking.  I think the biggest hit this year was our sugar cookies.  They are PHENOMENAL.  And I don’t mean that lightly.  I could (and perhaps did) eat a dozen of these over the course of a day.  They are totally NOT paleo, healthy or in any way good for you.  Except, they are super fun to make with the little people in your life, and I grin from ear to ear when I eat them . . . We have devolved to the point with these cookies where we don’t ice or decorate them – we just eat them plain.  And we also debate as to whether we prefer them a smidgen under-done or more well cooked.  Do with them as you please.  They certainly can take smarties or other candy decorations on them before you throw them in the oven; or you can let them cool, ice them and decorate them fully.  Just please, provided you don’t have any gluten issues, MAKE THESE COOKIES!!

Best Sugar Cookies Ever

  • Servings: about 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
2 cups all-purpose flour (I have also used cake flour and it works just as well)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups softened butter
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 4 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand beater, cream the butter and sugar well.  Add in the egg and beat until the mixture is light, fluffy and pale yellow in colour.
  3. Add in the vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined.
  4. Add the flour and mix well – but try not to over-mix or the dough will get a bit tough.  Basically, mix until everything is combined and then mix just a bit more to be sure!
  5. At this point, I generously flour my working surface, and get straight to rolling the dough.  The dough can be quite soft, and hard to work with – so feel free to wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or so.  If you choose to do what I do, mash all the dough into one big ball.  Flatten the ball out a bit with your hands, then flour the top of the dough, your rolling pin, and get rolling.  I like to roll till the dough is about 3/4″ thick.  Then I cut out shapes with whatever cutters the kids want . . . Just be sure to have big spatulas on hand to transfer the cookies to the cookie sheets – this can be a bit tricky when the dough hasn’t been chilled.  If you have chilled the dough, flour your work surface, and the top of the dough as well, and then roll and cut the cookies out.
  6. Place the cookies on the cookie sheets leaving some space between them – they will rise as they cook so you don’t want them to turn into one giant cookie.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes if you like them slightly under-done and closer to 20 if you like a crispier cookie.  Please note though that the larger the cookie cuter you use, the longer the cookies will take to cook.  I tend to use a range of sizes of cookie cutters, and just accept that the smaller cookies will be more done and the larger ones will be more under-done!


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