Carrot Cake and a Smile

Yesterday started as one of those days when I just want to run away from home. Sparing you the gory details, I was tired from wrestling certain demons in an effort to get to a smile and a peaceful attitude. My tranquility muscles were overextended and I was mad, tense, and scattered. I spent most of the day trying to keep the tears at bay and focus through the angry haze. I had zero energy to expend on trying to save myself from the miserables so I figured it would just be an entirely woebegone day. Then I found my happy in the most unexpected way.

IMG_1056As a Christmas present for my nearly 14 year old brother, I gave him Twist It Up by Jack Witherspoon with the promise that we would make one of the dishes in it every month. He wanted to make the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting as a surprise for my dad at his birthday party today. I dutifully picked him up yesterday and brought him to my house for some baking time, expecting that I would have to pretend to be happy for his sake as we made the cake and frosting from scratch. And then something happened. Instead of pretending to be happy, I actually started smiling a genuine smile and laughing as we worked together on the recipe. Instead of pretending to enjoy myself, I found that I was actually enjoying myself so much that I sent a text to my mom to see if he could stay over a bit longer.IMG_1062

What was it about our time together that brought my smile back? I don’t have an answer for that. It might have been the sense of accomplishment I felt as we tackled an unfamiliar project and didn’t utterly fail at it. It might have been the boost to my spirit every time my brother thanked me for spending time with him or told me how much fun he was having. It might have been the freedom to let go of the big worries for a bit while watching a silly movie and eating cheeseburgers with him. I thought our cooking and baking times were my gift to him, but it seems they are a gift to me, too. None of the frustration-inducing situations have changed in the past 24 hours and I still feel very irritable and tense, but there is a bit of my spirit that is at peace today thanks to the unexpected joy of carrot cake and time spent with a teenager.


7 responses to “Carrot Cake and a Smile

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. What I like the most with your blog is the authenticity that speaks loud and clear. I can relate to your feelings and the fact that it’s often unexpected events that makes a positive change to a bad day. Thank you for sharing./Maria

    • Maria, thank you so much engaging with me and my blog! Your own blog has become one of my favorite reads. I so appreciate your adventurous, authentic spirit. I think people are hungry for authenticity these days. I know I get really tired of feeling like people are trying to sell me something all the time. Since I find authenticity so refreshing, I try very hard to cultivate it in my own life and I cherish it when I see it in the lives of others.

  2. leah ~ thank you for sharing how ~~ even though we may be feeling crappy and like we won’t be able to find our way out… magic, love, grace, and happy can happen anyway. This little unplanned transformation instills a trust that it can go that way again. I especially love the times when I think that I AM doing a service and find out that I was the one served. Glad you caught that AND shared it! Love Love Love ~~~

    • Thank you so much for you comment, Heather! What you wrote about the transformation instilling a trust in the possibility of transformation in the future is so true. I hope the remembrance of such an unexpected shift in happiness will help me from feeling so bogged down in the grumpies in the future. Thanks for reading and engaging with me!

  3. Thank you for this post, Leah! I love the little serendipities that pop up in places we least expect them… seems to make them that much more precious to us, doesn’t it? What a great story and I loved reading about you and your brother. You two will remember this forever!

    • Lois, thank you for reading! You are absolutely right; the randomness does make those moments more precious. I’m lucky to have a much-younger brother so we can enjoy playtime, silly movies, and cheeseburgers. :)

  4. Pingback: The Greatest Gift | Parrot & Ox·

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